When it comes to Pride-style MMA events in huge arenas, nothing comes close to KSW, the abbreviation for "Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki" (eng: Mixed Martial Arts Confrontation).
The Polish organization has made a name for itself by putting on gigantic shows, and above all featuring Strongman superstar and mediocre MMA fighter Mariusz Pudzianowski. But the freak-fighting days of KSW are long over. "Pudzian" might be still under contract and will always be one of their biggest draws, but recent KSW shows caught attention with reasonable matchmaking rather than Pudzianowski's squash matches against handpicked competition.
KSW will hold their 30th event on February 21st. And while most of the names on the card won't ring any bells for most MMA fans from the US, it's still worth a look.
The main-event fight is a title bout between welterweight champion Borys Mankowski and Bellator veteran Michail Tsarev, while the co-main event features a welterweight-contender fight between former champion Aslambek Saidov and charismatic grappling genius Rafal Moks. These are superb match-ups that promise a lot of entertainment and high-level mixed martial arts.
Also on the card is Invicta FC fighter and KSW women's champion Karolina Kowalkiewicz, and one of the most promising European lightweight prospects, wrestling standout Mateusz Gamrot - an unbeaten young gun that dominated UFC vet Andre Winner on short notice in 2013.
The event can be watched live for $6 on www.kswtv.com. Here's the full fight card:
KSW 30: Genesis
February 21st 2015
Arena Poznan, Poznan, Poland
KSW welterweight title fight
Borys Mankowski vs. Michail Tsarev
Rafal Moks vs. Aslambek Saidov
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Kalindra Faria
Anzor Azhiev vs. TBA
Mateusz Gamrot vs. Rodrigo Cavalheiro Correia
Michal Wlodarek vs. Szymon Bajor
Jakub Kowalewicz vs. Lukasz Rajewski
Kamil Gniadek vs. Mateusz Zawadzki