Joanne Calderwood: Katlyn Chookagian's style isn't 'one that gets me excited'


CHICAGO – Joanne Calderwood has been honest in her opinion about Katlyn Chookagian since their fight was announced for UFC 238. Now that she’s gone through the training camp, she admits it presented some challenges.

Calderwood (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) said she thrives off knowing an opponent presents danger inside the octagon. Chookagian (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) doesn’t offer much of that in her eyes, and it has somewhat dampened her spirit.

“I’m always impressed with any fighter no matter what their style is,” Calderwood told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I just don’t really see the style for her as one that gets me excited to fight against because I like going in knowing there’s a war ahead of me. I feel she’s a counter fighter and doesn’t want to engage, and that’s the part that bothers me.”

For Calderwood, No. 13 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie MMA women’s flyweight rankings, fighting No. 6 Chookagian is a necessary task in order to advance in the division. “Blonde Fighter” doesn’t have an easy style to solve, though, and Calderwood believes the onus is on her to push the pace.

“I’ve had to bring someone (to my training camp) that has a kind of longish range and doesn’t engage much,” Calderwood said. “It wasn’t the funnest rounds, but we have a gameplan, and that’s what we were wanting to do and want to get in there and see what I can do to make it exciting.”

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