Joanne Calderwood registered her best performance so far against Valerie Letourneau at UFC Fight Night 89 in Canada this evening, hurting her several times before putting her away by TKO in the third round.
Calderwood with a couple of kicks and then Letourneau returns fire with a nice combination of punches and a kick.
Few punches to the face from Letourneau, then into the clinch to land more. Calderwood takes control of the clinch against the cage for a moment, but then Letourneau reverses the position and looks for strikes.
Calderwood spins again and then is able to take Letourneau down. Letourneau throws up her legs looking for a potential submission, but Calderwood stays calm a defends before escaping and landing a nice ground and pound punch. Again Letourneau thinks about a submission, and this time it leads to her getting back upright.
Back to striking range then with a few rangey kicks and punches landing for Calderwood. Out of the blue Calderwood goes for a spinning backfist and it drops Letourneau! She staggers to the mat dazed and Calderwood rushes in looking for a finish on the mat.
However, Letourneau somehow snaps back into focus and shows good survival instincts to start defending and eventually gets back up.
Calderwood putting some power into her punches and elbows now as she tries to hurt Letourneau again, but the Canadian is returning fire and is still dangerous, so she has to be careful. Good elbow strike from Calderwood as the round draws to a close.
Leg and body kicks from Calderwood to start, then a kick upstairs from Letourneau that’s partially blocked.
Nice counter punch from Letourneau as Calderwood opts for kicks. Nice combination from Letourneau. She’s connecting nicely at times, and Calderwood’s nose is bloodied.
Leg kick and a right hand for Jojo. Now kick to the body from her. Leg kick for Letourneau and eats a punch in return. Both fighters staying busy her with both punches and kicks.
Right hand from Calderwood, then fades away from a counter and lands a kick. She moves in and is able to land a takedown on Letourneau mid-way through the second round.
Letourneau again starts working for a submission straight away, trying to crank out a kimura, but Calderwood defends, so Letourneau uses the cage to stand up instead.
Calderwood stays in the clinch momentarily, then steps away. Nice body kick for Letourneau and a push kick from Calderwood.
Hard kick to the midsection again from Letourneau, but Calderwood catches it this time and takes her down again in the final minute.
Good elbow strikes from Letourneau despite being on her back and so Calderwood stands up over her. She stumbles on a kick which gives Letourneau time to stand.
Kick from Calderwood and then a spinning kick to the body.
Teep from Calderwood to start. Letourneau with a one-two and Calderwood with a leg kick in response.
There’s been competitive exchanges all fight long, and that’s continuing in the third. Head kick upstairs from Letourneau. Now it’s Calderwood with a solid kick.
Nice punch from Jojo and then a spinning kick to the body. Calderwood now in the clinch, but not for long.
Teep kick to the body from Jojo and Letourneau just stops in her tracks wincing in pain for a moment. Calderwood capitalizes with a hard punch to the face and that seems to bring the Canadian out of her stupor.
However, it’s not long before Calderwood lands another teep and again and it appears to land to the face and Letourneau seems frozen for a moment and the referee steps in. The fight isn’t over though…it seems as if though Jojo’s foot dragged down to her top and so Letourneau needed a moment to readjust.
Back to it they go and it’s not long before Letourneau is again badly hurt by a kick to the body that results in her clutching her side in pain and turning her back to her opponent. As she moves away Jojo chases after her, landing a knee to her backside, then a punch, and finally a spinning backfist that floors Letourneau and is the catalyst for a well-earned TKO finish with 2.51mins of the third round gone.
Great performance from Calderwood who physically looked a lot better at flyweight than strawweight, and technically gave her best performance in the Octagon to date against a tough opponent, perhaps benefiting from now training at the Tristar gym.
Letourneau is usually a tough customer, so for Calderwood to have made her look like she wanted to quite several times during the fight was a real achievement.