Sometimes in MMA, there's not a lot of time to bask in glory.
Jennifer Maia missed weight for the last fight, vs. Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 244 on November 2, 2019, and lost a Unanimous Decision. Now ranked #6 ranked in the women's flyweight division, Maia was scheduled to fight #8 Viviane Araujo at UFC on ESPN 12 on June 27th, but both fighters faced travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and it was moved to UFC on ESPN+ 31 on Saturday. With a win, Maia would have likely stayed at #6.
Then in mid-July Araujo tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by JoJo Calderwood, who could have waited for a title shot at champ Valentina Shevchenko. Maia went right though Calderwood Saturday night, and at the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White said Maia gets the next title shot.
"Bullet" was watching and tweeted immediately.
Maia talked about it at the press conference.
“I think ‘Jojo’ underestimated me a little bit,” said Maia. “She had a fight for the title, and then she got a short notice [fight] in two weeks. I think she did underestimate me a little bit.
“But I think Valentina is a smarter fighter. She’s the champion, and I think she’s going to study me very well. I don’t think she will underestimate me.”
“She’s very good everywhere but we’re going to find out when we fight. I’m feeling very good, I’m feeling ready and we’re going to find out.”