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UFC vet Luis Henrique steps in to challenge Phil De Fries for heavyweight title at KSW 50

Original challenger, Damian Grabowski, suffered an injury so the Brazilian was called upon as a late notice replacement.

Phil De Fries v Luis Henrique

An injury to original title challenger, Damian Grabowski (22-5), has led to a change of headliner for KSW 50 in the promotion’s milestone event. Current heavyweight champion, Phil De Fries (17-6, 1NC), will now look to defend his belt for the third time against fellow UFC veteran, Luis Henrique (12-5, 1NC). The show is set for Saturday, September 14th and will be KSW’s third visit to Wembley Arena.

De Fries is in the midst of a stunning career resurgence since his release from the UFC and is currently on a five-fight winning streak. He won the KSW heavyweight title back in April 2018 on his promotional debut when he stopped Michal Andryszak due to strikes in the first round. The Englishman followed this up with victories over former champion, Karol Bedorf, and current KSW light heavyweight champion, Tomasz Narkun, to cement himself as one of the best heavyweights outside of the major American promotions. De Fries is showing the best performances of his career at the age of 33 and his continued work at ATT is clearly paying dividends.

Henrique went 2-4 in the UFC where he shared the cage with Francis Ngannou, Marcin Tybura and Ryan Spann. The Brazilian got back to winning ways after his release from the promotion last year when he picked up a first round submission victory on a regional show before being signed to KSW. He was successful in his promotional debut when he defeated Michal Andryszak by submission in a controversial stoppage. Referee Leon Roberts, waved off the contest even though Andryszak didn’t appear to go unconscious in a guillotine choke but Henrique was dominating the bout up until that point. Once Grabowski suffered an injury, Henrique was the obvious heavyweight in the promotion to call upon to get the championship opportunity. He will be aiming to become only the second male, Brazilian champion in KSW history.

Three other titles will be on the line at KSW 50 in an event that aims to showcase some of the biggest stars in the promotion. In the evening’s co-headliner, Tomasz Narkun defends his light heavyweight crown against TUF alumni, Przemyslaw Mysiala and further down the card, Patrik Kincl challenges current champion, Roberto Soldic, for the welterweight title. The fourth championship bout of the evening sees Norman Parke take on Marion Ziolkowski for the interim lightweight title following Mateusz Gamrot’s hiatus from MMA competition.