Karolina Kowalkiewicz began her MMA training at 16 years old, training in many different styles including Krav Maga, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. She fought just two amateur bouts before turning pro.
She made her pro debut in May 2012, where she earned a TKO victory in just 3:12. After spending some time in Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (the premiere Polish MMA organization), as well as Invicta FC, Kowalkiewicz was 7-0 when she was signed by the UFC.
Kowalkiewicz made her UFC debut at a UFC on Fox event in December 2015, scoring a decision win over Randa Markos. She defeated Rose Namajunas at UFC 201 to earn a shot at Joanna Jedrzejczyk and the UFC Strawweight Championship. She lost the title bout at UFC 205, the first loss of her career.
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