Cynthia Calvillo's Warrior Blood

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When Cynthia Calvillo dropped a decision to former champ Carla Esparza back at UFC 219, she didn’t think it would be a year before she could right the wrong.

A prolific performer, she loathed her extended stay outside the Octagon, and it showed with her crisp, near-perfect, first round submission win over Poliana Botelho last November in Buenos Aires. In just four minutes and 48 seconds, one of the true threats in the strawweight division had returned.

The 7-1 Team Alpha Male star is looking to make up for some lost time with a quick turnaround on this Sunday’s ESPN main card in Phoenix, where she draws Arizona’s own Cortney Casey.

UFC: You had a big win at UFC Argentina. How did it feel to get back in the win column and get back in the swing of things?

CC: Oh man. You know getting to be able to fight in Argentina especially after such a long layoff… I was just extremely grateful. Nobody likes being sat out and watching everybody else have fun. I was extremely excited and ready to get in there and get the job done.

UFC: Were you getting itchy sitting out, watching your peers get the fights you wanted?

CC: Yeah…I like to stay very active. You know, if I could fight every month, I probably would. But the weight cuts are a little bit tough for me. Being able to fight every two three months is great. So I'm very happy to be fighting [just] three months later in Phoenix.

UFC: How do you keep the momentum going from your last fight and keep evolving at the same time?

CC: Well, it's no secret I love fighting. But I'm very lucky and blessed to be able to do this full time so I'm always constantly in training and improving. You just keep seeing a better and better Cynthia the every fight.

UFC: Why should other fighters in the division be concerned about you?

CC: Definitely me just being super-fiery and having the Mexican warrior blood makes me very dangerous. I just grew up knowing you never back down, so I'm always ready to fight and, you know, I'm not going to let anyone walk over me.

UFC: What do you think you need to improve both this weekend and in your quest to get that title shot?

CC: I think every fight you’ve always got to prove that you're a great fighter and that you definitely have that a champion mentality, being able to perform in front of all eyes. I think it's very important to, you know, win in a very impressive way and get those finishes so that the fans can continue wanting to watch you and help you get towards the title.

UFC: For the outside looking in, how would you describe yourself?

CC: I'd say you know when people tune in to watch me the one thing that they could tell is that you know I just got a lot of heart. You know, I'm a big beast. I think that everybody can feel that emotion you know whether they are in their living room or watching at the arena.

Zac Pacleb is a writer and producer for You can follow him on Twitter @ZacPacleb.

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