Poland's best-known MMA promotion, Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW), returns today with a card headlined by a super-heavyweight collision between Polish strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski and 400-plus-pound novelty boxer Eric "Butterbean" Esch.
Elsewhere, KSW's light-heavyweight tournament concludes with a final between Jan Blachowicz and Spain's Daniel Tabera; plus, four bouts kick off the opening round of KSW's first lightweight tournament.
Quick results; full play-by-play after the jump.
Mariusz Pudzianowski def. Eric "Butterbean" Esch via submission (punches) R1
KSW Light-Heavyweight Tournament Final
Jan Blachowicz def. Daniel Tabera via TKO (punches) R2
Krzysztof Kulak def. Daniel Dowda via unanimous decision, ext. round
KSW Lightweight Tournament Semifinals
Niko Puhakka def. Danny Van Bergen via unanimous decision, R2
Maciej Gorski def. Michal Mankiewicz via unanimous decision, R2
Przemyslaw Saleta def. Marcin Najman via submission (forearm choke) R1
KSW Lightweight Tournament Opening Round
Niko Puhakka def. Borys Mankowski via submission (anaconda choke) R2
Danny Van Bergen def. Artur Sowinski via unanimous decision, ext. round
Maciej Gorski def. Kazuki Tokudome via KO (head kick and punches) R1
Michal Mankiewicz def. Paul Reed via decision, R2
Mariusz Pudzianowski (2-1) vs. Eric "Butterbean" Esch (12-7-1)
Round 1: Butterbean tags Pudzianowski with a left jab right off the bat. And another. Leg kicks from Pudzianowski as he circles around the 'Bean. Pudzianowski picks the left leg and Butterbean topples over. Pudzianowski attacks like a madman with hammerfists, probably landing 50 before the ref steps in to end it. Replay shows Butterbean tapped out to the strikes.
Mariusz Pudzianowski (3-1) def. Eric "Butterbean" Esch (12-8-1) via submission (punches) R1
Jan Blachowicz (10-2) vs. Daniel Tabera (16-2-3)
Round 1: The pair clinch along the ropes, trading knees on the inside. Tabera tries to pull guard and botches it, with Blachowicz winding up in north-south. Blachowicz moves to Tabera's left side with three minutes remaining in the opening round. Blachowicz working on Tabera's arm from north-south, abandons the hold and passes to the Spaniard's right. Blachowicz changes sides again, Tabera looking listless underneath. They stand with less than a minute left and Tabera charges Blachowicz into the corner. The Pole stuffs the takedown attempt and puts Tabera on his back. 10-9 Blachowicz.
Round 2: Spinning backfist misses for Tabera. He uses it to close the distance and work for a takedown. It doesn't come, but they disengage and Tabera gets it on the second try. Blachowicz looks for subs from beneath and the ref repositions them in the center of the ring. After the restart, Blachowicz immediately jumps on top and looks for a heel hook. Tabera tries one of his own. Neither work and the result is Blachowicz back on top in Tabera's open guard. Blachowicz gets a high mount and this time it looks like Tabera's in trouble. Several unanswered punches and Tabera gives up his back. Blachowicz softens him up with a few more shots and goes for the rear-naked choke. Tabera defends and Blachowicz goes back to pounding away on the turtling Spaniard until the ref steps in.
Jan Blachowicz (11-2) def. Daniel Tabera (16-3-3) via TKO (punches) R2
Krzysztof Kulak (23-12-2) vs. Daniel Dowda (5-3)
Round 1: Dowda grabs a low kick from Kulak, drops for a leglock, but doesn't know what to do with it. Kulak returns the favor, sweeping Dowda to the ground. Dowda stands and does the same to Kulak again, and now works from Kulak's guard. Half-guard for Dowda now, and he passes to Kulak's left. Pretty even round, though Dowda got the better of the positions. 10-10.
Round 2: Kulak breathing heavy in his corner as the round starts. Another trip takedown from Kulak yields nothing. He stands over Dowda slapping with leg kicks, then opts to let him up. Dowda with the takedown this time, and Kulak grabs a guillotine on the way down. Doesn't look tight at first, but Kulak wrenches it as he rolls Dowda over. Dowda pops loose and escapes to the feet. Hard knee to the breadbasket by Kulak. Takedown from Dowda, who momentarily gets caught in a triangle on the floor. He pops free and passes to side control on Kulak. 10-9 Kulak for his sub attempts.
Round 3: Early choke attempt from Kulak as he's mashed into a post. Dowda breaks loose and winds up in the guard of Kulak, who's looking for an armbar or omoplata. No dice. Dowda stands and grabs a guillotine which Kulak easily escapes from. Bell rings and Kulak raises his arms in celebration. With his submission attempts and not much offense from Dowda, he's probably right. 10-9 Kulak.
Krzysztof Kulak (24-12-2) def. Daniel Dowda (5-4) via unanimous decision (no scores announced)
Danny Van Bergen (8-7-3) vs. Niko Puhakka (19-10)
Round 1: Puhakka quickly into the guard of Van Bergen, who's sporting a serious shiner on his right eye. Ref stands them up, but Puhakka drags his man back down with another single leg. Puhakka punching from half-guard, then moves to side control with 45 seconds left. 10-9 Puhakka.
Round 2: Once again, Puhakka with the takedown and lays in the guard of Van Bergen. Knees to the body from Puhakka, who tries to stack Van Bergen up against a ringpost. Three minutes left in the round, but it seems like the story's already written here. Ref stands them up halfway through the round... and Puhakka scores another takedown. That's pretty much it. 10-9 Puhakka.
Niko Puhakka (20-10) def. Danny Van Bergen (8-8-3) via unanimous decision (no scores announced)
Michal Mankiewicz (5-0) vs. Maciej Gorski (9-4)
Round 1: Not much action in the opening minutes as both men circle, Gorski bouncing and scoring with a few leg kicks. Mankiewicz muscles him into the corner, but Gorski escapes and connects with a round kick to the body. Gorski jumps guard with a guillotine, but they're stacked up in the corner and that's where the round ends. 10-9 Gorski.
Round 2: Good sprawl from Gorski keeps him on his feet as Mankiewicz charges him around the ring. Mankiewicz seems to stun Gorski with a punch, but it's Gorski who winds up on top in the ensuing tussle. Gorski elbowing Mankiewicz' left thigh from side control, and it appears to be effective as Mankiewicz immediately begins guarding the leg. Gorski lets Mankiewicz up with a minute left. Mankiewicz tags Gorski with a right straight and trips him to the ground. 10-9 Gorski.
Maciej Gorski (10-4) def. Michal Mankiewicz (5-1) via unanimous decision (no scores announced)
Przemyslaw Saleta (0-1) vs. Marcin Najman (0-1)
Round 1: Najman gets a takedown and mounts immediately, begins wailing with hammerfists. Doctor checks out a large welt which forms from the punches, but allows the match to continue. Saleta sweeps and lays a forearm across the throat of Najman, who holds out for a moment and then submits.
Przemyslaw Saleta (1-1) def. Marcin Najman (0-2) submission (forearm choke) R1
Borys Mankowski (9-3) vs. Niko Puhakka (18-10)
Round 1: Mankowski works a takedown for a minute, pressing Puhakka into the ringpost, then deposits the Finn on the mat with a slam. Puhakka sweeps but stalls out and they're stood up with two minutes left. Another takedown for Mankowski, punching lightly to the ribs and head of Puhakka, who grabs a loose guillotine. 10-10.
Round 2: Mankowski has a shot stuffed, goes for it again and sits Puhakka down against the post. Mankowski lifts him out of the corner and slams him down in center ring. Side control for Mankowski, but Puhakka uses a kimura to sweep and winds up on top. Again they stall out, and they're stood up with 1:45 remaining. Mankowski dodging punches from Puhakka, shoots a long double and gets trapped in an anaconda choke. Puhakka rolls him over and Mankowski taps.
Niko Puhakka (19-10) def. Borys Mankowski (9-4) via submission (anaconda choke) R2
Artur Sowinski (8-3) vs. Danny Van Bergen (7-7-3)
Round 1: Both men headhunting early, neither finding the big shot. Van Bergen with a takedown, winds up in the busy Sowinski's guard avoiding triangles and upkicks. With a minute left, Van Bergen starts to get busy, standing in Sowinski's guard and bombing punches straight downward. Triangle attempt nearly yields Sowinski a sweep, but the round ends with Van Bergen still on top. 10-9 Sowinski, I guess.
Sowinski quickly finds himself in the same position, but this time he snares an arm. Crowd comes to life as Sowinski works the armbar, but Van Bergen extracts himself and gets mount on the Pole. Sowinski sweeps with 3:30 left. Side control for Sowinski now. Van Bergen swings his hips and grabs an armbar that he can't finish, but which allows him to take top position again. Van Bergen gets another armbar that looks unbelievably tight, but Sowinski somehow refrains from tapping even after being flipped over. Another armbar attempt from Van Bergen, and again Sowinski escapes. Sowinski finds himself in full mount with 45 seconds left on the clock and begins pounding the face of Van Bergen. For whatever reason, Sowinski gives up the position and drops for a leglock, allowing Van Bergen to move back to side control to finish out the round. 10-9 Van Bergen. If the judges agree, we'll go to a third round which will be scored individually.
Round 3: We go to a three-minute final round. Van Bergen comes out on fire and drops Sowinski with big punches, but the action slows as they hit the ground. Van Bergen takes mount... and promptly gets swept. Ref stands them up with 90 seconds left and Van Bergen drops Sowinski again. Actually, Sowinski may have been trying to pull guard, or maybe just fell down. 10-9 Van Bergen.
Danny Van Bergen (8-7-3) def. Artur Sowinski (8-4) via unanimous decision (no scores announced)
Maciej Gorski (8-4) vs. Kazuki Tokudome (5-1-1)
Round 1: Tokudome paws tentatively for a moment, then plows Gorski down with an easy double. Gorski keeping active with punches from the bottom as Tokudome tries to pass his half-guard. Not a lot going on as Gorski tries to sweep with a kimura and Tokudome maintains top control. Ref calls for action, then restarts the fighters in center ring as they scoot under the ropes. Two minutes left. Tokudome pops Gorski with a knee as they scramble to their feet, but Gorski tags him with a right high kick to the mush and Tokudome is wobbled. Tokudome bounces off the ropes and Gorski follows up with a right straight that takes Tokudome's legs go out from under him. Ref steps in to save Tokudome from further damage.
Maciej Gorski (9-4) def. Kazuki Tokudome (5-2-1) via KO (head kick and punches) R1
Michal Mankiewicz (4-0) vs. Paul Reed (14-6)
Round 1: Reed goes for a takedown, but winds up with Mankiewicz on top of him. Some solid hammerfists from Mankiewicz as he stacks up Reed, who's angling for a submission. Mankiewicz lifts him up and breaks loose of Reed's guard, but Reed pushes him into the ropes and drags him down. Nice omoplata sweep by Mankiewicz. Now it's Reed back on top, but he looks to be bleeding from the nose. Mankiewicz grabs a triangle armbar; it's not tight, but enough to send Reed scrambling and both men back to their feet. Reed shoots a low single and winds up on his knees eating punches when Mankiewicz sprawls. 10-9 Mankiewicz.
Round 2: Reed with an early takedown, but Mankiewicz works back to his feet and free of Reed's loose guillotine. Mankiewicz jumps guard looking for a triangle that doesn't stick. Referee stands them up as Reed stalls out in Mankiewicz' guard. Both men look spent with two minutes still left in the round. Mankiewicz connects with a couple arm punches before Reed drags him back down. Reed passes to side, then mounts, but Mankiewicz easily slips out the backdoor. Reed with another guillotine attempt, and again Mankiewicz breaks loose. Mankiewicz in Reed's guard with 30 seconds remaining. Mankiewicz tries to posture up for one last volley, but Reed ties up. 10-10 round on my scorecard, giving Mankiewicz the match, 20-19.
Michal Mankiewicz (5-0) def. Paul Reed (14-7) via decision (no scores announced)