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KSW 53: Reborn fight card preview

Poland’s ace league is back from hiatus with a local-heavy lineup for this weekend.

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After the world has been forced in doors for its own good, major international events have been sidelined along with everyone else. KSW will finally return to action, with a great action card loaded with some of their most notable talent.

The top of the card was to be a lightweight title bout, but unfortunately the challenger Norman Parke (28-6, 1 draw, 1 no contest). He’ll still be in a rematch against undefeated champion Mateusz Gamrot (15-0, 1 no contest), with whom there’s been a fair amount of animosity. Gamrot managed to win in their first encounter back in 2017 by decision, but an unfortunate eyepoke led to their rematch later that year being a no contest. Gamrot won two straight since their last encounter, submitting Grzegorz Szulakowski at lightweight and nabbing the featherweight belt from Kleber Koike Erbst. Parke still has his Judo in his back pocket, but still relies on his boxing and clinch game. Gamrot matches him with the striking, but is a much more controlling grappler that exerts a fair amount of control

The co-main is a banger between Borys Mankowski (20-8) and Marcin Wrzosek (14-6), with Mankowski dropping from welterweight to lightweight. You may remember Wrzosek (a.k.a. The Polish Zombie) from his run on The Ultimate Fighter, and he’s been a mainstay for KSW since 2016. Mankowski’s had some wild moments in his KSW run, and uses his big frame for control while being a better athlete than most of his opponents.

Wrzosek is a do-or-die fighter that prefers to get into dogfights and can outlast a lot of opposition. Mankowski should know this and is game for a wild bout, so this could end up being a hell of a duel.

Artur Sowinski (20-11) was the former lightweight champ, but he’s still a very dangerous fighter everywhere and a deceptively good submission fighter. His last outing against Vinicius Bohrer had him win with a headkick followed by punches for a sensational finish. And having said that, he’s going to have his hands full against Gracjan Szadziński, whose highlight reel kind of tells his whole story. A wildman with a very violent streak and little concern for his safety, Szadziński impressed in his initial outings with KSW against Maciej Kazeiczko, winning via strikes. After a decision loss to Marian Ziolkowski, he’s going to be looking for blood.

UFC vet Tomasz Drwal (21-5, 1 draw) returns to MMA after five years off to meet “Polish Wanderlei“ Łukasz Bieńkowski (5-3). Drwal has a lot of question marks over him coming into this one, but he was always a smart and capable fighter with a very well-rounded skillset. Bieńkowski is another tenacious come-forward fighter that doesn’t concern himself much with consequences. All in all, this should make for another interesting bout.

The weigh-ins didn’t have the live band this time, but they were still fun. You can watch that here:

Mateusz Gamrot (155) vs. Norman Parke (158.3)*

Borys Mankowski (156) vs. Marcin Wrzosek (155)

Tomasz Drwal (185) vs. Lukasz Bienkowski (185)

Andrzej Grzebyk (170) vs. Tomasz Jakubiec (171)

Roman Szymanski (156) vs. Filip Pejic (155)

Artur Sowinski (155) vs. Gracjan Szadzinski (155)

Kamil Szymuszowski (174) vs. Michal Pietrzak (175)

Sebastian Przybysz (135) vs. Jakub Wiklacz (136)

KSW 53 starts at 2:00pm EST for those of us stateside, and is available for purchase at KSW’s proprietary site, as well as on for the same price.

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