Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s next challenger is set, as Karolina Kowalkiewicz defeated Rose Namajunas on Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 201.
The two Polish competitors will now square off for Jedrzejczyk’s UFC Strawweight Championship sometime later this year.
Kowalkiewicz took a split decision over Namajunas in Atlanta, though the card in Namajunas’ favor was at odds with the fight most were watching. Namajunas started strong, using good footwork, space, and timing to counter Kowalkiewicz’s attacks and circle out of damage. She looked to continue that in the second round, but the fight turned once Kowalkiewicz got the fight in the clinch.
The Muay Thai specialist wore Namajunas down in the second frame with a brutal series of knees and elbows in the Thai clinch, all the while holding off takedown attempts from the one-time title challenger. Namajunas was drained by round’s end, and though she had a little more energy in the third she never seemed to recover.
Kowalkiewicz sealed the victory in the third when another series of knees led to a scramble, which brought her to top position on the ground. She landed strikes in Namajunas’ guard, avoided submission attempts, and held onto positional control to secure the round and the win.
[Photo (c) Reinhold Matay via USA Today Sports]
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