Decision Never in Double as Iasmine Lucindo Cruises by Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 301

Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Iasmin Lucindo, UFC 301
Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Iasmin Lucindo, UFC 301 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Dylan Bowker/Cageside Press

Former UFC strawweight title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz looked to continue her recent resurgence at UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she was paired up with Iasmin Lucindo.

Kowalkiewicz, who had faced Joanna Jedrzejczyk for gold in 2016, had once been on a five-fight slump, but in recent times had won four straight, a stunning return from being on the edge of retirement.

The Polish fighter, ranked #13 in the division, had plenty to contend with early from the unranked Lucindo, who landed a heavy blow early that appeared to damage the eye of Kowalkiewicz. Moments later, the pair would tie up following an exchange, with Lucindo trapping her opponent in a guillotine while firing knees. Kowalkiewicz had her back to the fence, and managed to pop her head free- though she still had to contend with more knees from Iasmin Lucindo, who appeared comfortable fighting along the fence.

The pair came off the cage with just over a minute left in the round, only for Lucindo to land a trip, moving straight into mount. 45 seconds remained on the clock; Kowalkiewicz looked to tie up Lucindo from bottom, and stalled the attack long enough to run out the clock.

Round two had Karolina Kowalkiewicz walking forward, only to be tagged with crisp counters by Lucindo. Kowalkiewicz’s own attacks didn’t seem to be making much of an impact, and on an exchange it was a Lucindo knee standing out. Lucindo was throwing punches in bunches, combinations spread out between the body and head. Her hands were the fast of the pair, leaving Kowalkiewicz at a considerable disadvantage by the midway mark of the fight. The rest of the round played out in similar fashion, with Kowalkiewicz unable to make much of an impact.

Lucindo took the fight to the fence early in round three, where she’d had much of her success early on. To be blunt, most of the fight had been a success for Iasmin Lucindo, who was well ahead in the bout. With just over two minutes remaining, she briefly climbed the back.

With one final flurry, Lucindo would close out the fight in control, the outcome and unanimous decision never in doubt. With the win, her third in the UFC, she’ll likely have a ranking early next week.

Official Result: Iasmin Lucindo def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)