KSW 57 Preview

Top European promotion KSW closes out the year with a stacked fight card this Saturday. KSW 57 will take place in Studio Klubu Wytwórnia in Łódź, Poland.

The KSW Heavyweight Championship title is on the line in the main event. England’s Phil De Fries (18-6) returns to defend his crown against former champ, Poland’s Michał Kita (20-11-1). Kita has defied all the odds in getting back in title contention, reeling back the years with 2 first round knockouts in a row. De Fries is a massive step up in opposition though. The Sunderland man is on a 6 fight win streak (4 of which came under the KSW banner). It would be a massive upset if Kita were to win. De Fries will be a big submission threat to Kita in particular.

In the co-main event, a new KSW Lightweight champion will be crowned. This title was vacated when Mateusz Gamrot joined the UFC. Marian Ziółkowski (21-8-1) was Gamrot’s final KSW opponent, losing via decision. He gets another crack at the gold against Roman Szymański (13-5), a man who has fought for the KSW interim Featherweight strap against Salahdine Parnasse. Szymański has won both his fights since moving up to Lightweight, including a great finish over Filip “Nitro” Pejić. Ziółkowski has notable wins over Gracjan Szadziński and Grzegorz Szulakowski. This fight is an even affair. Both men are very well rounded and it’s set up for a close 5 round contest.

A pair of legends meet in the lightweight division. “The Tasmanian Devil” Borys Mańkowski (21-8-1) meets Artur “Kornik” Sowiński (21-11). Both have never been afraid of taking on all comers in their storied careers. Mańkowski has found a new lease of life down at lightweight. He lost a close decision in a war against Norman Parke and then went on to win his next two against Montenegrin legend Vaso Bakočević and “The Polish Zombie” Marcin Wrzosek. Sowiński has won his last 2 on the bounce with highlight reel finishes. Both men have looked rejuvenated as of late and this should be a fantastic fight. The winner will have a great case to face the winner of the co-main title fight.

Antun Račić (24-8-1) makes his first defence of the KSW Bantamweight Championship against Brazil’s Bruno Santos (9-1). Račić has won all 5 of his KSW fights to date, including 2 extremely close split decision wins against Team Fantom Dublin’s Paweł Polityło. Bruno Santos comes into this fight on a 4 fight win streak. When he’s won it within the distance, it’s been by rear naked choke. Račić has a huge experience advantage over Santos, having had over 3 times as many pro fights as the Brazilian. This is another one where the bookmakers will expect the defending champion to defend comfortably.

Undefeated Cezary Kęsik (12-0) returns to KSW to face debutant Abusupiyan Magomedov (23-4-1). Kęsik is a classy striker with finishing power who can also mix it up on the deck. Magomedov is an all-rounder who has won 10 of his last 12 contests and is another from the stacked UFD Gym Düsseldorf. He has previously fought in the PFL, coming runner up in the 2018 final to Louis Taylor. This is a great step up in opposition for Kęsik. A win for the Radom man would put him right into the title conversation for Mamed Khalidov’s belt.

Polish legend Tomasz Drwal (22-5-1) makes his second appearance in 2020 after 5 years away from MMA. He takes on Czech Republic’s Patrik Kincl (22-9). Drwal was one of the most well known Poles to make a UFC run, going 3-3 in the promotion in 2009/10. He rolled back the years with a knockout win against Łukasz Bieńkowski in July. Kincl is making his first KSW appearance, having been a mainstay in XFN and ACB. Both men have been in the game long enough to be comfortable wherever the fight takes place. Drwal has proven that he still has the power and Kincl isn’t afraid to stand and bang.

Tylko Jeden runner up Marcin Krakowiak (9-3) makes his KSW debut against Kacper Koziorzębski (7-2). Krakowiak will be looking to use his kicking game to set up openings in the striking exchanges and he’s also a threat on the takedown with his sharp guillotine game. Koziorzębski, who is on a 5 fight win streak, will look to wear on Krakowiak to take away some power and speed.

Albert Odzimkowski (11-4) takes on newcomer Christian Eckerlin (12-5) to open the card. Odzimkowski is looking to bounce back after a loss in his KSW debut. He’s a very popular fighter in Poland due to his exciting run in FEN. He mixes his striking and grappling well. Eckerlin carries a lot of power so we should get a good battle in the early goings. This one has all the potential of an early finish either way.

KSW 57 is live on Saturday only on PPV from 7pm Irish time at KSWTV.com.

Seán Denny is a Dublin man who writes mostly on the European scene, with a keen interest in the Irish, UK and Polish scenes in particular. Follow me on Twitter at @DennyRants.