Europe is chock-full of top-tier talent ready for the UFC stage. In this series, we will take a look at many of Europe’s top talents who have yet to have their shot on the big MMA stage. We will see how many of these talents will make it onto the UFC stage in 2022. Four years ago (May 2018) we spoke with the current KSW featherweight champion, Salahdine Parnasse, just after his KSW debut. Now the French sensation is a two-time KSW champion and has nearly wiped out everyone in his division.
Finding The Sport And Journey To KSW
In one of his previous interviews with MMASucka, Parnasse (16-1-1) told us all about how his journey into MMA began. “I started MMA at age 11. It [the MMA gym] was three minutes from my home and I was very interested in combat sports.” At the age of 17, Parnasse took on his first professional MMA bout winning by TKO corner stoppage at 100%Fight in France. Over the next two years, Parnasse tallied a record of 9-0-1.
KSW 41 saw Parnasse take on his KSW debut earning the unanimous decision over Lukasz Rajewski in December 2017. Taking a step up in competition, Parnasse battled former KSW champion, Artur Sowinski, at KSW 43, earning another decision over a dangerous veteran. With quite the trio of victories to begin his KSW career, Parnasse would take out another veteran in the Polish Zombie at KSW 46 in what was deemed a title eliminator. Keeping true to their word, Parnasse battled Roman Szymanski at KSW 48 for the interim featherweight title. Showing his dangerous striking, Parnasse finished the bout by TKO stoppage in the second round to capture the title. Another veteran and champion would be added to the chopping list as Parnasse would defend his title for the first time against Ivan Buchinger at KSW 52, taking the veteran to deep waters and pulling out the decision.
Why We Will See Parnasse In The UFC…
As crazy as this may read to be, taking a loss in his next bout, a title defense at KSW 58 to Daniel Torres in January 2021, may have given us our biggest indicator of the true stardom Parnasse can bring to the UFC stage. Suffering the first-round knockout under the big spotlight did not slow down the former champion. He rebounded five months later with a second-round submission win at KSW 61 in June against yet another tough foe in Filip Pejic. Pejic was a very tricky opponent to attempt a rebound title push against and Parnasse came out of the gate looking for the finish. It was all the KSW brass needed to see to award the former champion another title matchup. At KSW 65 to end 2021, Parnasse took the title from Torres and took him all five rounds, earning the clear decision victory.
Taking a look at the UFC’s featherweight top-15 list, you could even see several enticing matchups off the bat. If a young, championship-calibre talent can enter your organization and put on an amazing show with several of the names on your top-15, there is no reason why we should not see Parnasse enter the UFC, maybe even before some names such as Roberto Soldic.
(Photo courtesy of KSW MMA)