UFC 223 on April 7th showcases two of the highest level strawweight battles one could ask for. In the co-main event, we have the rematch of the epic upset from UFC 217 when Rose Namajunas knocked out the reigning champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the very first round.
But before that, we get a battle of contenders looking to inch their way that much closer to a title shot. And for Karolina Kowalkiewicz, it would be her second crack at gold.
The Polish striker, Karolina fought for the title at UFC 205 in the UFC’s first visit to Madison Square Garden in New York City. Across from her stood the previously mentioned Jedrzejczyk. She came up short, but at the time gave the champion the biggest scare of her career when she had her badly hurt in the fourth round.
Ultimately wanting a rematch for the title with the former champion and going 1-2 since her title shot, Karolina seems to be putting a time limit on when she would like for that rematch to happen as she told Radio Zet in a recent interview:
“Recently, such thoughts came to me, what will happen if I stop fighting? I have a maximum of three years of professional career and I say to myself – God, what am I going to do? I will not find myself in my life. So I think I would like to stay in MMA, because I can not imagine my life without MMA and without training. “
Kowalkiewicz has been fighting professionally in MMA since 2012 but been fighting in Muay Thai prior to that for much longer. Now at age thirty-two, it does make some sense that she would want to retire relatively soonish as she has also mentioned she would like to start a family.
That doesn’t change her focus though. Karolina will go toe to toe with the streaking, Felice Herrig at UFC 223 and is ready to break her opponent’s four-fight winning streak.
“My dream scenario…victory over KO or submission at the first action, in 30 seconds. We have tactical assumptions, I will be prepared, it will be fun.
Felice has been in this ‘business’ for a very long time, but since she lost to Paige VanZant she made a lot of progress. It has improved and on the ground and on the stand-up. It seems to me that she is a very solid player, and her greatest strength will be her physical strength. But I’m not afraid of that. I am well prepared. Anyway, the preparations are still going on. I will be in a great form on April 7.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/15/2018.