It is rare for a fighter’s camp to turn down a fight, especially for such a small 105 pound division. Angelica Chavez’s camp, however, has done this on numerous occasions, and this time, she had plenty of time to back out.
Rosary Califano (pictured left) was set to face Chavez in her mma debut at the Duke City MMA in Albquerque, NM this week. She had been training since late September for the meeting, signing the contract around that time. The fight was delayed from Nov. 7 to Nov. 25, but to Califono’s understanding, the fight was still going to happen. The match was heavily promoted between the two women, and Califano was excited to be making her pro debut. During a layover in Phoenix heading to the fight, her manager, Yo Armendariz, got a text that the fight was off.
“The reason that was given to us was that she was over qualified and the Chavez family refused to fight her,” Armendariz stated. “I called the promoter and I go, ‘What does that mean? Refuse to fight her? They both have a signed contract. Are they both gonna stand on the scale, then Angela Chavez is going to go ‘I’m not going to fight you?’’ I kept asking the promoter, ‘Are they going to give Rosary another opponent?’ and he just didn’t respond at all.”
This wasn’t the first time Chavez’s camp has backed out last minute. Brandy Nerney and Natasha Kreiger both were signed to fight Chavez and Chavez’s camp back out at the last minute. Califono now knows their plight.
“It’s very disappointing,” Califano expressed. “It’s very frustrating. To cut weight. To do all this training. To have all my friends, family, and trainers – everybody supporting me, getting me ready for this big debut. It’s something I wanted for so long and when I finally get there, it’s just pulled right from under me. The way it was done was very unprofessional, and left a bad taste in my mouth.”
At the weigh-ins, Califano found out that she was replaced on the card by another fighter they flew in, who would face Chavez at a heavier weight of 115. Califano was able to weigh-in and made weight, upholding her end of the contract. The promoter wasn’t able to find an opponent for Califano on such short notice, so she is out of a fight – not to mention her and her manager’s travel expenses. They are appealing to the promoter and the New Mexico athletic commission to rectify the situation. Califano is disappointed in not being able to make her mma debut, but is going to go back to prepare for when that opportunity comes for her to fight.
“We move forward,” Califano comments. “We wanna make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. We will do what we need to do to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. From here I go back to training and look for new opponents anywhere. Anywhere, anytime.”
To hear the full interview with Rosary Califano and her manager, Yo Armendariz, just press play below.