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One-time UFC strawweight title challengers, the returning striker, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Jessica Penne are slated to meet at UFC 265 on August 7th. — with a location or venue yet to be determined by the organization.
Making her first Octagon walk since February of last year, where she featured at UFC Fight Night Auckland, Kowalkiewicz looks to snap a four-fight losing skid, which was most recently book ended with a unanimous decision loss to Yan Xiaonan. Kowalkiewicz required surgery on her eye following the defeat, as she experienced double-vision.
For veteran California native, Penne, she made her Octagon return for the first time since April of 2017 in April of this year at UFC Vegas 24 — taking a close split decision win over debutante, short-notice replacement, one-time LFA strawweight best, Lupita Godinez. The promotion confirmed the pairing of Kowalkiewicz and Penne this afternoon.
Kowalkiewicz, 12-6 as a professional, faltered in outings against Alexa Grasso, former Invicta FC atomweight best, Michelle Waterson, and former strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade prior to her defeat to Xiaonan in New Zealand last year.
The 35-year-old Lodz native, is a former KSW flyweight champion, and a one-time strawweight title challenger under the UFC’s banner.
Back at UFC 205, carrying an undefeated 10-0 record, Kowalkiewicz met with compatriot, then-champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk in November of 2016 at Madison Square Garden, suffering a unanimous decision defeat.
Across her 18-fight career, Kowalkiewicz has managed to take home notable victories over the likes of Mizuki Inoue, Randa Markos, Felice Herrig, and before her title challenge against Jedrzejczyk — managed to score a split decision success against current strawweight gold holder, Rose Namajunas.
Akin to Kowalkiewicz, Penne has also challenged for UFC gold during her tenure — suffering a third round knockout loss to common-foe, Jedrzejczyk back at UFC Fight Night Berlin in June 2015.
Penne, a former Invicta FC atomweight champion, is also an 18-fight professional veteran, holding an overall 13-5 record.
The 38-year-old has managed to score seven submission stoppages, and holds eye-catching victories against the likes of Angela Magana, common-foe, Markos, and the above-mentioned former LFA gold holder, Godinez. Penne, a semi finalist on The Ultimate Fighter 20 — took home victories against both Lisa Ellis and Ashling Daly, before faltering via unanimous decision against eventual tournament victor, inaugural UFC and Invicta FC strawweight champion, Carla Esparza.
UFC 265 takes place on August 7th. — with a location or venue for the pay-per-view event yet to be determined by the promotion. A bantamweight championship fight between two-weight champion, Amanda Nunes and the #6 ranked contender, Julianna Pena is set to land at the event.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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