Joanne Wood (formerly Calderwood) is trying to work her way towards a title shot against Valentina Shevchenko. However, she thinks that the UFC is going to have to start reaching for new opponents for the dominant champ.
Wood is honestly not far from a title shot, if she is able to get past her next opponent, with Taila Santos, who is replacing an injured Alexa Grasso, at UFC Vegas 43, this weekend. In fact, her last fight saw her lose a close split decision to Lauren Murphy, who would then go on to challenge Shevchenko for the title, losing in brutal fashion.
Speaking with Middle Easy, JoJo said that she was really disappointed in seeing how Murphy performed in her fight with Shevchenko. She also stated that she would be down for the two to run it back at some point down the road, although she made it clear that it was not because she was holding a grudge.
“(Murphy) was very hesitant to engage with (Shevchenko)… I was like ‘Come on, this is your chance. Like, you scrapped a win off of me for that?’ … She has to live with that That was her one chance, and now she has to get back in line for that. She blew it,” Wood said.
“I wouldn’t say no to (a rematch with Murphy). I’m not like ‘Oh, I’m seeking revenge,’ or anything like that. It is what it is. We thought we won. She thought she won, her and her team. It is what it is, and that wasn’t my path. So I stay focused and get back on my path, get back to work.”
Joanne Wood Says Taila Santos Has A Padded Record
Getting back to work is exactly what Joanne Wood will be doing, when she faces Taila Santos this weekend. While she was disappointed that she is not fighting Grasso, she still thinks Santos will make for a good fight.
Santos has looked fairly decent lately, going 3-1 in the UFC thus far, with an 18-1 record overall. However, JoJo says that numbers are deceiving, and that Taila’s record is padded with no-names.
“I was a little bit disappointed. To be honest, I was really looking forward to the fight with Grasso. I felt we were both flyweights coming up to strawweight, finally getting to fight someone that was coming up instead of going down. I know she’s a fun fight. This (Santos) fight is still going to be fun, but it’s not going to be as fun, I feel,” Wood said.
“She’s definitely got a padded record. I feel like only since she got on the (Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil), she’s fought girls with better records, more experience. I know she’s tough, I know she’s grueling. She just fought my teammate, Roxanne (Modafferi), so I’m guessing it going to be pretty much the same fight.”
Hunger Games For Valentina Shevchenko
While she is coming into this fight off of a loss, a win at UFC Vegas 43 would put Joanne Wood not too far from a title shot. A big part of this is due to the dominance of the champ, Valentina Shevchenko.
Joanne knows that this is something that could be happening soon, and would be extremely disappointed if it did not happen. She also proposed an interesting idea for the UFC to try, in order to find opponents for the champ.
“I think I would be a bit gutted if I never do get to fight Valentina. It’d be like the one that got away. If our paths are meant to cross, then hopefully. But yeah, I’ve been starting to think that maybe Dana has to do like Hunger Games for Valentina, or something,” Wood said with a chuckle.
“I feel like my toughness would get me through a lot of damage. Just having the Muay Thai background, of what Valentina’s coming from, it would make for a different fight, and a more exciting fight.”
First things first, Joanne Wood faces off against Taila Santos this weekend, at UFC Vegas 43. It will be interesting to see where she goes from here, if she gets a win.