Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Strawweight contenders Claudia Gadelha (No. 1) and Karolina Kowalkiewicz (No. 2) collided in UFC 212’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event tonight (Sat., June 3, 2017) inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the winner looking for another opportunity to battle division champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, in the very near future.
And the third time may be the charm for Gadelha, who survived just long enough on the feet against the aggressive and accurate Kowalkiewicz, to get the fight to the ground en route to a very impressive first round rear-naked choke submission win.
Kowalkiewicz came out looking to press the action, coming forward and getting into a quick exchange with the Brazilian. Claudia got on the board with a nice high kick, which she followed up with a solid standing elbow as they exited the clinch. Kowalkiewicz switched up her stands and slipped in a straight left, then two right hands, compelling Claudia to close the distance and eventually score a takedown. She soon took Kowalkiewicz’s back and began to work for a rear-naked choke. And it didn’t take long for her to find an opening, slipping her forearm under Kowalkiewicz’s chin and squeezing until the Polish fighter was forced to tap.
What a complete defensive breakdown for Kowalkiewicz. She gave up her back and allowed Claudia to sink in her hooks, flip her on her back and submit her as if she had never been in that position before. She was very upset with herself after the tap and rightfully so — she got owned the moment the fight hit the floor.
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