The third time was the charm for Alexis Davis.
Twice the Ontario native had stepped into the cage with former Strikeforce bantamweight champion Sarah Kaufman and twice she left defeated.
But when the two met the third time Saturday night, it was Davis' turn to get her arm raised. Davis submitted Kaufman with a nifty armbar at 1:52 of the second round of their UFC 186 bout in Montreal.
"It feels awesome," Davis understated.
Kaufman got off to a strong start in winning round one, using her strong boxing skills to control the tempo. Davis, though, kept her cool.
"I told myself this time I was going to stay calm and not rush in like I normally do," Davis said.
Davis turned the round in her favor with a takedown in the second and worked a triangle from the bottom. Kaufman escaped, but soon found herself trapped in an armbar.
Kaufman tapped repeatedly, but Jerin Valel, the referee who has been responsible for several late stoppages on recent cards, initially missed the tap before finally breaking it up.
"You know what, I didn't hear until I verbally heard her say she was in a little bit of pain," Davis said. "You're in a fight, I feel bad she was in pain the ref didn't see."
Davis and Kaufman first met in 2007 on a fight card in Winnipeg, which Kaufman won via third-round TKO. Their rematch, a Strikeforce fight in 2012, was a well-regarded majority decision win for Kaufman.
Kaufman (17-3, 1 NC) lost for the first time since dropping a 2012 fight to Ronda Rousey; Davis (17-6) won her first fight since losing to Rousey in July of last year.