In the UFC, there are a few must-see fights. Joanna Jedrzejczyk versus Karolina Kowalkiewicz is one of them. And the fight between the two Polish mixed martial artists may happen sooner, rather than later.
A stunning turn of events took place UFC 201. In the co-main event, Rose Namajunas fought Karolina Kowalkiewic. If Namajunas was to win, it is likely that she will become the next opponent for the women’s strawweight champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
It appeared to be another victory for Namajunas after the first round, then Kowalkiewic turned on the heat. Karolina Kowalkiewic would go on to win a split-decision (courtesy of ESPN) on the judges’ scorecards 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29 to remain undefeated. Kowalkiewic seems to have earned more than a win over a top-5 strawweight.
“I am ready. She [Joanna Jedrzejczyk] said I’m not on her level and I will never fight with her. Now, I’m ready.”
Karolina Kowalkiewic never let up on the idea of challenging Joanna Jedrzejczyk. In her post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting) she would continue to call out the strawweight champion. The fight could happen next according to UFC president Dana White.
“It’s the one that makes sense, but we’ve got to get back to the office and try to figure out what we do. I’ll tell you, I’d love to do that fight in Poland.”
White finished up with a bit of irony. And given Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s affinity for making her points, he alluded to the obvious.
“The funny thing is Joanna Jedrzejczyk wanted us to sign her, and said ‘I want to prove to everybody in Poland that I’m the best,’ and now she has worked her way up to a possible title shot here with Joanna Jedrzejczyk, so it’s very interesting.”
Joanna Jedrzejczyk is more than a step up in class for Kowalkiewic. But the pairing is tantalizing.
It was less than a month ago that Jedrzejczyk was beating (via Fox Sports) Claudia Gadelha on the “The Ultimate Fighter” finale. Their fight became an instant classic among UFC fans.
Much like in boxing, styles makes fights in the UFC. The styles of Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha compliment each other well. The same can be said for a Jedrzejczyk and Kowalkiewic match. The only exception is that no one will suggest that Karolina Kowalkiewic is on the pantheon of great UFC fighters in the women’s divisions. But she is pretty good.
Kowalkiewic upset a good opponent in Rose Namajunas. She was able to take advantage of Namajunas’ growing fighting style. The person who Karolina Kowalkiewic fought at UFC 201 will be a completely different fighter in a year. Facing Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a different proposition.
There is a reason why Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the women’s strawweight champion. Her striking ability is second to none in the strawweight division. In order to defeat Jedrzejczyk, her opponent has to take the fight to her, then take it to the ground. The problem with that is while Joanna Jedrzejczyk will let you hit her every once in a while, her takedown defense is a remarkable 82 percent. That is what Karolina Kowalkiewic will have to face.
The talk of a Joanna Jedrzejczyk versus Karolina Kowalkiewic fight is good for the UFC.
After what happened at UFC 200, when the women’s bantamweight title changed hands, the UFC needs some consistency in their women’s divisions.
The UFC also need true rivalries. Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha had a great run, but after two victories for the champion, fresh blood is a must. Add to the fresh blood the idea of a territorial dispute, now you have a fight in the women’s ranks that is worthy enough to be the main event on a pay-per-view card.
And if Dana White gets his way, and everyone knows that he will, the Joanna Jedrzejczyk versus Karolina Kowalkiewic fight will happen in Poland. Because that will take a few months to get together Dana White should not make the fans wait so long. He should have the fight take place at UFC 205, which is the UFC’s Madison Square Garden debut. A potential fight this big, with such ramifications, deserves a grand stage. UFC 205 at MSG is the grandest stage of them all. Why not have Joanna Jedrzejczyk defend her title against Karolina Kowalkiewic in New York City?
[Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images]