Former strawweight title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz is targeting an eventual showdown with reigning champion Rose Namajuas but knows she likely has more work to do to reach that goal.
In an interview with polsatsport.pl, Kowalkiewicz said she told the UFC that she will be ready to return to the Octagon in September.
“At the beginning of July I am flying to UFC [International] Fight Week and then we will set the details,” Kowalkiewicz said. “I dream about fighting with Namajunas, but I must fight a duel to make it happen.”
Kowalkiewicz expects that next opponent to be Jessica Andrade, who is coming off a victory over Tecia Torres at UFC on Fox 28 in February. Initially, Kowalkiewicz and Andrade were reportedly going to square off at the event.
“She said that I was afraid of her, I avoided her, and this is nonsense,” said Kowalkiewicz, who claimed that a bout with pneumonia forced her to pull out the proposed booking.
Both Kowalkiewicz and Andrade suffered defeats in title bouts to then champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Since then, Namajunas has defeated Jedrzejczyk twice to establish her reign atop the 115-pound division.
Kowalkiewicz is coming off back-to-back triumphs over Jodie Esquibel and Felice Herrig, while Andrade has bested Torres and Claudia Gadelha in successive outings.