Calderwood took a three-fight losing streak into their flyweight fight; Faria had dropped two in a row; and both fighters last tasted victory in 2016.
But Calderwood, as it turns out, is the one who wanted it more. Calderwood turned a triangle into an armbar for a nifty submission with just three seconds left in the opening round of their flyweight bout.
“I’ve failed so many times and I’m back and I’m here and I’m ready,” said Calderwood (12-3), who is now 4-3 in the UFC.
Faria appeared to be in control for the bulk of the opening round as the Brazilian scored a near-immediate takedown and spent several minutes controlling things from the top.
But Calderwood, who recently changed camps from Tristar to Syndicate, stayed patient and eventually found her opening. Calderwood nicely moved Faria into a triangle with just under a minute left in the round; landed sharp elbows, and then made a neat transition into the armbar, where she got the tap.
Calderwood, who came up from strawweight, said she’s excited to get back into the cage as soon as possible.
“I was just over there begging [matchmaker Mick Maynard],” Calderwood said. “I want to fight before the end of the year. I think I got a headbutt on the nose but that’s okay, I’ll be back in training Monday. Just get me in before the end of the year.”
Faria dropped to 18-8-1 and has lost five of her past eight bouts.