Karolina Kowalkiewicz claimed she felt no pressure coming into her co-main bout at UFC Gdansk.
The 32-year-old kickboxer from Lodz entered Saturday’s matchup with Jodie Esquibel on a two-fight losing streak, having dropped a decision to strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and been stopped by Claudia Gadelha.
But Kowalkiewicz was calm as she got a hero’s welcome in Poland, then went on to a workmanlike unanimous decision victory over Esquibel.
“I never feel pressure before the fight because I love what I do,” Kowalkiewicz said at the post-fight press conference. “I never feel pressure in the fight, it’s what I love to do. i feel pressure when I’m on diet and can’t eat cookies.”
After getting back into the win column and improving to 4-2 in the UFC, Kowalkiewicz has her next opponent in mind: Jessica Andrade.
“Now I need a vacation,” Kowalkiewicz said, “and after that I want to fight with Jessica Andrade.”
The bout makes sense from a divisional perspective, as Andrade is 4-1 since dropping down to 115 pounds, with her only loss in that stretch against Jedrzejczyk. But there’s also a bit of personal beef, as Andrade seems to believe Kowalkiewicz ducked a fight, but the latter said such a bout was never offered.
“For the future Jessica Andrade said I declined a fight with her,” Kowalkiewicz said through an interpreter. “However, that never happened, and I was never offered a fight with Jessica, so this time, let’s just do it now, if you’re open to do it.”