Calderwood admitted her managerial team made the decision for her, and she found about it from a report on the internet.
"First of all, I think my managers and coaches already made the decision before I could say anything," Calderwood said. "I was at the hairdressers. I was working and I came back and I was reading on the internet and I was like 'what? what's happening?' Then I had the message from my manager, so I went back and spoke about it and stuff."
At the time, it was a controversial decision. A title fight against Esparza would have given Calderwood greater exposure, a stronger presence in the U.S. media and a chance to become a world champion.
"I can understand their reasons why they didn't want me to take it," Calderwood said. "Carla is a very good fighter and I think she's going to go away with the title tonight."
Calderwood's prediction came true, as Esparza defeated Bec Hyatt for the inaugural Invicta FC strawweight strap. Hyatt was the only strawweight to agree to step up in competition to fight Esparza when Claudia Gadelha went down with an injury.
"Hopefully we can do it again in the future," Calderwood said of a potential title fight in the Invicta FC ranks. "I've only been fighting in MMA for one year, so I'm really inexperienced. I just showed that in my fight I think."
Calderwood's managerial team accepted a fight against Livia Von Plettenberg, an elite MMA fighter with a kickboxing background.
Looking back, the decision looked like the right one by Calderwood's team. Calderwood defeated Von Plettenberg to maintain her undefeated record and a spot in the top ten in the women's strawweight ranks.
She didn't get the media attention that a title fight would bring, but she was able to showcase her skills to a national audience and put the rest of the strawweight division on notice.
Perhaps Calderwood will have the chance to slug it out with Hyatt at Invicta FC 5, or another future Invicta card.