Wednesday, January 27, 2021

UFC 201 “Under The Radar” Fight Features The Ladies (Editorial)

Robbie Lawler is always in a war.

And interesting.

And a near-lock for “Fight of the Night.”

But the reigning UFC welterweight champion is well known and all of that is expected of him when he headlines UFC 201 this Saturday night vs. Tyron Woodley.

The fight I think could be the “show-stealer” is the co-main event between strawweight contenders Rose Namajunas and Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Namajunas (5-2) has won each of her last three, including two via submission, since falling to Carla Esparza in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter. The 24-year-old’s only other defeat came to Tecia Torres three years ago in Invicta FC, and that came via decision and she avenged that this past April.

Four of her five wins have been submission victories, including a 2013 flying armbar in 12 seconds vs. Kathina Catron that earned her all sorts of recognition.

After submitting Angela Hill last year, Namajunas took care of Paige VanZant by putting a beating on the “golden girl.” She rattled and rocked her for the better part of four rounds before subbing her in the fifth.

Kowalkiewicz, six years the elder of Namajunas, actually started training in Krav Maga before switching over to Muay Thai. Krav Maga is described as “a self-defense system developed for the Israel Defense Forces that consists of a wide combination of techniques from aikido, judo, boxing and wrestling.”

She is a perfect 9-0 in her MMA career and 2-0 with the UFC, scoring back-to-back decisions over Heather Jo Clark and Randa Markos. Kowalkiewicz also holds a 2014 win vs. Mizuki Inoue.

And heck, they should likely earn some extra publicity for having 21 letters in their combined last names.