Right in the middle of the stacked UFC 205 main card on Saturday night, Joanna Jedrzejczyk (13-0) outstruck and outworked Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-1) over five rounds to retain her championship.
Heavily publicised in the build up to this fight was the previous meeting between the two Polish warriors. In March 2012 Jedrzejczyk submitted Kowalkiewicz in an amateur bout. In the four years that followed, both fighters cut different paths to the top of the strawweight division.
It was Jedrzejczyk who won the race to get to the big leagues. Her seventh pro fight was her UFC debut. Jedrzejczyk’s ninth saw her win the UFC strawweight championship from Carla Esparza, leaving Kowalkiewicz playing catch up.
Having made her mark in Poland under the KSW promotional banner, Kowalkiewicz made a one-fight pit stop in Invicta FC where she defeated MIZUKI. Another notable win over Kalindra Faria led Kowalkiewicz to the UFC at the back end of 2015. Three octagon victories, most recently, and most impressively, defeating Rose Namajunas, saw Kowalkiewicz position herself as the obvious challenger for Jedrzejczyk’s title.
That bought the two back together on Saturday night in Madison Square Garden, but there was to be no fairytale redemption story for the challenger. For three rounds it seemed Jedrzejczyk would run away with it, outmanoeuvring and outlanding Kowalkiewicz throughout. On the rare occasions that Kowalkiewicz was able to work her way into the clinch she was unable to exert any control or do any significant damage. It was all Jedrzejczyk.
As the fourth round began the challenger was in need of a finish, and for one brief, fleeting moment she engineered a chance to find one. Kowalkiewicz landed a hard right hand that staggered the champion. As Jedrzejczyk moved back across the cage Kowalkiewicz was unable to land with anything that would force a stoppage. Jedrzejczyk made it out of the round and went on to win the fifth, and the fight.
All three judges turned in scorecards of 49-46 in favour of the champion who admitted after the fight that Kowalkiewicz had been a worthy opponent, despite the wide margin on the cards. The champion also hinted at where she would like her next fight to take place.
“Karolina was very good challenger for me, she’s tough.” said Jedrzejczyk.
“I’m very happy for her that she and other Polish fighters join the UFC. What about UFC Poland next year?”
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Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou Official for UFC 220
UFC 220 in Boston, Massachusetts has its main event. Stipe Miocic (17-2) will put his belt on the line for the third time against rising heavyweight star, Francis Ngannou (11-1)
Rumors surrounded the match-up for UFC 220 after Ngannou’s first round knockout over Alistair Overeem, at UFC 218. The Cameroonian heavyweight called for the fight himself. In his octagon interview proceeding his most recent victory, Ngannou stated:
“I’m feeling good… I’m on my way to a title shot”.
— UFC (@ufc) December 10, 2017
The heavy handed Ngannou has finished all of his opponents in all of his six UFC bouts. A streak which includes a kimura submission over Anthony Hamilton and a TKO victory against former UFC heavyweight champion, Andrei Arlovski. Overall, he holds a ten fight win streak. His only defeat came by way of unanimous decision to Zoumana Cisse, in his second professional MMA fight.
If victorious, Ngannou would become the first African-born champion in UFC history.
Not to be diminished, Stipe Miocic rides his a streak of his own into the beantown match-up. Five consecutive wins, five knockouts and the past four of which, ended in the first round. A victory in Boston for the champ would make him the longest reigning heavyweight champion in UFC history. Currently, Miocic is one of three heavyweights, in the promotions entirety, whom has successfully defended the belt twice.
UFC 220 will be held at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on January 20th, 2018. The pay-per-view (PPV) card will also feature light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, as he faces challenger Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir.
Ladies Fight Night 7: “Double Trouble” Preview
Polish women’s federation Ladies Fight Night is going to celebrate their second birthday this year on the 15th to 17th of December. Two days, two events with a lot of great bouts.
LFN in Poland is being titled the new Invicta FC. The Polish owners created this federation to give European women a chance to fight on a big platform.
Hosting their first ever event in December 2015, LFN will hold two great cards next week, that will feature women who have fought under many prestigious promotions, such as the UFC, Invicta, Bellator, Glory, and Kunlun.
Two days of fantastic fights, intensified by a double dose of sports impressions. The name is not accidental, LFN 7 / LFN 8 combines two events, during which the best Polish fighters will be shown, as well as the best fighters from Europe (including France, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania)
The stakes are high, and we are electrified by the clashes between warriors such as Żaneta Cieśla vs Silvia La Notte and Patricia Axling vs. Cindy Silvestri. Mainly due to their vastness of their experience in the cage.
In the fight of the evening, the talented Romanian Cristina Stanciu will face Magdaléna Šormovádo. Stanciu fought twice in the UFC, but she was unfortunately cut from the promotion after suffering consecutive losses to Cortney Casey and Maryna Moroz.
Judyta Rymarzak vs Marta Waliczek is an amazing fight between two experienced kickboxers. Both making their pro MMA debuts on the night, we will witness a one-of-a-kind duel between two kickboxing perfectionists, as they look to transcend their skills into the MMA world.
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