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In the aftermath of UFC 238, Karolina Kowalkiewicz has come to a brutally honest realization: Her best days as a fighter are behind her.
Kowalkiewicz, a former UFC strawweight title challenger, suffered her third consecutive loss this past Saturday night in Chicago, as she dropped a unanimous decision to Alexa Grasso after being battered for 15 minutes.
Kowalkiewicz, 33, took to Instagram to congratulate Grasso on her performance but also didn’t hold back in assessing where she stands in her career.
“I left my heart in this fight, but unfortunately I missed something … I’m not the same player anymore,” Kowalkiewicz said in her native Polish, via Google Translate. “Unfortunately, the painful truth is that the best years and the top of the form are behind me.”
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Ogromne gratulacje dla @alexa_grasso zrobiłaś świetną robotę bardzo dziękuje wszystkim za wsparcie i ciepłe słowa. Nie martwcie się o mnie, bywało lepiej, ale mam się dobrze. Siniaki na twarzy zaraz się zagoją. Zostawiłam w tej walce całe serce, ale niestety czegoś zabrakło… już nie jestem tą samą zawodniczką co kiedy. Niestety bolesna prawda jest taka, że najlepsze lata i szczyt formy mam już za sobą, jest dużo młodych, utalentowanych ambitnych zawodniczek którym trzeba ustąpić miejsca…. ale nie martwcie się, jeszcze wrócę i będę dawać dobre walki może nie na samym „szczycie” ale dostarczę Wam wielu emocji, dajcie mi tylko trochę czasu… jeszcze raz dziękuje! #ufc #lovemyjob #kk
Big congratulations for @alexa_grasso you did a great job thank you all for your support and warm words. Do not worry about me, it was better, but I’m fine. Bruises on the face will heal soon. I left my heart in this fight, but unfortunately I missed something … I’m not the same player anymore. Unfortunately, the painful truth is that the best years and the top of the form are behind me, there are a lot of young, talented ambitious players who have to give way … but do not worry, I will come back and give good fights maybe not at the very top “But I will give you many emotions, just give me some time … thank you again! #ufc #lovemyjob #kk
The loss to Grasso continued a rough stretch for Kowalkiewicz in the past nearly three years. She kicked off her career with 10-0 overall start, which included wins in her first three UFC fights to earn a shot at then-champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in November 2016. Kowalkiewicz lost that title fight via unanimous decision, the beginning of a stretch in which she’s gone 2-5 in her past seven fights.
After Jedrzejczyk, Kowalkiewicz lost by submission to contender Claudia Gadelha. Kowalkiewicz got back on track with back-to-back decision wins over Jodie Esquibel and Felice Herrig, respectively, but has lost three straight since – a knockout to current champ Jessica Andrade, decision to top contender Michelle Waterson and decision to Grasso.
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