KSW 49 takes place this Saturday night from Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland and is stacked from top to bottom with intriguing fights. A plethora of talent will be on display as competitors from eight different countries spanning from Northern Island to Brazil look to showcase their talent and make statements in their respective divisions. Veterans from some of the world’s most renowned promotions such as UFC, Bellator and M-1 are featured in a number of clashes where action is guaranteed. Two title fights sit atop the card, one of which is the headlining bout for the vacant KSW middleweight title as Scott Askham takes on Michal Materla in an eagerly anticipated rematch.
Scott Askham (17-4) and Michal Materla (27-6) first squared off in March of last year in what was Askham’s debut for the promotion. The bout only lasted for around a minute as the Englishman fired and landed some heavy body kicks that the KSW legend, Materla, couldn’t recover from. After Mamed Khalidov vacated the middleweight title, KSW announced a four man tournament to see who would rise up and take the throne. Askham and Materla got past Marcin Wojcik and Damian Janikowski respectively via first round knockouts to set up their second meeting where the stakes have been significantly raised since their first fight. Will Askham defeat Materla again to become the second current English champion in KSW or will the Polish fan favourite prove that the outcome of their first bout was a fluke and claim the middleweight title once again?
The evening’s co-main event sees the KSW welterweight title on the line as current belt holder, Roberto Soldic (15-3), looks to defend his strap for the first time in his second tenure as champion against the undefeated, Krystian Kaszubowski (7-0). Both competitors have knocked out all opponents in their KSW victories so this is expected to be a match-up mostly contested on the feet with heavy punches being thrown throughout. The 24 year old, Soldic, avenged his loss against Dricus Du Plessis last October to take back the title he lost at KSW 43 and is coming off of a highlight heel KO against Vinicius Bohrer. The challenger, Kaszubowski, is facing a big step up in competition as he looks to build on his two straight knockout victories in KSW, the last of which came against Michal Michalski. This fight could end in the blink of an eye so make sure no toilet breaks are taken during this one!
Another significant bout on the card is an all Polish heavyweight clash as the former, longest reigning heavyweight KSW champion, Karol Bedorf (15-4), faces off against UFC and Bellator veteran, Damian Grabowski (21-5). Bedorf returns to Ergo Arena after his first round submission victory there last June against Mariusz Pudzianowski which earnt him a shot at the KSW title. He came up short in the fight for the belt against Phil De Fries so will be looking to rebound straight away so that he doesn’t stray far from the title picture. Grabowski went 0-3 in the UFC but faced off against some big names including Derrick Lewis and Marcin Tybura. Since being released from the promotion, he picked up a first round knockout victory in FEN last October and is looking to remind Polish fans of his skills. 11 of his 21 wins have come by submission so Grabowski may look to take this fight to the ground if he sees an opening. The winner could well claim to be the best Polish heavyweight in the world so national pride is on the line in this one.
Polarising Northern Irishman, Norman Parke (26-6-1 1NC) has a very quick turnaround after defeating former KSW welterweight champion, Borys Mankowski, in March as he takes on Artur ‘Kornik’ Sowinski. This bout takes place at a catchweight of 163 lbs which Sowiniski claims is because Parke is too scared to fight at welterweight but is too lazy to cut to lightweight. The former ‘TUF Smashes’ winner, Parke, responded to these comments by saying that the weight cut down to 155 lbs is very tough right now but he knows that with a proper nutritionist he would be able to make it. Both men are known for their durability and toughness but Sowinski, the former KSW featherweight champion, is competing at a higher weight than he is used to so it will be interesting to see how that will factor in to this contest. With no clear number one contender in line at lightweight, a win for Sowiniski could earn him another crack at that title or with his hand raised, Parke could set up a huge trilogy fight with champion and old foe, Mateusz Gamrot, down the line.
In other notable bouts, famous bodybuilders with 1.3 million instagram followers between them, Erko Jun (2-0) and Akop Szostak (3-2 1NC) face off in a heavyweight fight that isn’t expected to go the distance. After making a successful KSW debut last October, well known Brazilian, Thiago Silva (21-8 2NC) returns to the promotion to take on Martin Zawada (28-15-1) at light heavyweight. Both men have a staggering 32 knockout victories between them so this could well be another crowd-pleaser. Furthermore, Polish heavyweight, Michal Andryszak (20-7 1NC) comes back after his title fight loss to Phil De Fries as he welcomes another Brazilian to KSW, former UFC fighter, Luis Henrique (11-5 1NC).
KSW 49 can be purchased at kswtv.com on Saturday night and the event kicks off at 6pm BST. WHOA TV will be in attendance at Ergo Arena so stay tuned for coverage all weekend long.
The complete KSW 49 line up is:-
Vacant Middleweight Title – Scott Askham (17-4) v Michal Materla (27-6)
Welterweight Title – (c) Roberto Soldic (15-3) v Krystian Kaszubowski (7-0)
Heavyweight – Karol Bedorf (15-4) v Damian Grabowski (21-5)
Catchweight (163 lbs) – Norman Parke (26-6-1 1NC) v Artur Sowinski (19-10 2NC)
Heavyweight – Erko Jun (2-0) v Akop Szostak (3-2 1NC)
Light Heavyweight – Martin Zawada (28-15-1) v Thiago Silva (21-8 2NC)
Bantamweight – Antun Racic (22-8-1) v Pawel Politylo (3-1)
Heavyweight – Michal Andryszak (20-7 1NC) v Luis Henrique (11-5 1NC)
Lightweight – Leszek Krakowski (12-1) v Michael Dubois (9-6)