Joanne Calderwood Talks About Thriving on Pressure and Fighting Clint Eastwood

Interview supplied by Kerry Masarati

Joanne Calderwood fights out of Griphouse in Scotland, currently ranked 9th in the world at 115lb according to unified women's MMA rankings. With an impressive Muay Thai career and record of 19 wins with 2 losses.... Jo is now at the start of an exciting MMA career that has seen her so far get a record of 4-0-0, three of which were by knockout, the last fight being on the all-female MMA fight show Invicta in Kansas USA. Making her first USA appearance and defeating unbeaten Ashley Cummins at 3:13 minutes in the first round with a knee strike to the body. Facebook and twitter were going berserk back in the UK in support of the 26-year-old from Glasgow. Joanne is fighting on the next Invicta show on January5th 2013 against Australian Bec 'Rowdy ' Hyatt. Jo has taken time to talk to AddictedMMA.

You've had an amazing Muay Thai career, what made you move into MMA?
Joanne: Strictly for my ninjas.

AddictedMMA: You train at Griphouse in Glasgow, how long have you been there?

Joanne: I moved there when I was 21 (6years ago) I feel like I wasted a lot of my time before I moved to the Griphouse but I believe things happen for a reason and I am just grateful I eventually found where I belong.

AddictedMMA: Are there many ladies there or do you mainly train with guys?

Joanne: We do ladies classes and have some great ladies coming through the ranks. I'm happy to train with them and love helping them if and when I can but l get my main training in with the full time fighters who are all male.

AddictedMMA: What does an average week consist of for you and how does it change coming up to a fight?

Joanne: I train twice a day for five days with one half day and a full day rest where I will get sports treatment from my sponsor at physio effect. The training I do covers all the areas needed in MMA although I limit the stand-up area so I can work more on my wrestling and grappling game and new skills.

AddictedMMA: Who chooses the fights and shows for you, is it yourself, your coach, or a joint decision?

Joanne: My management Dangerous Bastards Fight Management deal with my fights after it's been discussed with the rest of my coaches first; my job's just to fight.

AddictedMMA: How did the Invicta fight come about?

Joanne: The matchmaker asked if I was available after I fought in the SFL and my schedule was clear and to be honest it was an offer that we didn't have to think twice about, I've been an Invicta fan since I saw their first show, it's where I wanted to be.

AddictedMMA: Did you feel any pressure for this fight as it's such a huge show?

Joanne: Not really I'm always very calm, I have great support inside and out of the cage and that makes me unbreakable when I have any pressure or doubts. I tend to thrive on pressure, the more the better for me.

AddictedMMA: Do you get pre-fight nerves, if so how do you deal with them?

Joanne: Yes of course, I think every fighter does unless they are aliens. I think they are great especially when you channel them into your fight game. If you use the nerves they can be your biggest asset, if you ignore them or lose control of them they'll drown you.

AddictedMMA: Do you research your opponents and come up with a fight plan accordingly?

Joanne: I will have a look at them, but never analyse them in great detail. I like going in and 'winging it' just reacting like I do when sparring, I'm never thinking I'm just doing.

AddictedMMA: What are your plans for 2013?

Joanne: Stay as busy as possible and keep improving my game. Hopefully fit in a trip to Brazil and keep chasing my dreams.

AddictedMMA: What do you know about your next opponent?

Joanne: I know she's next in line to be facing back at me, wanting to take my head off.

AddictedMMA: How many people will be heading to Kansas with you in January?

Joanne: As it's in January just after Christmas and everyone will be depressed and skint I think it will just be my two coaches, James and Paul.

AddictedMMA: Do you have to cut any weight for fights?

Joanne: Yes, same as most professional fighters, I do however like getting most of it off through dieting. I have a great team that have a lot of experience in cutting weight and nutrition to ensure I do enough to be big at that weight but have enough energy for high paced fights.

AddictedMMA: Are your family supportive?

Joanne: Yeah outside of my gym family my mum, brother and sister are all proud of me and it means the world to me that they are with me all the way, I couldn't ask for more from them.

AddictedMMA: What motivates you?

Joanne: My team and my family, the support I get from people before and after I fight, odd socks, quotes and growing as a person and a fighter.

AddictedMMA: What are you like to be around on fight week?

Joanne: You'd need to ask my team mates and coaches that ;) I'd like to say as awesome as ever, they might tell you different.

AddictedMMA: What was the crowd like for you when you fought Ashley Cummins?

Joanne: I think she had a big support as she was from that area but the crowd were awesome, really educated and appreciative, I met a lot of them afterwards and there were a lot of younger people which was great to see.

AddictedMMA: What's going through your head when they're about to call you out for your fight?

Joanne: Where is the nearest exit? Haha I'm just listening to my corner team at this point and knowing it's nearly time to do what I've trained to do. I'm excited because everything I've worked for is about to play out.

AddictedMMA: What music gets you pumped?

Joanne: Kanye west 'Amazing' is my entrance song I love it.

I'm a monster, I'm a maven
I know this world is changing
Never gave in, never gave up
I'm the only thing I'm afraid of.

AddictedMMA: Do you take any time out In between fights to go out and chill with mates or are you constantly training?

Joanne: I always chill for a week if I don't have any other fights straight after, to let my body recover. Then I get back into training technique and off season weights program until I need to start fight camp again.

AddictedMMA: You took silver at the British no gi, is it important to you to remain active on the grappling scene when not fighting MMA, and do you do any gi fights?

Joanne: Grappling comps are another way of competing, I always end up jumping in and doing them if I can fit them in between fights, I like getting to compete with girls that are usually in these comps 'cause it's their game. I don't train for them specifically; I just do it for MMA. I train in gi and have done comps in the gi, I've been a blue belt for a few years now and I've never failed to medal in any grappling competition I've entered.

AddictedMMA: How do you balance 'normal' life/ fighting life, or have they merged together?

Joanne: I don't have a normal life, MMA/Thai is my life, no one really wants a normal life do they.

AddictedMMA: What celebrity would you like to get in the cage with?

Joanne: Clint Eastwood, because he's a man's man apparently, maybe if he was in his prime I'd beat him up anyway.

AddictedMMA: Apart from MMA what's Joanne Calderwood addicted too?

Joanne: Trainers and sleeping!

Thanks for talking to us and good luck with your fight!

Published by Ruarie Farrelly - Mon, 3 Dec 2012 16:36

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