KSW 50 took place on Saturday night at Wembley Arena in London, England to symbolise the promotion’s intent of moving into different markets in the near future. The card had to be reshuffled many times in the lead up to the event so the final offering was nowhere near similar to the original show that KSW had in mind to celebrate their anniversary. Leading up to KSW 50, some Polish fans were left a little underwhelmed with the lineup as they felt that there weren’t enough intriguing, high-profile contests on the show. This reflected in the attendance inside the arena as there were pockets of empty seats in a few sections which has never been the case at a KSW show in London before. However, the large-scale production and high-quality visuals that people have come to expect from the promotion were on full display during an evening that delivered some solid action.
Phil De Fries earned a split decision victory in the evening’s headliner over fellow UFC veteran, Luis Henrique, in a contest lacking action. Much of the first three rounds happened inside the clinch with neither fighter asserting any kind of dominance while fans poured towards the exits. During the fourth frame, both men started to exchange strikes with De Fries landing the cleaner punches but the match was mostly a non-event. It was a disappointing end to the show and sapped all energy from the arena but De Fries extended his winning streak to six. The promotion may choose to rebook the Damian Grabowski fight when De Fries returns to the cage.
In the co-main event, Tomasz Narkun had a successful return to light heavyweight as he retained his title against TUF veteran, Przemyslaw Mysiala. Narkun, who is still the longest reigning current champion in KSW, looked to keep range early and then hurt Mysiala with a punch in the clinch. That didn’t stop the challenger from being aggressive and looking to land damaging blows as Mysiala continued to move forwards. However, Narkun connected with a big punch which sent ‘The Polish Bear’ to the canvas before jumping on a guillotine choke to get the tap. With no clear options for Narkun next inside KSW, the cross-promotional route could be the way to go with the Pole in order to find an opponent at 205 who could threaten him.
Roberto Soldic was due to defend his welterweight title against Patrik Kincl but the Czech athlete withdrew during fight week with a broken arm. One of Poland’s top grapplers, Michal Pietrzak, stepped up to take the fight and put on a brave display but Soldic was always one step ahead. Soldic’s left hand was on the money throughout the bout and it hurt Pietrzak on a few occasions which played a part in earning ‘RoboCop’ a clear unanimous decision. As long as he didn’t pick up any injuries during the fight, it is almost certain Soldic will feature on KSW’s first show in Croatia later this year.
An interim lightweight champion was crowned as Norman Parke was successful in his third attempt to capture a KSW title. He outpointed the late replacement, Marcin ‘Polish Zombie’ Wrzosek, after a slow start from both men. In the third round, Parke began to step it up a notch and worked his crisp striking to land consistently before securing a takedown to see out the frame. He continued to edge the Pole throughout the fourth round by marching him down and securing position against the cage. Considering Wrzosek took the fight on short notice, he put in a valiant display and showed much improved takedown defense. The obvious fight to make next for Parke is to unify the titles against undisputed champion, Mateusz Gamrot, if he can sort out his status with KSW while Wrzosek could well move up to lightweight permanently.
Elsewhere on the card, Olympic bronze medalist, Damian Janikowski, picked up a much needed win to get his promising career back on track when he defeated reality TV personality, Tony Giles, by verbal submission in a blowout. KSW legend, Antoni Chmielewski, was unable to get his hand raised in his retirement fight as he dropped a unanimous decision to Jason Radcliffe in a mostly striking affair. Former KSW welterweight champion, Dricus Du Plessis, made a successful KSW middleweight debut when he finished Joilton Santos Lutterbach by a second round TKO and Aleksandra Rola stopped Catherine Costigan after a barrage of knees.
There were some huge announcements during the night involving KSW’s remaining two shows to close out the year. KSW 51 takes place on Saturday 9th November when the promotion make their debut in Croatia. A massive heavyweight clash between KSW legend, Mariusz ‘Pudzian’ Pudzianowski, and rising star, Erko Jun, was made official for the event in Zagreb. Aleksanadr Ilic, Antun Racic and Filip Pejic will also feature on that card. The final show of 2019 is headlined by arguably the biggest KSW fight of the year when Polish MMA icon, Mamed Khalidov, comes out of retirement to challenge middleweight champion, Scott Askham, in a catchweight bout. That fight takes place at KSW 52 on Saturday 7th December in Gliwice, Poland.
Official KSW 50 Results:
Phil De Fries defeated Luis Henrique via split decision (49-46 x 2, 47-48) to retain the heavyweight title.
Tomasz Narkun defeated Przemyslaw Mysiala via submision (guillotine) in round 1, 4:03, to retain the light heavyweight title.
Roberto Soldic defeated Michal Pietrzak via unanimous decision (3-27x2, 29-28).
Norman Parke defeated Marcin Wrzosek via split decision (49-46 x 2, 47-48) to win the interim lightweight title.
Damian Janikowski defeated Tony Giles via submission (strikes) in round 1, 1:24.
Jason Radcliffe defeated Antoni Chmieleski via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3).
Dricus Du Plessis defeated Joilton Santos via TKO, round 3, 3:04.
Aleksandra Rola defeated Catherine Costigan via TKO, round 2, 0:50.