Cynthia Calvillo thinks she’s in peak form following an injury layoff ahead of UFC 266.

Calvillo (9-2-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) hasn’t seen action since November when she dropped a decision to Katlyn Chookagian. A shoulder surgery followed, and now she’s going big for her return as she takes on former UFC champ Jessica Andrade (21-9 MMA, 12-7 UFC) in a women’s flyweight matchup on Saturday’s pay-per-view main card from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Prelims air on ESPNNews and stream on ESPN+.

Andrade is as good as it gets in women’s MMA, and she’s far more decorated than Calvillo. It’s a tough fight to take off a loss and a surgery, but Calvillo said she specifically asked the UFC matchmakers for it.

“The way I like to run the show is I like to go for the throat right away,” Calvillo told reporters, including MMA Junkie, Wednesday at UFC 266 media day. “I like fighting the toughest fighters. I called out Jessica Andrade for that reason. I lost my last fight and I had a shoulder surgery and I called her out. … It’s just what I do. I love tough fights.”

Everything Calvillo has endured over the past 10 months has added up to something positive, Calvillo said. She’s relocated to Las Vegas full time to train and thinks she where she needs to be both physically and mentally to make a run.

Calvillo promised that she will one day wear UFC gold, and in her mind, it starts with a finish of Andrade.

“Obviously she’s very dangerous,” Calvillo said. “She’s got a lot of highlights of knockouts and stuff. She’s a champion who has fought in three different weight classes. She’s an amazing fighter. … Not only is she the ex-champ at strawweight, but she’s also the No. 1 contender in this division. So obviously that would prove I’m a true title contender.”


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