The co-main event is upon us, and with it comes a match that may determine the next challenger in the strawweight division. On one side is Rose Namajunas, a TUF runner up who’s been kicking ass ever since. On the other side: Karolina Kowalkiewicz, a badass Polish striker.

Maybe it’s from her time in the Octagon, or maybe she’s just evolved, but Namajunas immediately puts herself on the scoreboard with a counter-punching game that has her knocking Kowalkiewicz’s head back whenever the Polish fighter comes in. That doesn’t halt Kowalkiewicz’s pursuit though, although when she ties up and begins to land knees, Namajunas twists and throws her down.

Kowalkiewicz secures that clinch again in the first 30 seconds of Round 2, and she unloads with knees and elbows that force Namajunas to tie up hard and work for a throw. They disengage and Namajunas puts her opponent on her butt with a well-timed front kick, and then they’re clinching again and Kowalkiewicz is chipping away with knees to the body. Namajunas is slowing down and losing power in her strikes, and when the horn sounds it looks as if Kowalkiewicz is edging ahead.

Round 3 sees Kowalkiewicz connecting with kicks while Namajunas throws punches that whiff by harmlessly. The American is losing the striking war, and when Kowalkiewicz stuns her briefly with an elbow, they wind up on the ground, with Kowalkiewicz in Namajunas’ guard. Namajunas goes for a triangle and a couple omoplatas, but the Polish fighter dodges them, and the horn sounds.


Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Rose Namajunas via Split Decision