Joanna Jedrzejczyk's retirement made UFC strawweight veteran Karolina Kowalkiewicz cry

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Left), Karolina Kowalkiewicz (Right) [Image courtesy: @joannajedrzejczyk and @karolinakowalkiewicz on Instagram]
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Left), Karolina Kowalkiewicz (Right) [Image courtesy: @joannajedrzejczyk and @karolinakowalkiewicz on Instagram]

UFC strawweights Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Joanna Jedrzejczyk have been intertwined since their amateur careers in Poland. Kowalkiewicz recently revealed her sentiments following Jedrzejczyk's retirement, which came in the aftermath of a knockout loss to Zhang Weili at UFC 275 in June.

Kowalkiewicz couldn't hold back her tears as her fellow countrywoman called an end to a legendary career. However, Kowalkiewicz also believes that Jedrzejczyk will return to the octagon after resting for a while. The 37-year-old told Andrew Whitelaw in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA:

"I cried. Just like that, I cried. I know it's very hard [for] fighter to make this decision. But Joanna, she fight many many years. She was very long the best, she was very long on the top and it was her decision. But I think she will be back."

Watch Kowalkiewicz's comments below (3:33):


Kowalkiewicz and Jedrzejczyk fought for the first time in their home country in 2012 and met in a rematch under the UFC banner four years later when Jedrzejczyk was defending her strawweight belt. The two inevitably developed bad blood with Jedrzejczyk winning both fights.

However, the tension between the two has since subsided with Kowalkiewicz deciding to join her former foe at ATT after dropping five in a row. She credited Jedrzejczyk after bouncing back with a second-round submission win over Felice Herrig.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz predicts UFC 281 strawweight title fight

Karolina Kowalkiewicz will face Silvana Gomez Juarez on the UFC 281 preliminary card at Madison Square Garden this weekend. Strawweight champion Carla Esparza will look to defend her title against former champ Zhang Weili in the co-main event of the night.

Kowalkiewicz recently gave her prediction for the upcoming UFC 281 strawweight title fight. While the Polish veteran is supporting Esparza, she believes Weili will get her hands raised on Saturday Night.

Given Weili's strength and heart, Kowalkiewicz won't be surprised if the former champion walks away with a knockout victory. The 37-year-old further told Sportskeeda MMA (4:52):

"I think... I love Carla, I'm cheering for her, but I think Weili will win this fight... She's very strong, she's very [determined], she have big heart to fight. I don't know, maybe she [will] win by knockout."

While both Kowalkiewicz and Gomez Juarez have previously competed in KSW, the Polish veteran doesn't see much in common with her Argentinian counterpart (1:00).

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Edited by Dave
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