Rawlings announces Calderwood out, newcomer Jessica-Rose Clark in at UFC-Sydney

Injury has forced Joanna Calderwood (11-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) out of next week’s UFC Fight Night 121 event, according to her intended opponent, Bec Rawlings (7-6 MMA, 2-3 UFC).

“Rowdy” took to social media to announced that with Calderwood out, she’ll now face promotional newcomer and fellow Aussie Jessica-Rose Clark (7-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 121, which takes place Nov. 19 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. Due to the time change, the card airs in the U.S. on Nov. 18, with the majority airing on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Promotion officials have yet to confirm the change.

Rawlings looks to recover from back-to-back losses. “Rowdy” Bec got got her UFC shot courtesy of “The Ultimate Fighter 20.” On the show’s live finale, she dropped a decision to Heather Jo Clark. But she bounced back with consecutive wins in her home country of Australia – a submission of Lisa Ellis in 2015 and a decision over Seo Hee Hamm in 2016.

Those wins earned her a step up in competition. But against Paige VanZant in the UFC on FOX 21 co-main event, she was caught with a head kick early in the second round. And against Tecia Torres at UFC Fight Night 104 in February, she missed the strawweight limit at weigh-ins, then lost a decision on fight night.

Meanwhile, Clark had been preparing for a Dec. 8 bout with Vanessa Porto at Invicta FC 26. She saw live action most recently in August, taking a split-decision win over Carina Damm at Titan FC 45. Prior to the win, “Jessy Jess” had dropped back-to-back decisions to Sarah Kaufman and Pam Sorenson.

With the change, UFC Fight Night 121 now includes:

MAIN CARD (FS1, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Daniel Kelly vs. Elias Theodorou
  • Alex Volkanovski vs. opponent TBA

PRELIMINARY CARD (FS1, 8 p.m. ET)

  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Will Brooks vs. Nik Lentz
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET )

  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton
  • Jake Matthews vs. Bojan Velickovic
  • Rashad Coulter vs. Tai Tuivasa

Fore more on UFC Fight Night 121, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Michelle Waterson returns to analyst desk for Sunday's UFC Fight Night 113 event

UFC strawweight contender Michelle Waterson will join the broadcast team for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 113 event, MMAjunkie today confirmed with FOX Sports officials.

Waterson joins UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping and former title challenger Kenny Florian as analysts on the FOX Sports desk in California alongside host Karyn Bryant.

Meanwhile, Dan Hardy and John Gooden will call the fights cageside from SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. Heidi Androl interviews fighters backstage, while Bruce Buffer will take his familiar position in the octagon.

Waterson debuted as an analyst in January, when she was at the desk for “UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs. Pena.” She believes the opportunity to do it again will actually continue to help her in-cage game, as well.

“I’m excited about it because as a martial artist, I think it’s always important to remember that you’re a student of the game, and the best way for me to do that is to force myself into situations where I have to study people that I don’t normally do,” Waterson told MMAjunkie. “I think that being behind the desk really does force you to step back as a fighter, yourself, and just analyze it from an outside perspective.”

UFC Fight Night 113 features a welterweight matchup between potential future contenders Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Santiago Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC). Both the main card and preliminary bouts air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Waterson, who’s currently an honorable mention in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings, admits that despite a decade of professional fighting experience, sitting behind a desk still brings out the nerves. But she’s excited to offer her expertise on the card, including the night’s co-feature, which sees a clash of fellow strawweights with Joanna Calderwood (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Cynthia Calvillo (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC).

“There’s a lot of hype behind Cynthia,” Waterson said. :She’s been able to pop off some really impressive wins, scrambling submissions. I think by her fighting ‘JoJo,’ it will be a great test for her because ‘JoJo’ is a great standup fighter who is more lengthy, more rangy and doesn’t necessarily like to go to the ground, so I’d like to see how Cynthia deals with her standup.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie