For three rounds on Saturday night, Joanna Jedrzejczyk looked like every bit the invincible champion she's assumed to be.
The UFC strawweight champion put on a clinic against her fellow native of Poland, Karolina Kowalkeiwicz, for 15 minutes, using her trademark mix of kicks, elbows, and punches, complemented by superior footwork and movement.
Then Kowalkiewicz clobbered with Jedrzejczyk with a huge right hand on the button at New York's Madison Square Garden, and it was on.
Jedrzejczyk survived the fourth, then clamped down to retain her title. Sporting a swollen eye and a likely broken nose, she won battle of previously undefeated fighters via unanimous decision via across-the-board, 49-46 scores.
"I wasn't hurt that badly, but you never expect the knockdown, you know?" said Jedrzejcyzk (13-0). "Polish girls are the toughest in the world, and I'm glad she has the chance in the UFC."
With the victory, Jedrzejczyk has now successfully defended her championship four times. At 18 months, her title reign is second-longest among current UFC champions, trailing just flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
"I work hard every day, I challenge myself every day, I stay humble, and that's why I'm the champion," she said.
Kowalkiewicz, for her part, was gracious after a game effort in dropping to 3-1 in the UFC.
"I am proud, I think I gave a very good fight," Kowalkiewicz (10-1) said.