Karolina Kowalkiewicz may have set herself up for a shot at the title, after she defeated Rose Namajunas at UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley on Saturday night in Atlanta.
Heading into the fight, Namajunas and Kowalkiewicz knew that the winner might be next for UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Namajunes was on a three-fight streak, while Kowaliewicz was undefeated.
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Namajunas did a good job in the opening round to find her rhythm and taking Kowalkiewicz out of hers. As Kowalkiewicz tried to get her kicking game going, Namajunas stood pat and established a strong counter-striking approach, landing her right hand several times.
A brief flurry from Kowalkiewicz at the end of the round got her back in the fight, but Namajunas took her down, scrambled, and then landed in top position to close out the round.
Kowalkiewicz turned the tide in the second frame, finally closing the distance and doing some damage from the clinch. When she clinched, Kowalkiewicz landed several hard elbows and knees that took the wind out of Namajunas’ sails. Much of the round was in Kowalkiewicz’s zone, fighting from the clinch, and her effectiveness showed as Namajunas slowed down dramatically by the end of the frame.
The final round was another strong one for Kowalkiewicz, as she stopped respecting Namajunas’ punching power, and rushed her to get into clinch distance where she did a lot of damage with her knees.
Namajunas got aggressive a couple minutes into the round, and started to land her punches again, but Kowalkiewicz used her knees to set up a strong punch to put Namajuas on the canvas.
She followed Namajunas ….View full article