Karolina Kowalkiewicz Hoping Rose Namajunas Beats Joanna Jedrzejczyk Again: ‘Joanna Is A Bad Person’
Karolina Kowalkiewicz will take on Felice Herrig at UFC 223 and will have one eye on putting herself in prime position to face the winner of the UFC strawweight title co-main event between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Having faced both Namajunas and Jedrzejczyk in 2016, Kowalkiewicz has first hand experience of what both women bring to the table. Speaking this past week to MMARockz.pl, Kowalkiewicz said that she wasn’t surprised at all by Namajunas’ win at UFC 217.
‘I did suspect that [Namajunas would win],’ Kowalkiewicz said. ‘Before the fight, I said that I wasn’t sure Joanna would win.
‘People underestimate Rose, who is a great fighter. She proved it anyway, by beating Joanna.’
Back at UFC 199, Kowalkiewicz defeated Namajunas via a unanimous decision and earned the right to fight for the title at UFC 205 where she fought Jedrzejczyk.
Despite getting her hand raised against Namajunas, Kowalkiewicz remembers winning was no easy task and she said that Namajunas is a deceivingly heavy hitter.
‘Rose is great everywhere,’ Kowalkiewicz said. ‘She has great ground game. It doesn’t matter if she’s on top or on the bottom. If she’s on you, she will punch you. If shes on the bottom – she wil roll and submit you.
‘She punches and kicks really hard. She’s really slim and tiny, but she punches really hard. I think she punches hardest among all the girls i faced.’
Despite holding a victory over the champion, Kowalkiewicz isn’t getting distracted by talk of a remtach and remains focused on the task of beating Herrig at UFC 223. With the likes of Tecia Torres and Jessia Andrade also vying for a title shot, Kowalkiewicz is well aware she’s going to face stiff opposition ahead if she’s going to get another crack at the belt.
‘I don’t know [about a rematch],’ Kowalkiewicz said. ‘So much happens in my division right now. I don’t think about fighting for the belt, I focus on my incoming fight. I want to fight 3 times this year. It would be perfect for me, to win 3 times. Would I get opportunity to fight for the belt by the end of this year? I don’t want to think about it yet, I focus on April right now.’
When asked what she thinks will happen in the rematch between Namajunas and Jedrzejczyk, Kowalkiewicz said she’s expecting, and hoping, for a repeat of UFC 217.
‘It’s tough to say, but I think Rose will keep the belt,’ Kowalkiewicz said. ‘Personally, I really like Rose, I really value her, not only as an athlete, but as a person. People will hate me for not crossing fingers for my countrywoman, but let’s not lie to ourselves.
‘Joanna is insulting me in every possible interview. I’m not going to that I cross my fingers for her, just because she’s my countrywoman. I won’t cross my fingers for her. I like Rose more. I think Joanna is just a bad person.’
With Jedrzejczyk defeating Kowalkiewicz in 2016, a rematch between the two could be on the cards in the future should the stars align.
Kowalkiewicz isn’t focused on her fellow countrywoman at this point in time, but says she would welcome a rematch in the future.
‘I’d like to fight for the belt again in the future,’ Kowalkiewicz said. ‘It’s not my goal right now, but in the future. It would be a cherry on the top. I want to keep doing what I love, I want to win my fight in April, maybe next one during summer and the next during autumn.
‘I want to enjoy it, have pleasure by training. Travel across the world with UFC and enjoy what I do.’