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UFC 201 results: Karolina Kowalkiewicz states case with win over Rose Namajunas

Esther Lin photo

It took a round for Karolina Kowalkiewicz to get rolling Saturday night at UFC 201.

But once she did, she made a statement that she's ready for a shot at her Polish countrywoman, UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Kowalkiewicz brutalized Rose Namajunas over the final two rounds to win via split decision in the co-main event at Atlanta's Philips Arena.

More Coverage: UFC 201 Results | UFC news

The judges' scores were a pair of 29-28s for Kowalkiewicz and a strange 29-28 for Namajunas.

"She said I"m not on her level, while now I am at her level," said Kowalkiewicz, who improved to 10-0.

Namajunas (5-3) was sharp in the first round, as she circled around, landed counters, and generally kept her opponent guessing.

But Kowalkiewicz began working Namajunas over in the clinch in the second round, landing nasty knees and elbows, and she turned the fight in her favor. In the third, Namajunas' spirit was willing, but she just wasn't able to turn the corner as her foe never let up on the pressure.

With the victory, Kowalkiewicz appears to be the next in line for a shot at Jedrzejczyk's title.

"I know Joanna, I respect her very much," she said. "She is the best in the world, I will fight her and I will beat her."

Namajunas has a three-fight win streak snapped.

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