Small in stature, big on impact – meet UFC Fighter and one of The Originals, JoJo Calderwood.
Joanne Calderwood (otherwise known as JoJo) is a Scottish Muay Thai champion, strawweight Mixed Martial Artist and a UFC fighter. Her nicknames, which include Badmofo JoJo, Dr Kneevil and The Whispering Assassin, are inspired by the fact that despite her soft voice and small stature, when JoJo’s in fighting mode, there’s no holding back. We grab five minutes to talk with Jo Jo on being positive, working hard and the inspiration behind her MadeBrave® Originals signature t-shirt.
When did you first get into MMA?
I got into MMA after training in Muay Thai boxing, which I fell into when I was thirteen and went to a class with my brother. After reaching a certain level, I was in the process of trying new disciplines: I started with jiu jitsu and wrestling before putting it all together and looking for new challenges, it was then that I started competing in MMA.
Describe your typical day.
Wake up have breakfast – when I’m not fighting, I eat porridge (I have carbs in the morning to get energy) but as I get closer to the fight, I take out the carbs and have mostly protein. I then go to the gym to train for a few hours before heading home to have lunch. When I’m in camp, lunch is eggs and ham, as I need to bring my weight down; outside of camp I can have anything so long as I’m still eating healthily and and smart. After lunch I have a rest, then go back into the gym then do the same again for a few hours, before getting ready for bed and organised for the next day to do the same again.
Tell us something people wouldn’t know about you.
I’m secretly addicted to Häagen-Dazs ice cream. The other thing would be that I burp a lot, but only people who are around me all the time know that!
Who are your top three icons and why?
Rihanna – I really like her image and her music, she comes across as a strong person and she’s very unique.
Ronda Rousey – She’s a really determined focused and a great champion
My sister – She’s a very strong person and has been very patient with me all my life and I lover her to bits.
What’s the inspiration behind your signature t-shirt?
I have never bad mouthed my opponents and always focused on my training and working towards the competition. I once said in an interview that ‘You don’t have to be loud to be heard’ and it has just stuck with me.
Did you enjoy the creative process?
It was great fun, I came into the MadeBrave® studio and met the team – we looked over a few different options design options settling on the ‘You don’t have to be loud to be heard’ option.
What’s your favourite quote?
“We are all in the gutter, it’s just some of us are looking at the stars.”
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I feel really lucky with how my whole MMA career has spanned out – I’ve been able to travel a lot, going places like America and India. Most of my fights have been abroad and there have been so many opportunities – I couldn’t pick just one.
What’s your biggest fear?
Not doing well in competition – I put a lot of work in and I have a lot of support, I’m always scared I don’t perform and don’t do well in the cage.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
When I did the reality show Ultimate Fighter, I had to leave my family and team, I was away for seven weeks and wasn’t allowed any contact with them. It was potentially the biggest moment of my career, and to do it on my own was a big deal.