Karolina Kowalkiewicz's coach blasts ringside doctor for not stopping her fight at UFC Auckland

R. Nath
UFC 205: Open Workouts
UFC 205: Open Workouts

Karolina Kowalkiewicz didn't have a great weekend at UFC Fight Night Auckland. She took on the Chinese Strawweight Xiaonan Yan and was defeated in a lopsided unanimous decision.

However, it seemed clear that she shouldn't have been fighting after the first round, to begin with. She had a doctor check her eye and continued anyway, reportedly "seeing double" and not able to fight properly.

Her coach Łukasz Zaborowski took to Instagram to put out a lengthy statement, slamming the Doctor at ringside who checked Kowalkiewicz between rounds one and two:

"It's hard for me to say anything and it's not because of a result, it's about how much risk we put our health on fighting, and how much we can sacrifice in chase of our dreams. Karolina since the first minute of a fight had to cope with incredible pain, being unable to see on one eye. Blurred vision, throbbing headache and opponent in front of you trying to take your head off and she still tried to win the fight to the last second with footlock attacks was just incredible.

He said that he was unaware about her eye not moving or responding at the time in between rounds:

I still don't know until now because when I stepped in to the cage in between the rounds I didn't notice her eye was not moving and responding (they both looked the same as I was standing in front of Karolina.

He slammed the doctor for not stopping the fight and it resulted in her needing eye surgery. He expressed a sense of shock, stating that Kowalkiewicz asked him whether she'll ever be able to fight again and he didn't know how to answer:

She thought it was just a scratch and vision will coming be right back, in my opinion doctor checking on her should stop the fight because after the fight when we went to the hospital they told us it should be stopped just be the look of damage they eye took. You got the money but when you are in the hospital threatened to lose your eye, and your fighter still asking you will she be able to continue fighting career seconds after she nearly lost her sight, and you as a coach sit there thinking what the f**k is she asking about?!! Karolina is a true warrior please let her catch a break and respect whatever she decide to do now. Thank you for all the messages from across the world

It was a sad situation, with the Polish Fighter saying that "for the first time in my career, I can't say I'm ok after a fight". However, Kowalkiewicz seemed to suggest that she could still fight.

This doesn't come as a surprise since fighters of any combat sport have a sense of pride that doesn't allow them from giving up. A similar case happened merely a couple of hours later in Boxing when the previously-undefeated Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder lost to Tyson Fury after his corner threw in the towel in the 7th round.

The consensus was that his corner made the right move (since Wilder had ruptured his eardrum, was wobbly-legged and not defending himself properly), but Wilder was furious at his corner, even stating later on that throwing in the towel "has its consequences".

Ultimately, it's the job of the coaching staff and ringside doctors to protect fighters from taking further damage. It's a bit unclear who is at fault in Kowalkiewicz's case.

Quick Links

Edited by Pratyay Ghosh
App download animated image Get the free App now