KSW 48 was an action-packed card with only one fight going to a decision. Of all eight bouts, it was the one fight where most predicted a first-round knockout. An interim champion was crowned and a 14-year-old grudge was put to rest. No one else brings you the action like KSW! KSW 49 is already right around the corner set for Saturday, May 18. It’s not that unusual to get three KSW cards in consecutive months, but the talent pool is getting so deep in KSW, the extra shows are now needed.
Three Prelim Bouts
KSW 48 hosted three prelim bouts. These bouts were able to be seen on KSWTV but not on the DAZN USA app. As far as “cage time” goes, viewers on DAZN did not miss much as all three bouts ended by first round TKO. In the first bout of the night, Sebastian Przybysz knocked out Bogdan Babu with one minute left in the first round with a devastating right uppercut. It wasn’t a perfect punch, but the upward motion and power behind it was enough to drop Babu. Przybysz swarmed Babu, ending the bout quickly thereafter.
In the second bout of the evening, highlty touted KSW Russian prospect, Shamil Musaev, ended the night of Hubert Szymajda via ground and pound in the Salaverry position. The Salaverry is a crucifix-style position from side control named after former UFC fighter, Ivan Salaverry. Musaev remains undefeated and a highly interesting prospect to keep an eye on. In the third battle of the night, Cezary Kesik remained undefeated via first-round TKO against Jakub Kamieniarz. Kesik mounted Jakub early in the bout and dropped heavy elbows leading to the end of the contest.
KSW 48 Main Card Bouts
Last Minute Replacement and Polish Striker Put on a Show
The first bout of the main card and first bout of the DAZN USA presentation showcased Polish star Michal Michalski and late card addition Savo Lazic. The main question coming into the bout was the stamina of Lazic, being a late notice replacement. Right out of the gate, Lazic floored Michalski with a heavy right hand about 17 seconds into the round. Michalski was out on his feet and took the best of Lazic’s 20-second onslaught. Even after breaking off the cage from a lengthy tie-up, Michalski still looked to be recovering from the killer shots.
The two exchanged strikes for a few minutes with Lazic looking to be the better of the two. The shot early in the round did even more damage than it appeared. However, with 90 seconds left, Michalski got the back of Lazic and drilled in several shots. The tables appeared to have flipped with Lazic looking to be the fighter out on his feet. The first round ends as being one of the most action-packed rounds in KSW in quite some time.
Both fighters looked to have recovered well from their first round beatings with nice, solid strikes to start the round. These two were fighting at an amazing pace. 90 seconds into the second round, it looked Lazic was finding his strikes again, nailing the body. How quickly things can turn though, after breaking from the cage Michalski drilled Lazic with a short right handed uppercut. That one shot ended the bout. Michalski defeated Lazic via Round 2 KO
Battle of the Filip’s Did Not Disappoint
Next up was the battle of the Filips, as the Croatian Filip Pejic took on Poland’s Filip Wolanski. Both fighters were very conscious of the other’s striking ability, throwing only a few shots early in the round. About half way through the round, both fighters opened up a bit with Pejic attempting a takedown to no success. Watching Pejic’s strikes, you can tell he has boxing skill, and heavy hands. As it sometimes goes with two dangerous strikers, the first round was a bit slow paced with neither fighter really fell for the other’s setup.
The second round started off slowly once again, but each fighter opened up a bit more, taking bigger striking risks. Pejic threw a spinning back kick that started off a slew of strikes, ultimately ending with Pejic flooring Wolanski with a big right head kick that Wolanski walked into. He quickly pounced on top and rained down shots to end the bout. Pejic defeated Wolanski via Round 2 KO.
Poland’s “Terminator” and the “Golden Boy” Go the Distance
Surprisingly the only fight to go the distance is the bout with two of the most dangerous strikers in all of KSW. The first two minutes of the bout were very much a feeling out process between the heavy-handed Polish striker Gracjan Szadzinski and Marian Ziolkowski, with both fighters looking for their range. Marian landed a nice jab here and there while Gracjan landed a few leg kicks about 90 seconds or so into the bout. Marian livened up a bit with a jumping front kick but it didn’t do much damage.
Gracjan was controlling the center of the cage but took a huge right hand from Marian that floored him. He immediately pounced but Gracjan was able to keep Marian held close enough to regain his composure. With about one minute left, Marian was able to slip some huge elbows in through the guard.
Gracjan seemed aware Marian took the first round and came out a bit more open than in the first round, looking for that home-run shot. About 90 seconds into the round, Marian landed a jab opening a cut on Gracjan’s face. Marian did a great job staying mobile and away from the power strike of Gracjan. Marian’s jabs were on point, which doesn’t hurt against a dangerous striker. With about 20 seconds left in the round, Marian started to circle the wrong way into the power of Gracjan and missed a few shots which could have put any man out.
Marian really opened up to start the third round with combos to put the icing on the cake should the bout go to a decision. Gracjan’s only game plan at this point appeared to hit the walk-off homerun shot. Marian caught Gracjan off-guard and landed a beautiful takedown to change the pace of the action which was on the feet for so long. With only two minutes left in the round, Marian continued his top control dropping elbows here and there making it uncomfortable for Gracjan on the bottom. He was able to continue his top control and seal up his dominant three round performance over Gracjan. Ziolkowski defeated Szadzinski via unanimous decison.
A Grudge Match 14 Years in the Making: Co-Main Event
KSW 1 winner Lukasz Jurkowski, had retired from the cage to become the Polish KSW announcer but returned to this cage to take on Stjepan Bekavac to exact revenge on a loss he suffered in December 2005 to Bekavac on the Croatian MMA scene. Through the first minute, both fighters obviously respected the other’s abilities, not even attempting to find their range. Jurkowski was the first to open up with a few high kicks. Bekavac attempted to throw a left head kick and crumbled to the ground with an apparent injury. The referee rushed in to call the bout. Jurkowski got his win, but not in the fashion this fighter would want it. Jurkowski defeated Bekavac via Round 1 TKO (injury.)
Interim Featherweight Gold on the Line: Main Event
With double champion Mateusz Gamrot set to defend his lightweight title first, KSW decided an interim title was needed to keep the featherweight division moving along until Gamrot is ready to move down and defend. 21 year old French Phenom, Salahdine Parnasse, earned his spot with three decision KSW victories over three former champions. His opponent also with his eye on gold was the 25 year old Polish up and comer, Roman Szymanski. Parnasse instantly took the center of the cage with both fighters spending the first minute aggressively figuring their distance. Parnasse also mixed it up using that high left head kick. About two minutes in, Roman rushed in a bit careless and ate a huge uppercut by Parnasse. It didn’t floor him but it was enough to earn the respect that Parnasse can wield. Parnasse’s counter-striking was on-point, landing every time Roman was willing to swing.
Roman came out very aggressive with his strikes to start the round. He did get a bit overzealous and had a takedown stuffed. On the come-up, Parnasse had an anaconda in but Roman was eventually able to break free. The bad part for Roman was after breaking free he ended up in the turtle position on the receiving end of several rights from Parnasse. Parnasse’s ground shots were well-time and not performed in a manner that would burn out his arms. Just as space was created and Roman attempted to get up, Parnasse pushed him right back to the mat and took the top control. Parnasse got to his feet and jumped back into Roman’s guard multiple times very quickly. On the last attempt, Parnasse rained down heavy shots which led the referee to end the bout. Parnasse defeated Szymanski via Round 2 TKO.