Karolina Kowalkiewicz Edges Out Felice Herrig by Split Decision at UFC 223

Karolina Kowalkiewicz took a step back towards another title shot in the UFC women's strawwweight division with a hard fought win over Felice Herrig on Saturday night in Brooklyn.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz took a step back towards another title shot in the UFC women’s strawwweight division with a hard fought win over Felice Herrig on Saturday night in Brooklyn.

The split decision for Kowalkiewicz in the featured UFC 223 prelim put an end to Herrig’s four fight win streak, but she definitely didn’t go away easy in this pivotal matchup at 115 pounds.

It was a very strong start for Kowalkiewicz as she continuously beat Herrig to the punch with better accuracy, landing several stinging punches throughout the opening round.

Herrig countered by slowing down the pace by using a strong body lock but once the fight actually hit the ground it was Kowalkiewicz who transitioned into a beautiful mounted triangle choke. To her credit, Herrig quickly scrambled free before the horn sounded.

The back and forth battle continued into the second round but Kowalkiewicz consistently landed with better power and accuracy while Herrig was showing incredible toughness during the exchanges.

While Herrig definitely seemed to be the stronger fighter in the clinch, it was Kowalkiewicz who still managed to land good inside knees and elbows to do damage against the cage.

Kowalkiewicz continued to feed Herrig a steady diet of punches and elbows any time the former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor would step forward to attempt a combination. Perhaps to her detriment, Herrig wasn’t throwing multiple punches in the exchanges but she did manage to land her best shot of the fight late in the final round when she popped Kowalkiewicz and sent her stumbling backwards.

Herrig pressed forward but ended up back in the clinch rather than throwing strikes and that’s essentially where the fight came to an end.

Ultimately, Kowalkiewicz survived that late scare and ended up winning a split decision

Kowalkiewicz has now won her last two fights in a row as the former title contender looks to get back into the race for the belt considering she already holds a win over the current champion.

“I’m with Rose [Namajunas], I hope she wins,” Kowalkiewicz said. “One day, I hope to fight for the title again.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.
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