Take a dive into the new series, “Inside the KSW Vault.” Many amazing fighters have spent years perfecting their craft and showcasing their skills on the premier stage for European MMA, KSW. Follow along as we take a look at the many fighters like Jan Blachowicz and events, past and present, which have contributed to making KSW what it is today. Check out the previous entry of Karolina Kowalkiewicz here.
Jan Blachowicz is on quite the run currently in the UFC light heavyweight division. After entering the organization with a 2-4 record, Blachowicz has turned it around and won his last four in a row. Three of those four bouts have earned Blachowicz an “of the night” bonus. Prior to his run in the UFC, Blachowicz was an essential piece in the popularity and legitimacy of KSW, earning a record of 16-2 and a light heavyweight title reign.
An Original KSW Star
Blachowicz was a participant in one of the first tournaments which took place on one night at KSW: Elimination. The September 15, 2007 event consisted of ten bouts with Blachowicz fighting in three of those bouts en route to winning the tournament. In the first round, Blachowicz defeated Sebastian Olchawa by decision. He progressed in the tournament to knockout Pawel Gasinski in the semi-finals then Daniel Dowda in the finals. Prior to the tournament, Blachowicz had a professional MMA record of 1-0. This was just the start of Blachowicz’s impressive tournament history run.
KSW IX: Powrot Mistrzow
After a tough loss to Andre Fyeet at KSW 8, less than two months after his successful one-night tournament run, Blachowicz entered the KSW IX one-night tournament. The May 9, 2008, one-night event yet again saw Blachowicz compete in three of the night’s ten bouts. As opposed to his first tournament run with one decision and two knockouts, he completed this run with a decision and two submission wins to capture his second KSW tournament crown. Blachowicz continued 2008 with two more victories with submissions over Christian M’Pumbu and Maro Perak at KSW Extra and KSW 10 respectively.
Blachowicz continued to build his name and surely gain the attention of organizations worldwide with his third tournament victory between KSW 13 and KSW 14. The quarterfinals and semi-finals took place on May 2010 at KSW 13: Kumate while the finals took place September 24, 2010, at KSW 14: Judgment Day. He opened up the tournament with a brutal left leg head kick/right hook knockout combination of Julio Brutus. After submitting Wojciech Orlowski with a first round submission on the same night, Blachowicz locked his spot in the light heavyweight tournament finals set for KSW 14.
The Finals at KSW 14
The finals took place four months later in September 2010. Blachowicz was matched up with the Spaniard, Daniel Tabera. Prior to the KSW 13 tournament, Tabera had only competed once in KSW at KSW Extra 1 against Mamed Khalidov. Their matchup went to a draw. Late into the second round, Blachowicz finished Tabera by way of knockout to earn his third tournament championship. This would lead to the long awaited title shot at KSW 15: Contemporary Gladiators.
First Time Not the Charm
In March 2011 Blachowicz finally earned his long-awaited title shot. The light heavyweight crown was currently vacant after Khalidov vacated the title to move down to middleweight. Blachowicz’s opponent for the vacated title was the Pride FC and UFC veteran Sokoudjou. During the first two rounds, Sokoudjou controlled the bout delivering devastating leg kicks. Blachowicz was unable to answer the bell to start the third round due to a leg injury from the kicks. Though he did not claim gold this go-around, Blachowicz took a bout two months later in May 2011 against Toni Valtonen at KSW 16: Khalidov vs. Lindland. He was able to get another check in the win column and set up a re-match with Sokoudjou.
But the Second Time…
In November 2011, Blachowicz got another shot at the coveted championship at the appropriately titled KSW 17: Revenge. The star studded lineup featured Blachowicz getting one more shot at the only man to beat in in KSW, Sokoudjou. Sokoudjou took on two fights between the Blachowicz’s bouts, splitting the record 1-1. Blachowicz controlled the matchup earning the light heavyweight title by unanimous decision.
Title Defenses and Departure
The first title defense for Blachowicz came at KSW 20 in September 2012. Blachowicz’s opponent came in the form of UFC veteran Houston Alexander. Blachowicz continued his domination of KSW earning a unanimous decision victory, successfully defending his title. Blachowicz took on one more challenger in the form of Goran Reljic at KSW 22. Reljic faced the same fate as Alexander, losing to the champion by unanimous decision. Prior to the loss, Reljic had only lost in the UFC. With the win, Blachowicz decided it was time to take his skills to the UFC, vacating the KSW light heavyweight title. This closed one chapter in Blachowicz’s career but he is currently writing an amazing chapter riding his four fight win streak.
Continue to follow the “Inside the KSW Vault” series here only on MMASUCKA. KSW has contributed greatly to the world of MMA and this series aims to highlight those fighters and monumental events.
Embed from Getty Images