JoJoJoJo, JoJo There’s No Limit!
Twitter @Daniel Fletcher
The pre-eminent writer of the dystopian & political fiction genres, titan of 20th century literature and an all-around monstrous juggernaut of the quill, the late George Orwell once mused that “whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible…”
This is exemplified in few fields more starkly than fightsport; the current champions and/or stars on the inexorable rise, are almost universally perceived as being better than those that preceded them, and better still than the pretenders hoping to derail the hype train in untimely fashion.
Scotland’s “JoJo” Joanne Calderwood is a prime example of the here-and-now mentality of fight fans; people were quick to proclaim her rise to power, swearing blind that she is one of the finest strikers in Mixed Martial Arts today, regardless of gender.
The flipside of that gender-centric coin is that firstly she certainly is – as is rightly pointed out by some, regardless of gender – and secondly, her talents transcend the current, past, present or as we can yet imagine, future ages of mixfight striking; by any standards of any age, from bygone years or yet to come, she’s smoking hot. By that, I mean her striking.
Long-time “p4p #1 farang Nak Muay” Liam Harrison – to the layman, that means “best foreign fighter in Muay Thai outside of Thailand” – is among the number of those willing to praise Calderwood’s striking to the hilt. And Liam of Leeds, Mr “Hitman” Harrison, is no lover of Mixed Martial Arts.
Calderwood was a Nak Muay before pursuing MMA success; with a #2 world ranking by the legitimate “world” sanctioning body & Thailand based WPMF, and an ISKA title to her name, she was always a verifiable force to be reckoned with.
The hype that has followed her cross-sports defection put her local bookies on edge, and further illustrates just how dangerous this femme fatale is considered to be in the fightsport realm!
As can be seen in the report (pictured), the British media – sigh – still insist on using the thoroughly cringeworthy term “cagefighting” and “cagefighter” – then again, despite UFC (and then Cage Rage) being shown free on Bravo TV as early as 2002, and many years upon years of cockney Cage Rage action on Sky Sports, at best, all the corporate owned mainstream media of the United Kingdom seem to have done (beyond occasional and crude ‘shock-journo’ articles) is to convert boxing correspondent and quite clearly “UFC-only” Gareth Davies of The Telegraph into sort of haphazardly covering Mixed Martial Arts the UFC too, with the sort of bland objectivity that the likes of Hunter S. Thompson would have sneered at as a boring, lacklustre and pompous contradiction.
(Author’s sidenote: boxing, as a sport, attracted great writers – Norman Mailer for one – and it used to play a real part in the cultural macrosociological picture at the time – did that die with Muhammad Ali, the Vietnam Era and the death of the 60s? Why does MMA in the western world lack any kind of cultural importance, with no real journalism or journalists to speak of? In Japan it has its wacky, high profile niche at least; hopefully, the winds of change will blow…)
Big brand bookies William Hill were offering a staggering 100/1 odds on Ms Calderwood doing the bizz-nizz and capturing UFC gold; following the death of PRIDE Fighting Championships, it is surely redundant to say, that championship title is the most prized and coveted in the sport.
And then, the Scot lass got herself a Zuffa contract; she will compete in the strawweight division of the UFC, 115lbs. What, pray tell, was William Hill’s response?
The odds now specify “men’s title.”
How eloquent an endorsement is that of the Scottish Nak Muay lass’s martial skills? It speaks volumes of the rising star of British fightsport, and of the ever-prevalent fear of the present force.
As Orwell rightly said; “whoever is winning at the moment seems invincible” the undoubted master was as wise as ever – the beauty of triumph in the present is that its visceral and visual connotations alike help destroy critical analysis that could suggest an alternate scenario as a possibility.
But in the case of Joanne Calderwood of Kilmarnock, Scotland, one suspects that “present-focus” and belief in such hype is more than justified; critical thinking or otherwise, it is very difficult indeed to see her onslaught being stopped in the near future. You can laugh at William Hill’s backtracking, but it’s a damn sight harder to disagree with it.
Postscript; as she’s from Scotland, in light of the referendum for independence: