BAMMA 18 takes place this coming weekend, headlined with a Featherweight title fight between champion Tom Duquesnoy and challenger Krzysztof Klaczek. Krzysztof Klaczek hails from Konin, Poland and boasts an 8-2 record and has recently signed a multi fight deal with BAMMA and is given a huge opportunity to fight for a Title in his debut.
While the common fan will be aware of champion Duquesnoy, there is an argument to say they may not be so familiar with his opponent and BAMMA debutant Krzysztof Klaczek. So to help us tell the story and paint the scene #WHOATV spoke to Klaczek’s last opponent Jay Furness to get his views and opinions on “Shooters Konin” ahead of BAMMA 18.
The one question which I wanted to ank at the outset was, whether or not Klaczek deserved a) To headline BAMMA 18 and b) To get a Title shot in his promotional debut given his relatively low profile? Furness was certainly supportive on both fronts. “He is number one in Poland and they’re (Poland) one of the best MMA nations in Europe so of course he is worthy of both a title shot and headline slot. He has a good streak going and can mix it with any top 145lber on the continent most likely.”
Furness fought Krzysztof in September 2014 at a time which saw Furness return from a year layoff but also on a four fight win streak including a win over Artem Lobov. Did his win streak give him an extra confidence going into the Krzysztof fight? “I had confidence because I know where I’m at. I think outside of the UFC I can hang with anyone, and even plenty of them in there. People see a huge chasm between UFC and non UFC and I don’t think that exists. Granted I’d happily throw down with anyone if the price was right. A four fight win streak doesn’t make anybody invincible but I was happy enough going in and felt I had the skills to win it. I didn’t show up and do myself justice, sometimes that happens. The margins for error are pretty small just like my manhood.”
Whilst on reflection Jay could see the argument for the bout being swayed in his favour he is certainly not taking anything away from Krzysztof’s win but feels the layoff may have been a slight disadvantage. “It looked (the layoff) to have played a factor in hindsight. Being honest, I’ve watched the fight back a few times recently and I see a case for me winning it still. I was definitely rusty, slow and not at my best. That’s just how it goes though. You train hard for two months to put it all together in fifteen minutes on one night and I didn’t do it. I’m not bitter about it because I certainly didn’t deliver any definitive performance so it’s up in the air and he got the nod. Kudos to Krzysztof for doing enough, I didn’t stamp my authority on it like I should have done. I could have shown up after the break and been sharp and done the business. I don’t even know if it’s the time out of the cage that does it. Just like in the gym you sometimes have off nights. Turns out mine was in a main event in some guy’s hometown in Poland.”
The win for Krzysztof has seen him propel into BAMMA to take on Featherweight Champion Tom Duquesnoy, so does Jay feel that had he have picked up the victory in Poland he would be headlining BAMMA 18? “I’d have been in with a pretty good chance of the UFC if I’d won that fight so probably not. No offence to any UK promotion but at this point I’m not really motivated by domestic fights (although Tom is clearly a top Euro opponent). I just deal with the domestic scene too much day in day out so I’d prefer to keep my fighting activities out of it as much as that is feasible. If that means going to fight beasts around the world then so be it. You only live once!”
Krzysztof is a strong grappler who looks to impose his will on his opponents and break them down throughout fights, so does Jay feel that this will be the key to victory for Krzysztof? “Krzysztof is a strong dude and I think he’ll be more physically imposing than Tom. He’s got a good, smothering top game when he plays it and isn’t a chump anywhere. I think his key is getting hold of Tom, getting on top and pressing the action from there.”
So we left Jay with the million dollar question, who will win on Saturday night? “You’re going to hate me for standing on the fence but I genuinely don’t know. Tom is explosive and dynamic, Krzysztof is a strong grinder. I’d like to see Krzysztof do well because he’s a cool guy and it makes me look better. Tom is a serious talent though so let the best man beat up the slightly less good man on the night.”
Hopefully now you have more of a better understanding of half of the main event at this weekend’s BAMMA 18 card which goes down at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall. For details on the event visit bamma.com/events/bamma-18
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