UFC Glasgow Predictions: Calderwood v. Casey-Sanchez
The big news for UFC Glasgow is that Joanne Calderwood’s (9-1) opponent, Bec Rawlings (6-4), pulled out eight days before the fight with a stress fracture. Her replacement for the main card bout is newly-signed strawweight Cortney “Cast Iron” Casey-Sanchez (4-1).
Casey-Sanchez is a bit of an enigma. The UFC doesn’t even have a photo or official bio for her up on their site as of Wednesday afternoon. So all we have to go on are some videos, rumors, and a few short online articles. What we do know: she’s 5’2”, much shorter than Calderwood, with a 4-1 professional record, and her social media presence is less colorful than Rawlings’.
Which makes it difficult to do the typical fight breakdown and prediction, because she really is a wild card in this fight.
Her professional career has been fought with Pacific Xtreme Combat, which is based out of Guam, and where fellow UFC strawweight Kailin Curran cut her professional teeth. She’s on a three-win streak, and her four wins have all been by first-round subs or TKOs. Opponents have included Helen Harper, Gina Uniong, Tomo Maesawa, and Kelly Warren. Casey-Sanchez’s loss to Pearl Gonzales by armbar was controversial, as Gonzales was accused of using banned tanning oil on her body. She is also known for her amateur flying armbar win over Rachael Cummins at Tuff-N-Uff – Festibrawl.
Calderwood was on a supposed fast track to a strawweight title fight until her shocking loss to Maryan Moroz (6-0) in April at UFC Krakow put a stop to that. As soon as Calderwood stepped into the Octagon, it was apparent something was wrong. And her submission by Moroz before round one was half over confirmed that.
News later emerged that Calderwood was under heavy stress due to personal issues, and the fight with Rawlings was seen as the beginning of her redemption arc. Then Rawlings pulled out. Which brings us back to who will win the fight Saturday in Glasgow.
Calderwood has a definite reach advantage over Casey-Sanchez, and is definitely the better striker, with power behind her well-timed combinations. Her standup game is excellent, but her ground game has always been her weakness, and Moroz also showed the holes in Calderwood’s takedown defense. But, if her mental game is back on track, it will be tough for Casey-Sanchez to pull off a win.
Will Casey-Sanchez win? Probably not. Can she win? Yes. If Calderwood still hasn’t recovered her mental equilibrium from her loss to Maryna Moroz, Casey-Sanchez has a chance if she can get Calderwood off balance both figuratively and literally early and go for a flash submission. Calderwood’s ground defense isn’t great, and Casey-Sanchez definitely has an edge on the ground. But she has to successfully change levels immediately, because her striking is subpar compared to Calderwood’s.
But, even if Casey-Sanchez loses at Glasgow, she also wins: she has a UFC contract, and Dana White, for all his many faults, usually makes it up to a fighter who helps rescue a card. Chances are a loss here will be a mulligan for her, and her UFC debut is on a main card opposite a popular fighter. If she doesn’t embarrass herself, people will remember her, and she’ll get a pass for being a sport and stepping up on barely a week’s notice.
A win for Calderwood will also bump her back up in the rankings and get her a matchup with a fighter of a higher caliber than Rawlings, such as Randa Markos.
Joanne Calderwood by decision.
UFC Fight Night Glasgow takes place Saturday, July 18 on Fox Sports 1, and the main card starts at 1 PM EDT.
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