In Europe, it doesn't get any bigger than KSW. In their last event, the Polish organization sold out a nearly 20,000-seat arena in Krakow. With Pride flair, a couple of freak fights and lots of nice match-ups of Polish top talent versus UFC and Bellator alumni, KSW puts on exciting cards on a regular basis. On February 21st they will hold their next event, for the first time ever in the city of Poznan, in the 6,000-seat Hala Arena.
The card is headlined by a welterweight title fight between champion Borys Mankowski and Bellator veteran Michail Tsarev. Mankowski won the belt in May last year by beating former champion Aslambek Saidov, and later defended it with a 1:20 minute first-round stoppage of German Dawid Zawada in December.
His challenger Tsarev has fought three times under the Bellator banner and advanced to the semifinals of the season 7 welterweight tournament in 2012, where he got TKO'd by Lyman Good. He then lost to the now welterweight champion Douglas Lima in the next season's 170 lbs. tourney. Since then, Tsarev has racked up five back to back wins and recently beat the UFC veterans Xavier Foupa-Pokam and Dennis Hallman in Russia.
Tsarev is a tough Russian fighter with already 30 fights and 26 wins under his belt - at only 28-years old. 19 of his victories came via submission. Mankowski is the next big thing in Poland, a strong wrestler and very athletic guy, but will have his hands full with Tsarev for sure.
In the co-main event, former champion Saidov will battle it out with submission specialist Rafal Moks to determine the next challenger for the welterweight strap.
Also on the card: strawweight women's champion Karolina Kowalkiewicz, who edged out a close decision against Mizuki Inoue at Invicta 9 last November.
This is the first KSW card in a while that doesn't feature at least one of the big Polish superstars Mamed Khalidov, Mariusz Pudzianowski or Michal Materla, so it will be interesting so see how they will do with their young up-and-comers. The event can be watched live for $6 on www.kswtv.com.