Five months after UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas shocked the MMA world by knocking out dominant former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at last November’s UFC 217, the two top-ranked 115-pound women locked horns a second time in the co-main event of tonight’s (Sat., April 7, 2018) UFC 223 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

In a close, hard-fought affair, Namajunas retained her belt thanks to three 49-46 scorecards from the judges, but many believed it should have been more like 48-47 after the champion arguably won the bout by winning the fifth and final round.

At the outset of the pivotal title bout, the two rivals refused to touch gloves:


Namajunas started out strong, tagging Jedrzejczyk with several flurries including this one at the end of the first round:


The champion followed it up with a huge left, the punch that floored the former champ in their first fight:


But even though the first two rounds went to the champ, the momentum began to shift in the third and fourth rounds as Jedrzejczyk found her groove by landing a steady volume of vicious low kicks. With the shift weighing on the champ, the two fighters traded big shots in the fourth round:


The tide had turned, and it may have come down to just who could edge out the fifth and possibly deciding frame. Namajunas cam out aggressive and landed some big shots during the fifth, and in the end, she closed out the round big with an important takedown to defend her 115-pound belt for the first time:

Finally, watch FOX Sports 1 analysts and former UFC champions Michael Bisping and Rashad Evans break down the exciting strawweight clash on the UFC 223 post-fight show: