When it comes to Paige VanZant’s recent callout of virtually every fighter competing at strawweight or flyweight in the UFC minus one particular opponent, Cynthia Calvillo didn’t pay it much mind.
With a fight against Marina Rodriguez slotted as the co-main event at this weekend’s UFC on ESPN 7 card from Washington D.C., Calvillo has bigger concerns than VanZant throwing shade at flyweight prospect Maycee Barber after they’ve engaged in a very public war of words in recent months.
Still, Calvillo couldn’t completely ignore the callout considering she was tagged on the post so she offered VanZant a reply and the response—or lack thereof—told her everything she needed to know.
“Normally when it comes to Paige, I feel like I just roll my eyes because it’s like whatever,” Calvillo explained when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I know her, I know who she is, I know what she’s all about. We actually lived together for a little bit. I know her very, very well. For me, I personally do not care. I don’t care what she does. We’re on two different paths when it comes to fighting but she did put me in that list of fighters.
“I know she was just trying to take a jab at Maycee but what I did not like myself is that she had a lot of fighters that she tagged reply to her post and she would reply to them and acknowledge them. If I would reply to it, she would just delete it and I was like why are you doing that? It’s really annoying.”
Calvillo makes it clear that her ultimate goal in the UFC is to compete for a world championship and she doesn’t see how a win over VanZant would really put her any closer to that opportunity.
That said, the former Team Alpha Male fighter was admittedly irritated that VanZant named her as a fighter she would potentially like to face but then she refused to even acknowledge her after making the initial post.
“For me, I really don’t care. I just don’t think that she’s a good fighter. I really don’t respect her too much as a real martial artist. I don’t hate on anyone for how they want to become successful and what she wants to do or how she wants to get it done, all on her, nothing against me, but if she starts including me and putting my name in her mouth?” Calvillo said. “We’re on two different paths. I want to be a world champion. I want to be the best.
“She’s not in my concern in any kind of way. I don’t feel like me beating her would mean anything but I did [find it] bothersome with her calling me out and just deleting my replies. I feel like that’s more disrespectful. She would say it’s a respectable call out but yet delete replies. It was a lot of bullcrap.”
In her opinion, Calvillo feels like VanZant is just trying to get attention in the midst of her rivalry with Barber rather than making a serious charge at any particular opponent.
In the aftermath of that post, VanZant has accepted a fight against Amanda Ribas in March in what is the final fight of her current UFC contract.
Calvillo never had any serious intention of pursuing VanZant as an opponent but she still has a problem with the way the whole thing played out.
“I understand that’s her gimmick,” Calvillo said. “That’s how she gets paid. She likes to get attention, stir up problems because no one’s ever going to pay attention to her for being one of the greatest fighters ever cause she sucks at fighting.
“Give her attention because of the way she looks and she likes to stir drama. Cause that’s what she’s all about.”
Since they stopped training together at the Sacramento-based facility run by UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber, Calvillo says she’s never really had any contact with VanZant and she doesn’t expect that to change.
Calvillo knows VanZant’s true agenda, which is why she never expected her former teammate to reach out to her privately or send her a message explaining how the callout was really aimed at Barber rather than anyone in particular on the list she made.
“She would never [reach out to me]. She’d never have the lady balls to do that, to message me or talk to me,” Calvillo said. “We don’t have that kind of relationship where we talk anymore. When she left, she left, she moved on. She’s just a different type of person.
“We’re definitely not messaging each other privately or anything like that. She would probably never reply to any of my stuff but I don’t reach out to her anyway.”
As far as the future goes, Calvillo expects VanZant to finish out her UFC contract and then likely move to a different promotion for a bigger payday.
Even if she sticks around the UFC, Calvillo never sees a scenario where she’d be asked to fight VanZant because it doesn’t do much for her as she continues to climb the rankings plus she knows the 25-year-old former Dancing with the Stars runner up would ever accept that challenge anyway.
“I’m not going to waste my breath, or time or energy,” Calvillo said. “I don’t really care to fight her, and I don’t think she would ever fight me, because she knows exactly what would happen if we did.”