The first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title bout in New York City went down inside Madison Square Garden at UFC 205. Strawweight ruler Joanna Jedrzejczyk (13-0) defended her 115-pound title against undefeated bruiser Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-1).
For the first three rounds, it looked like the champion was going to take this bout in a landslide. In the fourth round, however, things got interesting.
The champion had her leg kick blocked and got hit with a jab. A left hand followed by a leg kick found the mark for Jedrzejczyk. Kowalkiewicz struggled early to get in a rhythm. She found her way to the clinch. They separated and the champion pushed her against the fence. Jedrzejczyk landed a knee to the body. They broke free again and traded leather as the opening frame came to a close.
The second stanza was underway and the champion connected with a combination that ended in a kick to the midsection. Kowalkiewicz couldn’t find an effective way to move inside without being hit. Jedrzejczyk chopped away at the legs of the challenger. She landed an elbow and then engaged in the clinch. Commentator Joe Rogan mentioned Jedrzejczyk’s nose bothering her. There was blood under the champion’s nose, but she still stuck to her plan. The challenger pushed her opponent against the fence, but she was reversed and ate a knee. A spinning backfist found the target for the champion and the round ended shortly after.
Round three was underway and Kowalkiewicz went for a side kick. Her clinch game continued to be thwarted by the strawweight queen. Jedrzejczyk peppered the challenger with some more shots, easily dominating the fight to this point. She landed some elbows with the challenger’s back against the fence.
The fourth round saw Jedrzejczyk landing some front body kicks early. Kowalkiewicz landed a combination, but her back found the cage yet again. The champion landed an elbow on the break. The champion was rocked out of nowhere with a clean right hand. The challenger moved forward, but she ate a leg kick and was taken down momentarily. The champion recovered and the two separated. Kowalkiewicz caught a leg and landed two straight rights. Jedrzejczyk landed a knee to the body towards the end, but the challenger took the round easily.
The final round was underway and the champion wasn’t fazed by the previous frame. Kowalkiewicz went for a spinning back kick, but took a leg kick. A hook connected for the champion. An uppercut inside the clinch found the chin of Kowalkiewicz. The two exchanged punches in the pocket. Jedrzejczyk and the challenger engaged in the clinch again. A combination that ended in a body kick was in the champion’s favor. A knee to the head landed for the champion. She pelted her opponent with a high kick on the break and the final horn sounded shortly after.
Final Result: Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)