Listen to enough fighters talk about their careers and one of the themes that comes up over and over is the fear of humiliation. Not so much of losing, but of getting absolutely run over. Whether it’s the feeling of letting down one’s fans and team, the loss of ego, or just maintaining that careful edifice of belief - that they absolutely are the best fighter in the world - bad losses in MMA can be crushing.
How fighters respond to that adversity, then, is notable. Do they try and brush it aside, as Darren Till did in his loss to Tyron Woodley? Or do they let the veneer of invulnerability crack, if only to rebuild it again with months of training and preparation?
Following the first KO loss of her career, to Jessica Andrade, at just 1:58 into the first round, Karolina Kowalkiewicz has taken the latter route. The former strawweight title contender released a tearful message to fans over social media.
“Hi guys, I just want to say thank you for your support. And, I’m sorry,” a visibly distraught Kowalkiewicz said, after delivering the message first in Polish. “I’m okay. It wasn’t my day, it was Jessica day. So, big congratulations for Jessica. And give me some time and I will be back stronger, I promise you.”
The win for Andrade likely puts her next in line for a shot at Rose Namajunas’ title. The Brazilian called for a possible bout against the strawweight champion at the year end UFC 232 PPV card in Las Vegas, NV. The event is set to be headlined by a superfight between women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes and women’s featherweight champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino.