Saturday night was the night for wild finishes. In the UFC Joaquin Buckley made himself famous with a spinning head kick KO and in Bellator Yves Landu showed off with a flying knee finish followed by an outstanding celebration routine. Over in Poland there was another highlight reel finish, one that lead to a local legend reclaiming his throne.
Mamed Khalidov (35-7-2) was KSW’s crown jewel throughout much of that promotion’s history. The Checen born fighter joined the Polish outfit back in 2007, getting a win over Alexander Stefanovic in his debut at KSW 7.
After that fight he went on a 10 year undefeated run in KSW (losing just once overall—to Jorge Santiago at Sengoku 12 in 2010), racking up 23 wins in all competitions. In the KSW cage ‘Cannibal’ bested well known fighters such as Luke Barnatt, Melvin Manhoef, Kendall Grove and James Irvin and lifted the KSW middleweight and light heavyweight titles.
His reign of dominance in the promotion screeched to a halt thanks to a triangle choke by Tomasz Narkun in 2018. He lost to Narkun in the rematch, by decision and then lost to UFC vet Scott Askham, by decision a year later.
With a previously unthinkable three losses in a row on his record the 40-year-old Khalidov headed into KSW 55 with a chance to get revenge on Ashkam and reclaim the middleweight title (which the Brit took off Michal Materla in 2019).
The highly anticipated rematch lasted just 36 seconds. And it was Khalidov who proved victorious. The elder statesman showed incredible speed, athleticism and guile in launching at his younger opponent with a flurry that ended in a switch kick that landed flush on Askham’s jaw. Ashkam looked out on his way to the ground, but Khalidov followed and threw a couple of punches before the referee could call it off and signal that Khalidov was once again a KSW champion, much to the delight of a large mostly masked crowd.
The co-main event gave us Khalidov’s likely next challenger. There former champion Michal Materla survived an early scare versus Aleksander Ilic to secure a second round stoppage via ground and pound.
Also on the card Olympic freestyle wrestling medalist Damian Janikowski earned his 5th MMA victory, with a split decision over Andreas Gustafsson, and former UFC fighter Damian Stasiak tapped Patryk Surdyn with an arm triangle.
KSW Middleweight Title: Mamed Khalidov def. Scott Askham via KO (headkick & punches), round 1, 0:36.
Middleweight: Michal Materla def. Aleksandar Ilic via TKO (ground & pound), round 2, 1:34.
Middleweight: Damian Janikowski def. Andreas Gustafsson via split decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29).
Welterweight: Tomasz Romanowski def. Ion Surdu via unanimous (30-27, 29-28 x 2).
Bantamweight: Damian Stasiak def. Patryk Surdyn via submission (arm triangle), round 2, 4:19.
Catchweight (209 lbs): Przemyslaw Mysiala def. Stjepan Bekavac via TKO (ground & pound), round 2, 4:04.
Welterweight: Krystian Kaszubowski def. Jakub Kamieniarz via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 30-24).
Strawweight: Karolina Wojcik def. Sylwia Juskiewicz via unaimous decision (29-28 x 3).