Karolina Kowalkiewicz entered her fight against Joanna Jedrzejczyk on a three-fight win streak on the back of outstanding performances against Rose Namajunas, Heather Clark and Randa Markos. Karolina pushed Joanna for the entire five rounds and briefly stunned the champion with a right hand in the fourth round before losing a 49-46 decision.
The main takeaway from Karolina’s shot at the title is what we already knew – Kowalkiewicz is extremely tough. She kept moving forwards despite being beaten up every time she engaged with the champion. By the end of the fight, Kowalkiewicz was on the losing side of a 171-50 strike tally against one of the best strikers in the game right now.
This time, Kowalkiewicz faces a fighter on the opposite end of the spectrum, a pure wrestler and grappler. As for dealing with Gadelha’s wrestling, Kowalkiewicz’s coach, Lukasz Zaborowski believes “it’s not something we haven’t seen before” before later stating that he thinks “Karolina will submit Claudia”.
I’m expecting the fight to closely resemble Gadelha vs. Jedrzejczyk, a classic striker vs. grappler match-up.
Gadelha will be trying to get Kowalkiewicz down to the mat and do damage there while limiting the attack of her opponent. Kowalkiewicz wants this fight to remain standing so that she can try and light Gadelha up with accurate striking. We saw the damage she inflicted on Joanna in the fourth round, and there’s every chance she could do the same to Gadelha.
This fight, a co-main event with no title on the line, is a three-round affair and therefore favours Gadelha who should control large portions of the fight. Gadelha’s stand-up game has significantly improved over the past year, too, and I’m even expecting her to have some success when trading shots with Karolina before setting up her takedowns.
I think that Gadelha will be too much for Kowalkiewicz to handle over the course of just three rounds and repeated takedowns will not only sap the energy of her opponent but also subtract valuable minutes from the clock in which Kowalkiewicz can use to inflict damage on the Brazilian.
Claudia Gadelha is a clear favourite in the eyes of the bookmakers at just 37/1001.37-2700.37-2.700.37. Karolina Kowalkiewicz is a moderate underdog with odds of 13/53.60+2602.602.60-0.38.
While I am predicting Gadelha to win this one via the way of submission, my betting strategy is focused on Gadelha winning before this one makes it to the judges because that’s where the money lies.
Gadelha is a submission machine and is a real chance to make Kowalkiewicz tap. I’ll be taking the odds of 7/18.00+7007.007.00-0.14, for Claudia Gadelha to win by submission.
Claudia Gadelha vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz Claudia Gadelha to win via Submission
Sunday 4th June, 04:30 GMT
Odds: 7/18.00+7007.007.00-0.14 – Stan James
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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