Sunderland’s KSW World Heavyweight champion Phil De Fries took some time to speak to WHOA TV while promoting his next fight in Warsaw. Phil is a veteran of the UFC, Bellator and now KSW, on a 3 fight win streak and with the KSW gold to show for his efforts.
Phil weathered an early onslaught from opponent Michal Andryszak to gain control on the ground and finish Andryszak with elbows and punches from the top position. It was a historic night for the 32 year old and UK MMA. Big Phil has been scheduled to fight former KSW heavyweight champion Karol Bedorf in London at KSW 45 this October in what promises to be a barnstormer.
What first inspired you to fight?
“I first got into martial arts as I was picked on a bit in school, Brazilian Ju Jitsu at first and I had a lot of success in national competitions and I just thought it would be cool to be an MMA fighter.”
Who is your favourite MMA fighter past or present?
“I don’t really watch a lot of MMA and try not to like people I haven’t met in case they turn out to be dickheads later but I’m a big fan of Ross Pearson he’s always in great scraps and I know he’s a good dude as he helped me out a lot early in my career. Best fighter is Jon Jones.”
You’re been out in Warsaw promoting your Heavyweight title fight with Karol Bedorf, how do KSW compare to other organisations you have fought for?
“KSW really is the best, they put a lot of money into the production and promotion and the owners treat you with respect and always have time for you.”
You were the heavy underdog for your title fight in Wroclaw, does the fight being in London give you an edge against Bedorf or does the crowd being mostly Polish almost make it an away fixture?
“It’s nice to walk out to a home crowd but the polish fans are great too. I’ve been asked for much more photos and autographs out there than I do at home as MMA is much bigger in Poland. It’ll be amazing to have my friends there in London for the party after, however, when I’m in the cage the rest of the world doesn’t exist so I may as well be on the moon apart from with gravity and air and stuff!”
Where do you see this fight being won and lost?
“Anything can happen but fights are mostly dictated by wrestling and I feel mine is better. Karol is a slick Jitz guy too, so I’ll have to be careful when I have him down.”
How did winning the KSW championship in April rank with other achievements in your career so far?
“It has been the best achievement of my career and the win was against the highest ranking fighter I have beat, 25th in world at the time.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
“I will still be fighting heavyweights don’t peak till they’re mid 30s so I’ve got 10 years left I reckon. I don’t look that far ahead tho hopefully I’ve got loads of money tho ha.”
Who wins the KSW middleweight tournament?
“I think Askam will he’s already beat Materla and I always like to back the lads from home he’s a nice guy too . Have to watch Janikowski tho he has real potential and is a fantastic raw athlete very early to tell with him yet tho.”
What do you do to wind down away from training and MMA?
“Look after babies haha! I’ve got a 19 month old and a one month old. I sneak some PlayStation in now and then though, I’ve been playing ‘God of War’ at the moment and will get ‘Red Dead 2’ and ‘Resident Evil 2’ remake when they are out.”