Joanne Calderwood Biography

Joanne Calderwood, a professional Mixed Martial Artist from Scotland, has made a name for herself in the Women’s Flyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). As the first Scottish woman to excel in mixed martial arts, Joanne’s journey has been remarkable. She is not only a skilled Muay Thai professional but also the recipient of the prestigious ‘STBA Fighter of the Year’ award in 2009. Prior to joining the UFC, Joanne showcased her talent in various renowned events such as India’s Super Fight League, Invicta Fighting Championship, IFC: Fourth Event, and Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 53. With an impressive record of victories through unanimous decisions and knockouts, Joanne’s skills caught the attention of the UFC, and she became one of the ten fighters to enter the organization’s 20th season. Although she didn’t secure the women’s UFC Strawweight Championship, her outstanding performance earned her the ‘Fight of the Season’ bonus.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Joanne Calderwood
  • Age: 37 Years, 37 Year Old Females
  • Born Country: Scotland
  • Mixed Martial Artists
  • Scottish Women
  • Height: 5’6″ (168 cm), 5’6″ Females

Childhood & Early Life

Joanne Calderwood was born on December 23, 1986, in Kilmarnock, Scotland. She has various nicknames like Jojo, The Whispering Assassin, Cyborginho, etc. She fell in love with wrestling after accompanying her younger brother to his Muay Thai training class. She expressed her desire to learn the beautiful art of kickboxing, and even gave up on her swimming lessons to learn Muay Thai. That was the beginning of her long-term love affair with professional wrestling.

However, it wasn’t easy for Calderwood as she was forced to take up several odd jobs in order to support the expenses involved in her training. She finally found a job in a gym and decided to spend all her energy in training. She later said in one of her interviews that she just wanted to fight. She continued working in the gym until the first opportunity knocked on her door.


Her Muay Thai training began in 2000 and by 2009, she had become the ‘STBA Fighter of the Year’. Her Muay Thai training finally came to an end in 2012. During her training period, she held an amazing record of 19 wins and two losses.

Her next opportunity came in the form of ‘Super Fight League 3’ which took place on May 6, 2012 in India. She defeated her opponent Lena Ovchynnikova through unanimous decision by the judges. She showcased her skills in the tournament and used it as a platform to move forward in her career.

She became the top 5 fighters of the tournament after defeating Ainara Mota of France by knocking her out. Next, she participated and won at ‘Invicta Fighting Championship’. On 6 October, 2012, she defeated Ashley Cummins, an American mixed martial artist. She won the ‘Knockout of the Night’ award for her incredible performance. She then faced and defeated Livia von Plettenberg via unanimous decision at another ‘Invicta FC’ event.

Calderwood then faced American pro wrestler Sally Krumdiack at the ‘Cage Warriors Fighting Championship’ in 2013. The event happened in Glasgow, and as expected, she defeated Sally in the first round itself. In 2013, she defeated another wrestler named Katja Kankaanpaa at ‘FC 7: Honchak Vs. Smith’ through unanimous decision. Joanne finally got an opportunity to compete at the ‘UFC’ after stitching together a string of dominant performances.

Ultimate Fighting Championship Career

On December 11, 2013, ‘UFC’ signed Calderwood to compete in its 20th season. The event was organized in order to crown UFC’s first woman Strawweight Champion. As determined as ever, Joanne sprinted her way to the quarter-finals after defeating Emily Kagan of America in just two rounds, but she was defeated by American wrestler Rose Namajunas. Despite the loss, she was awarded $25000 as a bonus as she managed to win the ‘Fight of the Season’ award.

Next, she defeated Seo Hee Ham to win ‘The Ultimate Fighter Finale’ on December 12, 2014. She then fought against Maryna Moroz at ‘UFC Fight Night 64’ and faced a defeat as she was forced to submit. She won her next two UFC fights against Cortney Casey at ‘Fight Night 72’ and Valerie Letourneau at ‘Fight Night 89’. In 2016, Calderwood suffered another loss against Jessica Andrade at ‘UFC 203’. Once again, she was forced to submit by her opponent. She was last seen in a UFC match in July 2017. She fought against Cynthia Calvillo at ‘UFC Fight Night 113’. She was defeated by her opponent through unanimous decision by the judges. She was touted to face Bec Rawlings at ‘UFC Fight Night: Werdum Vs. Tybura’ on November 19, 2017. But she suffered an injury right before the fight and hence, she was replaced by a newcomer.

Awards & Achievements

She is a ‘IKF’ (International Kickboxing Federation) European Flyweight Champion. She is also a ‘ISKA’ (International Sport Karate Association) World Flyweight Champion. In 2009, Calderwood became ‘STBA Fighter of the Year’ (Scottish Thai Boxing). ‘WBC’ (World Boxing Council) Muay Thai British Flyweight Championship was won by her. She is also a World Kickboxing League’s European Flyweight Champion. As a mixed martial artist, she won the ‘Fight of the Season’ award in the 20th season of ‘Ultimate Fighting Championship’. She also won ‘Fight of the Night’ while fighting against Cortney Casey. Joanne won ‘Fan Favorite Fighter of the Year’ in 2014 at ‘Women’s MMA Press Awards’. She also won ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at ‘Women’s MMA Press Awards’ in 2012. Currently, she is ranked no. 2 in Muay Thai by the ‘World Professional Muaythai Federation’.

Personal Life

Joanne is not married. She is a very private person. She loves spending her time in social and humanitarian work. Joanne has also endorsed various products in Scotland.

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