Scotland’s Calderwood edges Kagan on TUF 20

Scotland's Joanne Calderwood edged American Emily Kagan to put Team Pettis up 2-0.

Looks can be deceiving, especially in mixed martial arts and in particular on The Ultimate Fighter 20.

When Joanne Calderwood walks into a room and you see her five-foot-six, 115-pound frame and hear her gentle voice, she makes the girl from Pixar’s Brave seem more like Shrek.

However, when the Glasgow, Scotland native sets foot in the cage, she’s not to be messed with.

Entering the show, Calderwood (8-0) was one of the favourites to win the tournament. Of the 16 fighters on TUF 20 she was ranked No. 2, while Kagan (3-1) was ranked No. 15.

Watch The Ultimate Fighter 20: Team Pettis vs. Team Melendez every Wednesday at 10 p.m. EST on Sportsnet 360


Calderwood, a Muay Thai striker, came out throwing kicks with Kagan looking to counter with punches. Kagan found her target on a few looping punches, but Calderwood fired back with several vicious knees and elbows from the clinch.

In the second round, Calderwood pressed Kagan against the cage and after some short strikes from the clinch secured a double-leg takedown, landing in side control. From there she worked for a kimura and locked in an inverted triangle.

Kagan slammed her opponent to the ground, but Calderwood never let the triangle go and maintained top control for the remainder of the round.

Although it was a competitive fight, two of the three judges gave Calderwood both rounds, so a third and deciding round wasn’t necessary.

“I’m feeling good that I got the win and as well I’ve came out the fight uninjured and that’s always good,” Calderwood said after the fight.

Kagan was extremely disappointed in how the fight unfolded.

“I wanted to win; I wanted to keep working toward that belt; I didn’t finish the fight and that’s what happens when you leave it to the judges,” Kagen said. “Definitely feel I could have pulled the trigger more. I really wanted to keep fighting. I definitely would have thrown down for a third round for sure.”

Gilbert Melendez felt his fighter did enough to warrant a sudden-victory round. “It’s hard to say who won those rounds,” he said. “I mean, they’re very close. I wish it went to a third round.”

On the next episode… No. 4-ranked Jessica Penne of Team Pettis takes on No. 13-ranked Lisa Ellis of Team Melendez. Penne and Ellis fought at the inaugural Invicta FC event in April 2012 with Penne winning a bloody contest by third-round TKO.

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