Kicking off the main card on FOX (which, again, means nothing to those in the arena other than a nice half-hour break in the action to go to the bathroom and score some food somewhere) are Randa Markos and newcomer Karolina Kowalkiewicz – two strawweights looking to establish a home for themselves in this relatively new division.
If there’s an advantage in boxing, it’s clear it’s wielded by Kowalkiewicz early on, as her hands seem crisper and sharper in the exchanges. Despite this, Markos repeatedly dings her up with a right hand, and after some extensive tie-ups against the cage, the TUF vet finds the right mix of grappling and striking to make life for Kowalkiewicz difficult. The Polish girl catches Markos with a forearm as Markos is coming in late in the round, but the damage sustained is a two-way street.
Kowalkiewicz once again flexes that boxing muscles in the second, knocking Markos’ head back, and Markos changes tactics by spinning around to behind her and pulling herself onto Kowalkiewicz and working for a choke. The Octagon rookie defends, and the round ends with her just about out of trouble.
It’s all even going into the third, so it comes down to whoever wants it most – a question not really answered by the slugfest these ladies engage in at the start of the round. Back and forth, back and forth go the punches and kicks, with Markos taking the worst of it, and when Kowalkiewicz clocks her with a spinning backfist that makes the crowd go “Ohhhhhh!”, only then does Markos attempt to go to the ground.
She eventually succeeds – much to her detriment – for when she rushes in and puts Kowalkiewicz on her back, the Polish girl instantly kicks her over, takes mount, and rains down some devastating ground and pound. Markos makes it back to her feet in the waning seconds, but the damage is done.
Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Randa Markos via Unanimous Decision