Karolina Kowalkiewicz ready for Jessica Andrade after 'f*cking awesome' UFC-Gdansk win

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GDANSK, Poland – UFC women’s strawweight Karolina Kowalkiewicz was overcome with emotion after her dominant win against Jodie Esquibel at UFC Fight Night 118.

Fighting in her home country, Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) couldn’t contain her tears. After a unanimous decision over Esquibel (6-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), she couldn’t contain her language.

“It was (expletive) awesome,” she told reporters in English backstage at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, which hosted the UFC Fight Pass-streamed event.

Although some fighters freeze with the pressure to perform in front of a hometown crowd, Kowalkiewicz said it energized her. But in any event, she doesn’t get rattled like that.

“I never feel pressure before the fight, because I love what I do,” she said via translator. “I feel pressure when I’m on a diet, and I can’t eat a cookie.”

Now, she’ll get on to the next item of business in her career. Kowalkiewicz is targeting a fight with fellow one-time title challenger Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who took aim at her prior to Saturday’s event.

“Jessica Andrade said I declined a fight, but that never happened,” Kowalkiewicz said. “I was never offered a fight with Jessica. So let’s just do it now.”

Andrade is a perfect bridge opponent if Kowalkiewicz is trying to get back into the title picture. Just this past month, Andrade put a beatdown on fellow Brazilian countrywoman Claudia Gadelha, who has twice fallen to her rival, champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Gadelha also submitted Kowalkiewicz in her previous outing, but Kowalkiewicz isn’t in to MMA match. Her goal is more short-term – to silence a critic.

“I don’t want to look that far into the future,” Kowalkiewicz said. “So far, I would like to enjoy training and living, and it would be nice if my next opponent is Jessica. Now, I need three days for vacation. After that I want to fight Jessica Andrade.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Twitter reacts to emotional Karolina Kowalkiewicz victory over Jodie Esquibel at UFC-Gdansk

Karolina Kowalkiewicz got back on track today when she defeated newcomer Jodie Esquibel in the UFC Fight Night 118 co-main event.

Former UFC strawweight title challenger Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) snapped her two-fight losing skid when she picked up a unanimous-decision victory over Esquibel (6-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed bout at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Kowalkiewicz’s victory over Esquibel at UFC Fight Night 118.

* * * *

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 118 results: Karolina Kowalkiewicz overwhelms in emotional win Jodie Esquibel

Karolina Kowalkiewicz used constant pressure to overwhelm Jodie Esquibel on the feet, and nearly finished the fight at one point on the mat.

In the end, Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) had to settle for a win on the scorecards, beating Esquibel (6-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) via unanimous decision.

The women’s strawweight bout was the co-main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 118 event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Kowalkiewicz was the aggressor in the fight from the opening seconds, backing Esquibel down and putting combinations together to keep her opponent on the defensive.

After taking the first round on the feet, Kowalkiewicz really put Esquibel in trouble when the fight hit the floor. Locking up an armbar late in the round, Kowalkiewicz narrowly ran out of time before she could finish the submission, which allowed Esquibel to see the third round.

That frame, too, was all Kowalkiewicz, who never slowed her pace enough to let Esquibel back into the fight. The result was a clean sweep on the scorecards, as all three judges gave the fight to Kowalkiewicz with scores of 30-27 across the board.

Kowalkiewicz’s win, which included an emotional post-fight interview and a callout of Jessica Andrade, snaps a two-fight losing skid, resulting in the former title challenger’s first victory since July 2016. The loss in Esquibel’s UFC debut is her second defeat in her last three fights.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 118 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in Poland.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 118 staff picks: How many are picking unbeaten Darren Till to upset 'Cowboy'?

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Cerrone
vs.
Till
Esquibel
vs.
Kowalkiewicz
Blachowicz
vs.
Clark
Piechota
vs.
Wilson
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 94-66
cerrone2017
Cerrone
(74%)
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
(96%)
blachowicz2017
Blachowicz
(63%)
piechota2017
Piechota
(68%)
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 102-58
trophy copy 2015 Champion
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 101-59
till2017
Till
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 100-60
trophy copy 2016 Champion
till2017
Till
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 99-61
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 97-63
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 95-65
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 93-67
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
blachowicz2017
Blachowicz
piechota2017
Piechota
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 93-67
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 92-68
trophy copy 2014 Champion
cerrone2017
Cerrone
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
dclark2017
Clark
piechota2017
Piechota
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 91-69
till2017
Till
kowalkiewicz2017
Kowalkiewicz
blachowicz2017
Blachowicz
piechota2017
Piechota

The UFC returns to Poland this week with a fun welterweight scdrap in the main event.

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Saturday at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, former lightweight title challenger Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) continues his run at welterweight against unbeaten British up-and-comer Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC). Cerrone is a slight betting favorite and is trying to snap the first two-fight losing skid of his career. He’s the pick of seven of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-feature, former women’s strawweight title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) fights for her home fans in Poland against Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who will be making her UFC debut. Kowalkiewicz is the biggest favorite on the card at more than 4-1, and to little surprise she’s a unanimous pick from our staff members.

Also on the main card, Jan Blachowicz (19-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC) fights in front of his home fans in a light heavyweight bout against Devin Clark (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC). But it’s Clark who has the nod from eight of our 10 pickers. And unbeaten promotional newcomer Oskar Piechota (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will try to thrill his home fans when he takes on Jonathan Wilson (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) at middleweight. Piechota is a 2-1 favorite and is our second unanimous pick on the card.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Cerrone, Kowalkiewicz, Blachowicz and Piechota are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Karolina Kowalkiewicz aims to rebound from skid at UFC-Gdansk – and celebrate with a cookie

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GDANSK, Poland – Karolina Kowalkiewicz returns to action at UFC Fight Night 118 as relaxed as ever, despite her recent run of poor form.

Kowalkiewicz (10-2, 3-2 UFC) unsuccessfully challenged Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC strawweight title at UFC 205 in New York last year. Then Kowalkiewicz suffered the first stoppage loss of her career when she was submitted by Claudia Gadelha at UFC 212.

The back-to-back losses are the only blemishes on Kowalkiewicz’s record, and she took a philosophical view when she chatted with MMAjunkie at UFC Fight Night 118 media day at Ergo Arena, site of Saturday’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed event.

“What can I say? Shit happens!” Kowalkiewicz said with a laugh. “We’ve changed a few things in my training. Now I’m really prepared for this fight, and you’ll see everything on Saturday.”

Kowalkiewicz takes on UFC debutant Jodie Esquibel (6-2, 0-0 UFC), who brings an eight-fight record into the octagon, including a win over current “The Ultimate Fighter 26” contender DeAnna Bennett in her last outing.

“She’s a newcomer in the UFC,” Kowalkiewicz said. “But we were all newcomers (once) in the UFC. Jodie is a great striker. She’s very tough. She’s a good and complete MMA fighter.”

The fight also marks Kowalkiewicz’s return to her homeland to compete in front of her own fans for the first time in her UFC career. When asked whether fighting on home soil brought more pressure or more fun, she was adamant.

“More fun,” Kowalkiewicz said. “I never feel pressure before fights. I feel pressure when I am hungry, and I can’t eat a cookie because I’m making weight. This is a great experience, I (get to) fight in the UFC in my home. This is great.”

And if Kowalkiewicz is successful on Saturday night, she already knows what post-fight treat she’ll indulge in as she celebrates victory.

“Chocolate cookie!”

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Video: UFC-Gdansk media day staredowns, where 'Cowboy' was all smiles

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GDANSK, Poland – UFC Fight Night 118 headliners Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) and Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) came face-to-face for the first time today, and it was “Cowboy” who reminded the young Englishman not to get too worked before it’s needed.

The welterweight contest headlines Saturday’s card, which streams on UFC Fight Pass from Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

Till was first on the stage, walking well past the halfway point of the stage to claim his space. Cerrone stepped up moments later, smiled, and told Till he thought the fight “should be fun.” Never much for a staredown, Cerrone closed the exchange by telling Till to “loosen up,” since “we don’t fight until Saturday.”

Check out the video above, which also includes the night’s remaining main-card matchups with Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Jan Blachowicz (19-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC) vs. Devin Clark (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Oskar Piechota (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC), as well as an anticipated preliminary matchup of Andre Fili (16-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) vs. Artem Lobov (13-13-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC).

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

We want your predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event in Poland.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 118 staff picks we release Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 118 takes place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass.

Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till

Records: Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), Darren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC)
Past five: Cerrone 3-2, Till 4-0-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Cerrone No. 10
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Cerrone -150, Till +120

Take Our Poll
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Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Records: Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Past five: Esquibel 3-2, Kowalkiewicz 3-2
Division: Women’s strawweight
Rankings: Kowalkiewicz No. 4
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Kowalkiewicz -465, Esquibel +345

Take Our Poll
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Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark

Records: Jan Blachowicz (19-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC), Devin Clark (8-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Past five: Blachowicz 1-4, Clark 4-1
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Clark -150, Blachowicz +120

Take Our Poll
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Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

Records: Oskar Piechota (9-0-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Jonathan Wilson (7-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Past five: Piechota 5-0, Wilson 3-2
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 10/15/17): Piechota -200, Wilson +160

Take Our Poll
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For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Here's the official UFC-Gdansk poster with 'Cowboy' and Darren Till

Dann StuppCheck out the official poster for UFC Fight Night 118, which marks just the second time the UFC has visited Poland.

UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, and the entire card streams on UFC Fight Pass. It’s the first event in Poland since UFC Fight Night 64 took place in Krakow in 2015.

Here’s the recently released poster for the latest card, which features welterweight headliners Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC) andDarren Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC), as well as co-headliners Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC):

How do you rate UFC Fight Night 118’s poster? Give it a grade:

Take Our Poll
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The full UFC Fight Night 118 lineup includes:

MAIN CARD (3 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Darren Till
  • Jodie Esquibel vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
  • Jan Blachowicz vs. Devin Clark
  • Oskar Piechota vs. Jonathan Wilson

PRELIMINARY CARD (11:45 a.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)

  • Marcin Held vs. Teemu Packalen
  • Dmitrii Smoliakov vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Damian Stasiak
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Trevor Smith
  • Andre Fili vs. Artem Lobov
  • Warlley Alves vs. Jim Wallhead
  • Aspen Ladd vs. Lina Lansberg
  • Felipe Arantes vs. Josh Emmett

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for 'OSP,' Andrade and UFC Fight Night 117's other winning fighters?

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The UFC’s latest event in Japan was arguably the weakest of all on paper, but in practice, it produced some solid action, with four of six fights on the FXX-televised main card ending inside the distance.

Ovince Saint Preux (21-10 MMA, 9-5 UFC) once again pulled off his signature submission in the light heavyweight main event, which took place at Saitama Super Arena. “OSP” put away late-notice replacement Yushin Okami (34-11 MMA, 13-6 UFC) with a Von Flue choke submission in the first round to give him consecutive wins for the first time in more than two years.

The remainder of the lineup included a statement performance from former strawweight title challenger Jessica Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC) as well as victories by ”Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (15-8-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC), Gokhan Saki (1-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Teruto Ishihara (10-4-2 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC) and Jussier Formiga (20-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC).

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 117’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Ben Nguyen

Jussier Formiga

Should fight: Ben Nguyen
Why they should fight: Formiga put on one of the finest performances of his UFC career when he went into Ulka Sasaki’s home country and earned a submission in the opening round of the flyweight fight.

Formiga has been part of the UFC’s 125-pound since its inception, and despite being ranked in or around the top-five for the entire time, he’s one of the few contenders that’s yet to get a shot at champion Demetrious Johnson.

The win over Sasaki isn’t going to get the Brazilian his long-awaited title shot, but it moves him in the right direction. Formiga needs to string together a few in a row against relevant names. A matchup with Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC), who is on a nice run of his own, would be a perfect next step.

Godofredo Pepey

Teruto Ishihara

Should fight: Godofredo Pepey
Why they should fight: After losing back-to-back fights, Ishihara got back on track with a solid unanimous decision win against lesser-known Ronaldo Dy.

Ishihara’s personality has gained him a lot of traction, but his past two performances, which were close decision losses to Gray Maynard and Artem Lobov, took some of his luster away. The step back in competition was just what he needed, and it led Ishihara to a win.

At this point Ishihara hasn’t proven himself as much more than an action fighter in the featherweight division. Fortunately for him there’s many others in his weight class who fit the same role. Pepey (13-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) may be coming off a loss, but there’s no doubt the feisty Brazilian would give Ishihara a scrap.

Steve Bosse

Gokhan Saki

Should fight: Steve Bosse
Why they should fight: The much-anticipated debut of former kickboxing champion Saki went about as good as possible when he styled out on Henrique da Silva for a first-round knockout courtesy of his left hand.

Saki competed in one MMA fight back in 2004, but since then has gone through an extraordinary combat sports journey. After a decorated career in kickboxing, he decided to test his chops in the UFC light heavyweight division with minimal MMA experience. He passed his first test, but it’s not going to get any easier going forward.

“The Rebel” clearly has terrifying striking, but the big test will be when someone can put him in a compromising position on the ground. It would be best to avoid that as long as possible, though, so he should get another matchup with a striking-based opponent. Bosse (12-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), the former hockey enforcer turned MMA slugger, would almost certainly be willing to stand toe-to-toe with “The Rebel.”

Scott Holtzman

“Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim

Should fight: Scott Holtzman
Why they should fight: Although Takanori Gomi is a diminished version of what he once was, “Maestro” Kim added the most noteworthy victory of his career so far to his resume when he defeated the former PRIDE FC lightweight champion by TKO in just 90 seconds.

Kim handed Gomi his fifth consecutive loss, and likely ended his UFC career, with a solid performance which put him back on even ground when it comes to his UFC record (2-2). He may lack the skills of a top 155-pound fighter, but, the South Korean has proven to be an exciting competitor each time he steps in the octagon. The UFC embraces that, and a matchup with Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) would bring out the best in Kim’s skillset.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Jessica Andrade

Should fight: Winner of Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Jodie Esquibel at UFC Fight Night 118
Why they should fight: Andrade rebounded from her title-fight loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk earlier this year with arguably the biggest victory of her career against Claudia Gadelha.

Andrade became the first fighter outside of Jedrzejczyk to defeat her fellow Brazilian, scoring a one-sided unanimous decision win in the crucial women’s strawweight co-headliner. She put herself right back near the top of the totem pole in the 115-pound pecking order, but considering the recent and, more importantly, lopsided nature of her defeat to Jedrzejczyk, she’s going to need to do more before another crack at the gold comes her way.

It’s clear Andrade isn’t going to be an easy out for anyone in her weight class. Her primary goal is to take out any contender willing to sign a contract to face her, and her wish for the winner of the UFC Fight Night 118 between Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) and Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who meet on Oct. 21 in Poland, is quite realistic.

Ovince Saint Preux

Should fight: Mauricio Rua
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Saint Preux should rebook his rematch with Rua (25-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 117, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Karolina Kowalkiewicz meets 6-time Invicta FC vet Jodie Esquibel in Poland

Polish strawweight contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) returns home for next month’s UFC Fight Night 118 event, where she’ll take on six-time Invicta FC veteran Jodie Esquibel (6-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

UFC officials recently announced the new matchup. Kowalkiewicz is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA strawweight rankings.

While a headlining bout has yet to be revealed, UFC Fight Night 118 takes place Oct. 21 at Ergo Arena in Gdansk. The entire event streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

Esquibel is a 31-year-old Jackson-Wink MMA fighter who saw action most recently at March’s Invicta FC 22 event, scoring a split-decision win over DeAnna Bennett, who is currently competing on “The Ultimate Fighter 26.” Esquibel is 3-1 in her past four appearances, all under the Invicta FC banner, with the lone loss coming to fast-rising UFC contender Alexa Grasso.

Kowalkiewicz fights in her home country for the first time in her UFC career. The homecoming comes at a key time for the 31-year-old contender, who came up short in a November 2016 bid for the UFC strawweight title but then suffered a shocking first-round submission loss to Claudia Gadelha at this past June’s UFC 212 results. The back-to-back defeats are the only two losses of Kowalkiewicz’s professional career.

With the addition to the card, UFC Fight Night 118 now includes:

  • 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

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie