Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Yan Xiaonon faced each other in a women’s Strawweight clash tonight (Sat., Feb. 22, 2020) at UFC Fight Night 168, which took place inside Spark Center in Auckland, New Zealand. In a clear-cut win, Xiaonon picked her foe apart.
The two trade kicks to open the fight, then Xiaonon lands a right hand. Kowalkiewicz returns the favor with a good right hand then absorbs a combination. Xiaonon is really pressuring with volume, eats a knee in the clinch. Xiaonon lands a big left hook-cross combination, steps back, then bounces in with another combination. Spinning back fist scores for Kowalkiewicz, but Xiaonon answers with a combination. Body shot for the Chinese athlete. Kowalkiewicz looks for a takedown in the clinch but gets tripped to her back. Kowalkiewicz climbs her guard high and looks for an arm, but it isn’t there. The fight moves back to the feet and into the clinch, with Xiaonon pressing her opponent into the fence.
Back in the center, Kowalkiewicz is cut and bothered by it. Xiaonon stings her foe with yet another right hand. Xiaonon lands another trip from the clinch, this time into the half guard. Xiaonon lands a few kicks to the legs before the round ends.
Body kick from Xiaonon lands early in the second, and Kowalkiewicz’s eye is clearly a problem. 1-2 lands for Xiaonon. Kowalkiewicz attempts a takedown, lands a knee. Xiaonon lands a cross to the mid-section then one to the face. Jab from the Chiense athlete scores. Body kick and right hand land as well. Kowalkiewicz grabs the clinch and forces her foe into the fence. The takedown does not come despite about a minute of effort from the Polish striker. Xiaonon reverses position and scores a brief clinch takedown of her own. Spinning back kick from Kowalkiewicz misses, is countered by both a punch and slam takedown. Xiaonon lets her back up. 1-2 lands for Kowalkiewicz. Xiaonon finds a home for two right hands. Xiaonon flurries, finishes with a body kick. Xiaonon gets another successful 1-2 in before the bell.
Jab and body kick land for Xiaonon to begin the third round. A body shot backed Kowalkiewicz into the fence, where Xiaonon landed a good flurry. Kowalkiewicz attempts a spinning back fist, absorbs a clean cross direct to the jaw. Xiaonon lands a takedown, but Kowalkiewicz counters with a heel hook attempt! It looks like a threat for a moment, but then the two just start punching each other from the leg entanglement position. Xiaonon forces her way back on top, grabbing the head and largely nullifying the threat of the leg lock. Xiaonon is no longer in real danger, content to hang around in top position and wail away at the mid-section. Kowalkiewicz manages to reverse position with just 10 seconds left, but it’s too little, too late.
Xiaonon did a good deal of damage in this bout, showcasing her high-volume kickboxing and improved wrestling. Unfortunately for Kowalkiewicz, its her fourth-straight loss, and she again did not perform particularly well in defeat.
Result: Yan Xiaonon defeats Karolina Kowalkiewicz via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
For complete UFC Fight Night 168: “Felder vs. Hooker” results and play-by-play, click HERE!