KSW 62 Preview

KSW returns to Warsaw this Saturday night. KSW 62 will take place in a studio setting in the Polish capital.

Szymon Kołecki (9-1) is back in action for the first time since January. He will take on Akop Szostak (4-3). Kołecki was a gold medal winner in weightlifting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He has a 3-0 record in KSW with victories over Martin Zawada, Damian Janikowski and Mariusz Pudzianowski. He will go into this fight as a favourite. Szostak was a Polish champion bodybuilder who switched to MMA in 2015. He was recently re-signed to KSW following a win at the EFM Show in April. It’s hard to see a path to victory in this matchup for him. Kołecki will have the strength advantage and is better on the feet and in grappling. If Szostak is to have any chance, it will be through offensive wrestling.

Andrzej Grzebyk (17-4) returns from an injury in the co-main event against Lithuanian legend Marius Žaromskis (23-9). This is a rematch from KSW 56 in November. Grzebyk broke his leg after a kick and the fight was stopped when he was unable to stand. He did continue for a few minutes after the break and showed great heart in trying to finish the fight from his back. He has all the potential to be a breakout star for KSW. His charisma and exciting fighting style make him a fan favourite. Žaromskis is a true veteran, having debuted in 2000 and has fought for promotions such as Cage Warriors, Dream, Cage Rage, Strikeforce and Bellator. This fight should play out on the feet. Both men are great kickboxers who hunt for finishes. Barring another freak accident, this should be exciting while it lasts.

Talking about excitement, Michał Michalski (9-4) vs. Adrian Bartosiński (10-0) is an absolute barn burner. Michalski has been a finishing machine in his last three bouts, winning by TKO within 8 minutes in each of them. He has 4 losses on his record, they are however to very good opposition. Bartosiński is possibly even a bigger killer, winning his last 8 within the distance. He was a finalist in the KSW’s TUF style Tylko Jeden show, but had to pull out due to injury. Both men are coming to thump lumps out of each other and the only guaranteed winner is the fans. Do not miss this one.

Poland’s Tomasz Sarara (debut) is a multiple time Polish kickboxing champion. He has trained under the tutelage of legend Ernesto Hoost. His opponent is a former foe Vladimir Tok (0-1). The Russian beat Sarara in the semi final of the Taftnet Cup in 2012 via decision. Tok was unsuccessful in his MMA debut back in 2009, however much has changed since then. Logically, this is going to be a cage kickboxing match. It will be very interesting to see if either man uses the other elements of martial arts to get ahead in this one.

We have a battle of fan favourites between Artur “Kornik” Sowiński (21-12) and Sebastian Rajewski (10-6). Kornik is from the Silesian Cage Club in Katowice and has shown some flashes of standup brilliance in recent fights. He has added that on top of his solid grappling game. Never one to turn down a challenge, his record is littered with big European names, including Ireland’s Conor McGregor, Artem Lobov and Norman Parke. Rajewski is a classy technical kickboxer. If you stand with him for too long, he’ll unleash a string of combinations from every angle. He’s a master of distance control. Sowiński’s most likely path to victory is either an early knockout or through grappling to a decision. Rajewski is going to try and dominate this with his technique.

SBG’s Paweł Polityło (6-2) has his eyes set on new KSW Bantamweight Champion Sebastian Przybysz. The Dublin based Polish Eagle has won two on the bounce and a third may see him get a title shot. Brazil’s Bruno Dos Santos (9-2) is looking to snap the streak and gain his first KSW win. He lost his debut via decision in a title bout with former champ Antun Račić. Polityło is going to try and mix his kickboxing and his grappling, particularly against the fence. He is very tough and durable with cardio for days. Brazil’s Santos is predominantly a BJJ player who starts fights like a house on fire. He’ll be looking for takedowns and working in his submissions. Polityło will have to be careful in the early goings and not give away too much. The second round could be crucial in this one.

The UFD Gym in Düsseldorf has been a conveyor belt of talent for KSW in recent years. Germany’s Lom-Ali Eskijew (17-5) is the latest to wear the white gloves. He’ll take on fellow debutant Gilber Ordoñez (10-2). This is another fight that will likely take place in the striking realm. Both men are solid kickboxers with stopping power. Eskijew has a significant experience advantage and had a very successful ACA run. Colombia’s Ordoñez is very capable and will be interesting to see how he handles this step up in opposition.

Highly touted prospect Borys Borkowski (3-0) is set for a baptism of fire in his KSW debut against Marcin Krakowiak (10-3). Borkowski never stops moving forward, usually with a pretty low guard. He is a very active striker and has heavy ground and pound if it hits the deck. Krakowiak is an allrounder and can finish wherever the fight goes. He will be looking to use his experience and I can see him use his grappling in this one to tire Borkowski out. If this stays standing, we should have a nice war on our hands.

Bantamweights Lemmy Krušič (20-7) and David Martinik (4-2) will get proceedings underway on the night. Krušič lost a decision on his KSW debut to champion Sebastian Przybysz, while Martinik lost to Paweł Polityło in his. Both men will be keen to get a victory and become players in the division. Slovenia’s Krušič comes from the ATT Zagreb team and is teammates with several KSW fighters such as ex-SBG man Francisco Barrio. Martinik is Czech, however trains just over the Polish border in Cieszyn, the hometown of UFC Champion Jan Błachowicz. He is a Tae Kwon Do black belt. We’re set for an eventful fifteen minutes of non stop action in this one.

KSW 62 is live on PPV from 19:00 Dublin time and access can be bought through KSWTV.com for €10.

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.