With a drastically reduced MMA schedule over the next few months expected, Bloody Elbow’s European MMA writer, Scott Lagdon, is diving down into the archives to highlight some of the wildest, weirdest and most fun fights from the continent that MMA fans may have missed out on. Whether it’s looking at the early careers of fighters who would go on to become international stars, or some hidden fight of the year candidates BE will have fans covered!
With a wealth of long-running promotions across Europe regularly putting on highly entertaining contests over the years, there’s tons to choose from. So, let us know if there’s anything that deserves a little extra attention.
Fight (with records at the time): (c) Roberto Soldic (15-3) v Krystian Kaszubowski (7-0) - Welterweight Title
Event: KSW 49 in Gdansk, Poland
Date: May 18th 2019
Roberto Soldic had quickly become one of the fastest rising prospects on the continent and had just reclaimed the KSW welterweight title from Dricus Du Plessis - the man who originally took the belt from Soldic. Known for his heavy hands, the Croatian had finished 13 fights due to strikes at that point in his career and wanted to be the first to hand Kaszubowski a loss in the professional ranks. Kaszubowski earned a title shot by going 2-0 in KSW, with two first-round knockout victories over Christopher Henze and Michal Michalski.
A left leg kick was thrown by Soldic at the start of the bout but Kaszubowski fired back immediately with a two-punch combination. The undefeated challenger landed a leg kick of his own before Soldic attempted a left hand. After that, Kaszubowski threw a right and Soldic returned with his own left. The ending sequence came when Kaszubowski uncorked an overhand right moving in but Soldic countered him with a left. That punch sent the Pole crashing to the canvas and the referee waved off the contest. Soldic retained his title as well as chalking up his forth win in KSW, while Kaszubowski tasted defeat for the first time.
“Going into the bout, I knew he was an undefeated opponent who was very confident,” discussed Soldic. “Also, I was aware that he was very physically strong. I remember that Kaszubowski was moving forward aggressively and I caught him with my left hook. That was when the fight was over but even though it was a quick victory, I learnt some important things from the contest.”
After KSW 49, Roberto Soldic returned at the promotion’s next show in September of last year but his title wasn’t on the line. He was originally booked to defend the belt against Patrik Kincl but the challenger had to withdraw due to an injury. Michal Pietrzak stepped up on short notice to face Soldic at a catchweight of 176lbs, so the belt wasn’t up for grabs. Soldic was victorious by unanimous decision and was then set to defend his title against MMA veteran, Marius Zaromskis, at KSW 53 in March. However, the show was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Kaszubowski came back about six months after suffering his first defeat to beat Ivica Truscek by split decision at KSW 51.