Scottish striking sensation Joanne Calderwood returns to her second home on December 7th; the Invicta FC cage. Possessing world class Muay Thai skills and an unquenchable desire for perfection, Calderwood is ready to unleash her full potential.
Calderwood squares off against fellow European Katja Kankaanpää at Invicta FC 7, and Calderwood is focused on moving one step closer to her goal of winning the Invicta FC Straweight Title.
Corey Smith: With multiple appearances for Invicta FC, how would you describe your relationship with the company so far?
Joanne Calderwood: I’ve got a good relationship with the whole team, I guess Shannon’s my boss but she’s the kind of boss you like, the kind of boss you don’t mind going into work for. The fact that Invicta gave me a chance and took a risk with flying me all the way to America after only 2 pro fights is something I’m grateful for. After three fights I feel at home at Invicta and part of the family.
CS: You are undefeated in your MMA career thus far. How would you self-critique your career thus far?
JC: Imagine being on a really fast and amazing roller coaster that you’d queued for a very very long time…now you’re on it you don’t want to get off it and will fight anyone in your way trying to take you off the ride. That sums it up pretty much hahaha. I’ve yet to get out of first gear in a fight if I’m honest, I’ve not shown half of my skill set. I’m happy being 7-0 against good opponents, but the best is yet to come for me.
CS: Fighters have spoken both for and against fighting in front of a hometown crowd. Have you experienced fighting before a hometown crowd and what are your thoughts on it?
JC: Yea I fought in front of a few hundred people, a few thousand people, home crowd and mostly an away crowd but to be honest it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just happy to have the fight and to be able to be there and to do my job at the end of the day. When it comes down to it fight time it’s just me and the other girl in there crowd or no crowd.
CS: With training camp injuries a common occurrence in MMA, how do you balance getting the full amount of training that you require but still guarding against injury?
JC: With any fight camp you always pick up some kind of injury with the way we are training but mostly mine are very minor(touch wood) and I’m always on point with aiding them. Like last week I hurt my shin, I iced the shit out of it, covered it up for a few days and now it’s perfect.
JC: I believe if you look after your body it will make things a lot easier and it might love you back lol. I’m lucky to be sponsored by an excellent physio (Physio Effect) and looked after by coaches who know just how hard to push me in training.
CS: What does a typical day of training camp entail for you?
JC: Every day is different for what I am doing training wise but the same layout. Train in the morning for about 2 hours starting at around 10 or 11 depending on the day. Then I eat, rest, and chill out in the gym until after dinner when I train again for another 2-3 hours. I train 6 days a week covering everything I need to be a well-conditioned, well rounded martial artist.
CS: You have notably had to manage multiple opponent changes virtually every time you are set to compete. What does an opponent change do for your mindset and focus?
JC: Nothing really as long as I have someone standing across from me come fight night mindset and focus won’t have changed since taking the fight with the first person. My coaches deal with the opponent, they implement whatever they feel needs implemented into training. I follow orders. Simple.
CS: On December 7th, you will step into the Invicta cage with fellow European athlete, Katja Kankaanpää. How familiar are you with Kankaanpää?
JC: I’m not as familiar with her as much as my team are haha, but that’s how we work. I was actually supposed to fight her the last time at Invicta as she was one of the first names given to my team as a potential match up, so we knew she was on my radar. My coaches keep an eye on all the 115 pound girls. I’ve seen her fight a few times, she’s fought a couple girls in MMA that I beat under Thai rules actually.
CS: What do you think will be the key to that matchup?
JC: I see her trying to do what she usually does and rush to the fence, slow stuff down and try to frustrate me and I can see me changing things up from my last fights, showing some of the stuff I’ve been working in the gym which excites me.
CS: Most fighters list the weight cut as the hardest aspect of being a fighter. Setting that aside, what do you consider the hardest aspect of being a fighter?
JC: Setting that aside the hardest aspect and the most important one for me anyway is being a better fighter each fight, trying to get better all the time and being a different better version of myself every time I fight. I don’t want ugly scrappy fights, that’s bad for the sport.
CS: Aside from fight preparation, how much MMA do you watch purely for enjoyment?
JC: Not that much to be honest. I’m so busy with my schedule. I don’t watch much outside of Invicta and my team mates.
CS: Your coach orders you to take a day off from training. How are you spending that day?
JC: Usually getting a long lie, a massage, catching up with my mum, catching up with social media messages, dinner, cinema or a comedy club is usually the script on a rest day nothing exciting lol.
CS: Lastly, MMA takes a team to succeed alone inside the cage. Who would you like to thank?
JC: I’d like to thank Shannon Knapp for giving me this awesome stage to perform on; if it wasn’t for Invicta I’d still be annoying people begging to match me.
JC: Thanks to the people that help me every day. They guys know who they are.
JC: Team Midge; they help with my sparring so I don’t need to take out the bigger boys 😉
JC: James Doolan my manager, head coach, training partner and I wish I could say my cook….but let’s just say he is more into the art of eating. 😉