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Cynthia Calvillo recalls long road to professional debut and having to pay out of her own pocket

Cynthia Calvillo has fought top-level competition throughout her career and even had to pay up herself to kickstart her professional career.

Calvillo, who went 5-1 as an amateur, had to sit out for almost three years due to an arm injury before making her pro debut.

She finally made her bow at GKO 7 in April 2016 and stopped Jessica Sanchez-Birch in the second round. But Calvillo remembers that, after receiving her first paycheck, she had to make some contributions herself in order to cover all her fight camp costs.

“I would definitely say that, after what I got paid for my first fight, we broke even because of all the medicals that I had to do,” Calvillo told MMA Junkie. “But I think I got like $1,000 and $1,000 and then for everything else that you have to do for that fight camp. So maybe not, maybe it didn’t even out. I definitely paid more out of my pocket for it.

“But yeah, I just remember it was a very significant fight for me, because I was laid off for three years due to – I had broken my forearm three times in a row so it took me three years to make my professional debut so I had some built up aggression, and I remember I’m just like crying before I’m gonna walk out. There were definitely some tears because I’m excited and finally the day has come.”

It took Calvillo only two more pro wins to get signed by the UFC and, after a solid run at strawweight, Calvillo moved back up to flyweight, and defeated former title challenger Jessica Eye in her first UFC main event in July.

Now Calvillo (9-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) will face another former title challenger in Katlyn Chookagian at UFC 255 on Nov. 21, where she’ll look to emerge as the No. 1 contender at 125 pounds.

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

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