“I love the crowd,” Calderwood said. “I go in there, and I feel just that extra energy from them. The Apex was weird. It was just cold and not what I’m used to. I’ve done it in TUF. There was my team and the other team, and there were a few other people, but I didn’t like that then, so I’m definitely someone that likes to have the crowd there, and I’m looking forward to Saturday.”

Ultimately, Calderwood is hoping to keep a busy schedule in 2021. Before earning a title shot against Shevchenko, Calderwood fought four times in 13 months. Had she fought Shevchenko instead of Maia at UFC 255, 14 months would’ve passed in between that fight and her win over Andrea Lee at UFC 242.

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Calderwood’s decision to fight is an understandable one for anybody who has experienced time away from their passions – hers just included a lot more risk in terms of career trajectory. That said, she didn’t fall far, and perhaps a couple more wins get her right back into contention. Regardless, Calderwood is aware of the stakes surrounding her fight with Eye. It might not be the belt, but it’s important, and that’s what her focus is on ahead of UFC 257.

“It’s funny coming into a fight when you’re on a loss,” Calderwood said. “There is that pressure. You have to get back in the win column to get anywhere in this sport, move up the rankings, to get back to the goal of being a champion of the division. But, for me, right now, I’m just in the mindset of – I want to get back to being active, and being active is where that’ll get me in the end. Right now, win this fight and get back in there straight away. Just try and stay active, and whatever comes will come with me doing that, setting out with that mindset of this goal.”


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