Considered by many in the industry and fans alike to be the best mixed martial arts show in Europe KSW, or to give it it’s full title Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki, is making no secret of its plans for European dominance. It has picked up a steady pace in popularity and with production values unobtainable by its competitors, intriguing matchmaking and a dedicated fan base, KSW have enthralled audiences that have flocked to their shows from its humble beginnings in 2004.
Martin Lewandowski, KSW’s founder, is clearly a man not content with giving his competitors an easy ride however far behind he may consider them. Ahead of his plans for an audacious reminder of the promotions place in Europe, KSW will set out their cage in Poland’s biggest venue, a 65,000 capacity arena, for their next event.
Lewandowski is keen to remain grounded by the promotion’s humble beginnings as he explains the need for KSW’s exponential growth. “I see this as the most primal need as homo sapiens. The growth, the development, whatever people do they will always want to make things better, bigger, more effective. That’s the natural process of each human activity. We have been working hard to develop MMA in Poland to such a scale. We started with 500 people in the Marriott Hotel and after more than decade, this year on the 27th of May we are about to fill the PGE National Stadium with 65,000 people – It will be precisely the biggest MMA event in this part of the world.”
Already announced on the emerging fight card are the yet unmatched but ever popular fan favourite and former five-time World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski, KSW middleweight champion Mamed Khalidov. Newly-crowned KSW heavyweight Fernando Rodrigues Jr. and Olympic wrestling bronze medallist Damian Janikowski will make his long-awaited MMA debut. KSW 2016 breakout star Marcin Wrzosekwill will also appear as he defends his KSW featherweight title for the first time. The KSW chief plans to release a steady stream of exciting clashes in the coming weeks. “All match ups we will announce gradually on our social media and official website kswmma.com. but I can tell you that everyone will find a favourite bout to entertain.”
The yet unmatched Mariusz Pudzianowski and Fedor Emelianenko have long been linked to many a fan boys matchmaking shortlist. Speaking to #WHOATV previously it is certainly a matchup that Pudzianowski has indicated he is keen on. However, Lewandowski’s reception to this pairing when suggested was slightly lukewarm. “Rather not. I have an offer on the table for Fedor but the PGE National Stadium needs to have more than one hit like this one. Also we have to remember that the money Fedor is getting is slightly different than he has had in the past. With such a big venue our concept is to give more diversity not just concentrating on one fight.”
After a very successful foray into the UK which saw them put on a sellout Wembley Arena show in 2015 KSW are eyeing a return after the dust of their May 2017 show has settled. In addition to further building on the brand they plan to step into Ireland, a deal which by all accounts is close to being sealed. Keen to capitalise on their success it’s clear Lewandowski has his sights further afield. “We are talking with several investors who are potentially interested in cooperation with us in the European market. UK and Ireland seems to be the best spot to start with. The KSW show in London was a great success. We filled up the place and it was just our first shot. That gives me the prediction that our brand and our fighters are well recognised. As well, media were very pleased about it, which leads me to believe it might be a second home for KSW. Of course we are looking closely at the Irish and UK MMA scene and it is very interesting but it is not wise to talk about the fighters before signing the contracts.”