Paige VanZant’s recent Instagram post in which she called out nearly every women’s strawweight and flyweight fighter on the UFC roster — aside from Maycee Barber — didn’t sit well with Cynthia Calvillo.
VanZant’s post came as a response to Barber’s repeated callouts of VanZant, and her intentional exclusion of Barber was intended to be a jab at the 21-year-old fighter.
Calvillo, however, was included on the long list of names, and she hasn’t been surprised by her former Team Alpha Male teammate’s recent actions.
“I used to train with her a lot and I just know how she works,” Calvillo told John Hyon Ko of The Body Lock. “It’s about getting attention and making your money first because she’s obviously, as we all know, she is not the best fighter ever. She could be exciting here and there and then mostly she’s just really pretty, you know, and she puts her value a lot higher than what it is, but it’s more valuable as a sex symbol and like doing other stuff, not as a fighter. As a fighter, there’s nothing.”
Calvillo, the #10 ranked UFC strawweight, was confused about why she was a part of the list of names at all.
“I don’t even know why she even like tagged any of the strawweight fighters because, in my opinion, she’ll never make strawweight again, especially after getting her boob job,” Calvillo said. Second, she was like pretty much like a child when she was fighting at strawweight. She now has a woman’s body and I just don’t see her making that.”
Not only does she doubt that VanZant can make the 116-pound strawweight limit, Calvillo also expects that VanZant’s time is soon to be up in the UFC.
VanZant has made it public knowledge that she has one fight remaining on her current deal and wants to test the waters after fighting out her contract. Calvillo expects to see VanZant make a move to Bellator to join her husband Austin Vanderford in the promotion.
Still, Calvillo responded to the callout, but she says that VanZant repeatedly deleted her replies on the post and “would only reply to the ones that she liked.”
“We know each other,” Calvillo said. “We both know exactly what would happen if we fought. You could do your own thing. You know, I do my own thing cause we’re in whole different paths. I’m on my path to being one of the greatest ever, a real f**king fighter, a real martial artist — excuse my language — not what you’re doing.
“You just want to be an Instagram model. You want to fight here, get attention, make money that way. Good for you, good for you. Stay there. Stay in your lane but don’t call real fighters out.”
Calvillo also offered some advice to Barber.
“It would mean nothing to beat Paige VanZant,” Calvillo said. “It’d be worthless. I wouldn’t be proud about having my resume … Maycee Barber, you’re just wasting your time, and you’re not gonna prove anything because like beating Paige VanZant, that’s not gonna prove that you’re a great fighter because Paige VanZant sucks at fighting.”
Shane Connelly is a journalism student at Penn State with a passion for sharing the stories of MMA fighters.