Karolina Kowalkiewicz Defeats Rose Namajunas At UFC 201Undefeated Polish standout Karolina Kowalkiewicz put forth her best performance to date in a career-defining victory tonight at UFC 201: “Lawler vs Woodley” in Atlanta, Georgia. Kowalkiewicz outpointed former UFC title challenger “Thug” Rose Namajunas in the strawweight co-main event.

Kowalkiewicz got off to a slow start early on in tonight’s contest, but she methodically wore Namajunas down with dozens of powerful knee strikes to the body. A dominant final round sealed the fight in Kowalkiewicz’s favour, and she may now move on to rematch countrywoman Joanna Jędrzejczyk.


Kowalkiewicz (10-0-0) struggled to find her range in the opening minutes and Namajunas (5-3-0) landed right hooks at will. She darted in and out with left and right hands and seemed to be in control of the striking exchanges until Kowalkiewicz began to pick up the pace with 75 seconds to go. She walked Namajunas down with kicks and knees, but Namajunas countered with a late takedown and she finished the entertaining round with ground and pound.

The second round began with an aggressive Kowalkiewicz hurting Namajunas with knees to the body and standing elbows. Namajunas tried in vain to take the fight to the mat, but Kowalkiewicz punished her with more knees and sharp strikes in the clinch. Namajunas briefly took her back against the cage, but Kowalkiewicz created space and scored with another elbow. Namajunas knocked her down with a front kick, but Kowalkiewicz returned to her feet and she landed numerous knees before the bell.

Namajunas slowed way down in round three and Kowalkiewicz’s knee strikes had clearly taken their toll. Namajunas bloodied her nose with a side kick, but it only seemed to fuel Kowalkiewicz’s offence and she swarmed on Namajunas with hard punches and knees. Namajunas fell to her back and Kowalkiewicz landed some solid strikes from the top while avoiding Namajunas’s submissions. She moved to a partial back control and threw punches until Namajunas stood just before time expired.

Judge Chris Lee bizarrely scored the fight 29-28 for Namajunas, but he was overruled by judges Ken Coffey and Jeff Mullins, who both had it 29-28 in favour of Kowalkiewicz. The victory now sets up a potential UFC Strawweight Championship rematch between Kowalkiewicz and reigning champion Jędrzejczyk, who submitted Kowalkiewicz in a March 2012 amateur bout.

Kowalkiewicz has racked up three impressive wins since debuting for the UFC in December, and tonight’s victory was unquestionably the biggest of her mixed martial arts career.

Winner: Karolina Kowalkiewicz by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 10-0-0.



(Photo Credit: UFC)