This Saturday night KSW will put on the greatest mixed martial arts spectacle ever seen outside of a UFC event. They are widely regarded as the best MMA promotion in Europe. KSW Coloseum is the biggest MMA event in the history of the promotion. They will have raised the bar and made history in what is set to be a stacked night of fights with five titles on the line.
The event will take place at the PGE Stadium in Warsaw and has already sold 50,000 tickets. The venue has the capacity to host 65,000 people and it would seem from the momentum of ticket sales KSW will be attended by this number come fight night. WHOATV will be on the ground from Thursday bringing you all of the up to the minute interviews and behind the scenes videos as they happen. Here is the breakdown of the notable aspects of the event.
(Inaugural Women’s Flyweight title) Ariane Lipski vs Diana Belbita: We start off the night with a title fight, the first of many. Lipski is 8 – 3 – 0 and Belbita is 8 – 2 – 0. Lipski is on a 6 fight win streak while Belbita is on a 3 fight win streak. They’re both evenly matched in styles. They’re both knockout artists and can go the distance. The advantage would be with Belbita as she has more of a ground game and has a slight reach advantage while Lipski has a little more experience. A very hard one to call.
(Middleweight) Damian Janikowski vs Julio Gallegos: Next a middleweight bout between a newcomer and an experienced fighter. Janikowski is making his professional MMA debut however he is a proficient amateur wrestler picking up bronze in the 2012 Olympics. He has won other medals in other competitions and little is known about his MMA style. Gallegos is a very tough challenge, despite being a more experienced fighter. On the ground is where he has found most of his success but don’t be fooled; the rest of his success has Via KO’s. Not known for wanting to go the distance, Janikowski will have to exhaust his opponent and tire him out. This one all comes down to who has the best cardio.
(Featherweight Championship) Marcin Wrzosek (c) vs Kleber Koike Erbst: An interesting bout, Wrzosek has fought all over the world including for Cage Warriors and also on the Ultimate Fighter 22 coming up short against Julian Erosa, however since then he has picked up a KO win over inaugural champion Artur Sowinski at the end of last year. Sowinski faced Erbst for the inaugural belt in 2015. Wrzosek is more of an all round fighter, however, Erbst has a very impressive ground game with 18 submissions out of 21 wins. Wrzosek will want to end this one early because if it goes to the ground then we may have a new champion.
(Light Heavyweight) Lukasz Jurkowski vs Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou: A very even match-up with 2 seasoned veterans. Jurkowski has been with KSW right from the very start winning the very first KSW tournament. Known for being an all rounder while his opponent Sokoudjou is more of a knockout artist and fought all over the world for some of the major promotions including UFC and Bellator; he is also the former Light Heavyweight Champion and holds a first round KO win over Matt Hamill, who is the only man who holds a victory over Jon Jones. If it stays standing, it will most likely be Sokoudjou but if goes to the ground, it could be Jurkowski.
(Lightweight Championship) Mateusz Garmrot (c) vs Norman Parke. Garmrot is currently undefeated with a record of 12 – 0 – 0, he is all round fighter and is looking to make his second successful title defense. Norman Parke is known more for submission, however since he went to UFC most of his fights with the exception of 1 have ended in decision. He’ll want to get back to submitting ways, also worth noting that he is the Cage Contender lightweight champion, and is making his KSW debut so he’ll want to make a good first impression and not the grinding decision wins he has become known for of late.
(Heavyweight) Michal Andryszak vs Michal Kita: Orignally Kita was meant to face former champion Karol Bedorf in a rematch but Bedorf tore his achilles tendon so Andryszak stepped up. Both men are knockout artists, age is on the side of the returning Andryszak, he also is on a 4 fight win streak while Zita is on a 1 fight streak. Both men will be intrigued in the heavyweight title fight later in the evening. Most of Andryszak’s fights end in the first round; Zita is also known for early wins, the chances this won’t go past round 2.
(Light Heavyweight Championship) Tomasz Narkun vs Marcin Wojcik: This has potential to be fight of the night. Narkun became champion back in 2015 when KSW held it’s first ever show outside of Poland in London, England. Narkun is no stranger to belts being a former M-1 and EMMA light heavyweight champion. He is known for being a finisher particularly on the ground. His opponent Wojcik is more of an all rounder, he is also good on the ground, and has never received a title shot, but is currently on a 8 fight win streak. Both men are the same age and have similar records. If it goes to the ground Narkun will have the advantage, however, if it goes the distance Wojcik could upset the champion.
(Heavyweight) Pawel Rak vs Robert Burneika: Next its Poland vs Lithuania. KSW has been known for putting on fights between people from all walks of life. Rak better known as ‘Popek’ is a rapper and has a record of 2 – 2 – 0 and has lost his last 2 fights, he took time away from the sport to focus on his music career. His opponent Burneika is a bodybuilder and has a record of 2 – 0 – 0 but this will be his first professional MMA bout in 4 years. I can’t see this one going the distance, I imagine it will end in the first or second round.
(Heavyweight Championship) Fernando Rodrigues Jr (c) vs Marcin Rozalski: Rodrigues Jr is a knockout artist beating former champion and who was supposed to be Michal Zita’s opponent, Karol Bedorf in December of last year. He has a slight height and reach advantage over his opponent and is also 9 years younger. Rozalski is also known for KO’s and in his last fight he defeated former 5-time World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski. This is a hard to fight to call, it could go either way.
(Heavyweight) Mariusz Pudzianowski vs Tyberiusz Kowalczyk: As I mentioned in the last paragraph Pudzianowski is a former 5-time World’s Strongest Man. He turned his hand to MMA back in 2009 in was meant to be a 4 fight deal and now 16 fights (17 on Saturday night) later and here we are. He has a record of 10 – 5 – 0 and is known as a legend to the Polish audience and a mainstream attraction which is probably why he is in the penultimate match. His opponent Kowalczyk is a relative newcomer to the sport and is currently on a record of 3 – 0 – 0, now just because he has les fights under his belt, he is a finisher and of the 3 fights he’s been in, they have not gone past the first round. Can he continue to dominate as he makes his KSW debut.
(Main Event) Mamed Khalidov (c) vs Borys Mankowski (c): Finally, it’s title vs title; it’s rare to see this but then again KSW have never had a reputation of being conventional. Khalidov is one of the more decorated fighters in the promotion and if he wins on Saturday, he will be the most decorated and the first man in KSW to be a champion of 3 divisions, Light Heavyweight which he vacated when he went down to middleweight; Middleweight which he is the current and Welterweight.
His opponent Mankowski, is not an easy opponent to finish, known for going the distance and also has ground that has progressed the last few years. He hasn’t been beaten in 5 years while his opponent has been defeated in 7 years. Khalidov is the more experienced of the 2 and has the better track record of finishing, it’s a hard one to call and it will be intriguing to see how it plays out and if it will be a catchweight bout or if Khalidov will have to make 185lbs and Mankowski 170lbs.