It’s time for the end of year report series of articles where we at WHOA TV take a look at how well and in certain cases how badly each key mixed martial arts promotion has fared throughout the year. With that in mind let’s start with the ‘Head Boy’ KSW.
2018 was yet another year where KSW cemented their dominant position as Europe’s number one mixed martial arts promotion. Once again they have raised the bar with respect to how you create compelling match ups, incredible live experiences and deliver unparalleled production values.
Attention to Detail
Top to bottom the promotion have raised the bar consistently which ever which way you look at it. Whether it’s their accessible CEO, communicative and proactive PR department or their online viewing platform the promotion clearly is very proud to present its product to what is seemingly an audience with a voracious appetite for fights who pack out their venues. Their approach represents a blueprint for success in what is a crowded market place. It’s worth noting that old friend to WHOA TV, Head of Communications, Alan Murphy, is the single reason why the promotion gained traction internationally with journalists and media outlets at all levels in 2018.
Whilst the promotion is not without its flaws, for example its approach to freakshow match ups which aren’t to everybody’s liking, they have created an organic balance of spectacle, entertainment and bombastic showmanship that means that purists and casual observers alike can finds their tastes being satisfied among each and every fight card.
The promotion presented us with five fight cards in 2018 each of which attracted record attendance figures. Starting in March with Khalidov vs Narkun, in April Soldic vs Du Plessis and in June they gave us ‘The Game’. In October they returned to Wembley and in December they rounded out the year with KSW 46 which saw Khalidov take on Narkun for the second time this year. The stand out for me was their return to Wembley where to a sold out audience they exalted the fighters on the card to almost superstar status before the crowd and in addition presented a breezy fight card which meant you weren’t wading through an amount of filler before you got to the thriller.
The addition of Scott Askham and Phil De Fries to their roster was a smart move as both men excelled in spectacular fashion providing both entertainment and with their ex UFC credentials a sense of legitimacy to the promotion’s roster. Both were given strong tests on their debuts and both ran through their opposition in emphatic fashion putting their respective divisions on notice.
Overall Mark A++ (Distinction)
KSW’s dominance and reputation could possibly be under friendly fire with Bellator’s intentions to put on regular shows in Europe from here on in. KSW’s success lies in it’s ability to hold it’s nerve and play well with others. This approach is personified in its CEO who is keen to trade or exchange on a temporary basis fighters with like minded promotions looking to put on events in Europe. KSW have formed an incredible gulf between its competitors and it looks as though that gulf may widen if they maintain their current stratospheric trajectory.