Karolina Kowalkiewicz, one of the strawweight division’s top contenders, is set for a return to action. The former title challenger is set to battle 6-time Invicta Fighting Championship veteran Jodie Esquibel at UFC Fight Night 118, on October 21 in Gdansk, Poland.
This bout was first reported by Dizz, and later confirmed by Kowalkiewicz and the UFC.
Kowalkiewicz will enter this battle having lost her last two bouts. The first of these two losses – which was also the first of her career – occurred in November, when she was out hustled in a strawweight title fight by dominating divisional queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Her most recent loss occurred in June, when she was abruptly tapped out by dangerous Brazilian contender Claudia Gadelha. Prior to these losses, Kowalkiewicz went 10-0, including impressive wins over Randa Markos, Heather Jo Clark and Rose Namajunas in her first three UFC bouts. She’s 10-2 in sum.
The 31-year-old Esquibel, meanwhile, will be making her UFC debut with a 6-2 overall record. Her last 6 fights have all occurred in the Invicta cage, where she amassed a 4-2 promotional record, defeating Liz McCarthy, Jinh Yu Frey, Nicdali Rivera-Calanoc and DeAnna Bennett and losing to future UFC strawweights Alex Chambers and Alexa Grasso. Esquibel has finished just one of her six wins, defeating Brittany Horton by TKO in her first pro bout. The rest of her wins have come by decision.
At this point, UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk is without a main event. For a moment, it looked like the card’s main event would pit Polish star Michal Materla against Brazilian middleweight contender Thiago Santos. In the end, however, Materla elected to re-sign with Polish promotion KSW.
The fights confirmed for the card so far are as follows:
- Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
- Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson
- Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
- Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
- Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
- Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
- Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Do you think Karolina Kowalkiewicz will win her Octagon return?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/6/2017.