It is almost time! KSW 45 is set to take place on Saturday, October 6, 2018, live from the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England.
The last time KSW took over London was for KSW 32: Road to Wembley on October 21, 2015. This event was highlighted by Tomasz Narkun winning the light heavyweight title from Goran Reljic.
Gold on the Line
The main event will feature a heavyweight showdown between champion Phil De Fries as he defends his title for the first time against challenger Karol Bedorf. The newly crowned welterweight king of KSW, Dricus Du Plessis will defend his gold against Roberto Soldic. The two previously met as KSW 43, where Du Plessis won the championship. This time, the belt will be in the opposite corner as these two square off again. Check out Mike Skytte’s in-depth article of the heavyweight title match here and welterweight title match here.
The Tournament to Replace a Legend
As noted in Mike Skytte’s article here, the legendary Mamed Khalidov vacated his middleweight title. A four-man middleweight tournament was announced to determine who will now wear the crown at middleweight. The four men participating are Damian Janikowski, Michal Materla, Scott Askham, and Marcin Wojcik. Janikowski will face Materla while Askham takes on Wojcik in semifinal bouts on this card.
The Battle of Two Worlds
One of the most interesting matchups on this amazing card will see Pawel “Popek” Rak (3-3) take on Erko Jun (1-0). Do not let their records fool you as the leadup to this matchup could be as wild as anything else you see all year.
Pawel Rak – often simply referred to as “Popek Monster” or “Popek” – is a famous Polish rapper. He has been releasing albums since 2000, even reaching gold with his album “Monster,” peaking at #28 on Polish charts. The rapper competed in MMA three times in 2008 then took a break from action until 2016 where he re-emerged with KSW. “Popek” is 1-2 in the promotion but always puts on a show for the fans with his wild appearance and confident demeanor. He was apart of the record-breaking 58,000 crowd that was in attendance for KSW 39.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have Erko Jun. Jun made his fame in the world of bodybuilding and fitness modeling. After meeting fellow KSW star and former champion, Roberto Soldic, Jun began training in Germany at UFD Gym. He dedicated his life to MMA training as he would stay in Germany all week to train before driving home to Belgium on the weekends. The hard work was shown when he won his debut match by knocking out Tomasz Osweicinski at KSW 44. In what serves as an interesting bit of “MMA Math” regarding Jun heading into this contest, it is worth noting that Osweicinski knocked out “Popek Monster” at KSW 41. Jun’s training grounds, UFD Gym, is world famous and houses a “who’s who” of European MMA fighters. It is similar to training in the United States at a gym like American Top Team or AKA.
The Other Amazing Matchups To Watch
James McSweeney vs. Thiago Silva
Another heavyweight collision will see the Englishman, James McSweeney, take on the Brazilian striker, Thiago Silva. McSweeney also competed on the only other KSW card in London. He won with a first-round submission over Marcin Rozalski at KSW 32. This victory earned McSweeney a title shot at then-champion Karol Bedorf but McSweeney came up short. He would love nothing more than an impressive finish over a hardened veteran to re-establish himself in the heavyweight title picture. Thiago Silva, who signed with the company on September 23, 2018, steps in on two weeks notice to replace the injured Michal Andryszak. The veteran of almost 30 professional fights, has finishes in 16 of his 20 victories. Silva brings a very aggressive, downhill style that will make for an amazing matchup as the former ACB light heavyweight champion steps up to heavyweight for this bout.
Wagner Prado vs. Max Nunes
Light heavyweight knockout artist, Wagner Prado, brings his 13 knockouts back to the KSW cage as he takes on the 29-year old Swedish fighter Max Nunes. After a rough tenure in the UFC, Prado has been on an impressive run. He has won six of his last seven contests, all wins by knockout. Prado has already shown his killer instinct in the KSW cage, knocking out Chris Fields at KSW 44 in June 2018. The Allstars Training Center fighter, Nunes, makes his KSW debut after competing in ACB for his last three bouts. The Swede is no stranger to the finish, as 15 of his 17 victories come by way of finish. This contest gives all the indications that the judges will not be needed.
Fighters Not Yet Mentioned
Polish finisher, Leszek Krakowski, will take on England’s own Alfie Davis. Krakowski has an impressive victory over Andre Winner in his KSW debut at KSW 32. Davis, the 26-year old prospect, makes his KSW debut with bouts under his belt from Bellator, Cage Warriors, and UCMMA. Akop Szostak was set to face John Smith in light heavyweight action. Due to some sort of misunderstandings, the bout has now been canceled.
Make sure to check out the amazing card at www.kswtv.com October 06, 2018. As always, follow MMASUCKA for previews, live updates, and reviews of KSW and all of your favorite organizations.