Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Valentina Shevchenko Earn Wins At UFC On FOX 17Former KSW champion Karolina Kowalkiewicz made a successful UFC debut in a featured strawweight showdown tonight at UFC on FOX 17: “Dos Anjos vs Cerrone 2” in Orlando, Florida. The Polish star defeated TUF 20 semi-finalist Randa “Quiet Storm” Markos on the FOX-televised main card.

In other action tonight, another UFC newcomer also picked up a big victory in her Octagon debut. Decorated kickboxing champion Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko stepped in on just eight days’ notice and took a well-deserved decision win over former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman at 135 pounds.


Kowalkiewicz (8-0-0) stunned Markos (5-3-0) with an early right hand and she stayed on the outside in order to avoid Markos’s aggressive punches. Both women landed knees in close and Markos walked Kowalkiewicz down with leg kicks and lunging right hands, but Kowalkiewicz remained effective with her crisp counterpunches.

The second round also started off well for Kowalkiewicz, who scored with a series of body kicks and stiff jabs. Markos took her back, however, and secured a body triangle as Kowalkiewicz leaned against the cage. Markos eventually pulled back on Kowalkiewicz’s arm in order to drag her to the mat and she worked for a rear-naked choke until the bell.

Kowalkiewicz repeatedly tagged Markos with two- and three-punch combos in round three, and she sidestepped most of Markos’s looping right hooks. A big spinning backfist landed for Kowalkiewicz and she reversed a takedown into mount. Kowalkiewicz dropped punches and elbows until Markos escaped to her feet shortly before the end of the fight.

Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Kowalkiewicz, who remains undefeated in her MMA career. She is likely still at least one win away from receiving a title shot, but she put forth a solid showing in her UFC debut against a challenging opponent.

Winner: Karolina Kowalkiewicz by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds. She improves to 8-0-0.


Earlier on tonight’s card, Shevchenko (13-1-0) proved that she is more than just a striker by using a well-balanced attack against Kaufman (17-4-0, 1 ND), who suffered her second straight defeat.

Shevchenko struck from a distance early in the fight and she kept Kaufman guessing by mixing up her strikes with kicks and quick punches. She took Kaufman down and landed more body kicks after the fight returned to the feet. Kaufman switched things up by dropping down for a heel hook attempt, but Shevchenko escaped and the fighters traded knees before the bell.

In round two, Shevchenko once again got the better of the striking exchanges. She landed quick flurries and a spinning back kick to the body that prompted Kaufman to try for a takedown. It was Shevchenko who took Kaufman down, however, and she landed a spinning backfist and a knee in the final minute.

The fighters traded takedowns in the final round and Kaufman was able to hold Shevchenko down for a prolonged period of time that allowed her to land numerous punches and elbows from side control. Shevchenko fought off Kaufman’s keylock attempts, but Kaufman mounted her and dropped more punches until Shevchenko secured a sweep just before time expired.

Judge Barry Luxenberg bizarrely scored the fight 29-28 for Kaufman, but he was overruled by judges Don Balas and Hector Gomez, who both had it 29-28 for Shevchenko. With the Split Decision victory, Shevchenko extended her current winning streak to five and cracked the bantamweight top 15.

Winner: Valentina Shevchenko by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 13-1-0.



(Photo Credit: UFC)