Joanna Jedrzejczyk routs Karolina Kowalkiewicz, retains UFC title

NEW YORK -- There is no doubt Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the greatest female strawweight in Poland -- and the world, for that matter.

In an all-Polish championship fight, Jedrzejczyk dominated fellow countrywoman Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a five-round unanimous decision. The title defense, Jedrzejczyk's fourth, took place at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden.

All three judges scored it 49-46 for Jedrzejczyk. The bout fell out of her control only once, when she ate a hard Kowalkiewicz right hand and briefly fell down. It was one of the diciest moments of Jedrzejczyk's UFC career, but she recovered quickly.

"I wasn't hurt that badly," Jedrzejczyk said. "It was just for a second. I felt great. I felt I controlled the fight. Polish girls are the toughest in the world. I'm very happy she and other Polish fighters joined the UFC."

Fighting out of American Top Team in Florida for the first time, Jedrzejczyk (13-0) chewed up Kowalkiewicz's lead leg with kicks the entire 25 minutes. Jedrzejczyk also had the quicker draw coming out of the clinch and repeatedly landed short elbows, punches and even a few head kicks in close proximity.

Kowalkiewicz (10-1) looked for takedowns sporadically throughout the bout, but like so many of Jedrzejczyk's former opponents, she found them difficult to convert. Kowalkiewicz appeared to be happy at times to simply hold Jedrzejczyk up against the fence, to slow her offense.

According to FightMetric, Jedrzejczyk outlanded Kowalkiewicz in total strikes 171-50. Jedrzejczyk entered the bout with a career 575-195 strike advantage in title fights.

"She's the best in the world," Kowalkiewicz said. "It was a very hard fight. I'm very proud, because I gave everything I had."

Jedrzejczyk entered the fight as ESPN.com's No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound female fighter in the world. Saturday's fight marked the sixth time in UFC history a title fight featured two undefeated fighters. Jedrzejczyk is the second-longest reigning champion in the UFC, behind only men's flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson.

"You know why I stay champion?" Jedrzejczyk said. "I'm humble every day. I'm very focused. I challenge myself every day. That's why I'm still a champion."