KSW returns to the massive Ergo Arena this weekend, and they’re bringing a card that could best be described as circus up top with substance everywhere else.
Not that this is a bad thing, it’s actually quite the contrary. We get a robust card with great talents that will be showcased before the less conventional attractions at the top. No title fights for this one, nor is there a clear-cut title eliminator bout.
In some ways, it’s a testament to how fun so many of these cards have been. Title fights may not be necessary for every card, but at the very least we get some wild spectacles like this main and co-main event that do more than make up for it. All in all, it’s looking very promising.
The headlining act is comprised of former World’s Strongest Man Marius Pudzianowski (12-5), as he takes on former KSW heavyweight champion Karol Bedorf (14-3). The legendarily reserved strongman has made a perfect home for himself with KSW, and continues to swing hard and heavy shots. Takedown concerns have been mitigated due to Mariusz’ sprawls and shoves to shuck off any attempts, allowing him to reset immediately and brawl. Bedorf has a much more well-rounded game, a sneaky submission game and the power and accuracy to put opponents away.
So yes, this is a tough one to call, even with Bedorf facing a different caliber of opposition.
Co-main honors go to actor Tomasz Oswiecinski and fitness model Erko Jun. Oswiecinski recently defeated Pawel Rak (a.k.a. Popek Monster) in a brutal bout. We can boil this down to two musclebound dudes that are famous in the region and have been training for a while. It’s possible Erko might walk away a little less handsome, but you never know.
The real meat on the card is best exemplified by the bout that precedes that, as former Cage Warriors, BAMMA, Bellator and UFC fighter Paul Redmond (14-6) readies himself for Polish standout Gracjan Szadzinski (7-2). Szadziński is mostly a finisher, and his striking has gotten him a nice two-fight wein streak and the chance to face a solid veteran that continues to improve. Redmond’s been capable of major violence in his performances, commanding a lot of love and respect from the audiences wherever he goes.
One of the more compelling fights of the evening will be between former KSW middleweight champion Michal Materla (25-6) and heavy hitter Martin Zawada (28-14, 1 draw). While this fight is to be contested at a catchweight, it has the potential to steal the show and be a real nail-biter. Materla is coming off a surprising (yet amazing) loss to Scott Askham this past March. Materla had previously made short work of Antoni Chmielewski before brutalizing Rousimar Palhares and Paulo Thiago before that loss. Zawada has had some wars in his career, faltering against some bigger names but a tough out for anyone as he’s coming off two straight wins.
KSW featherweight champion Kleber Koike Erbst (23-4, draw) brings his samurai spirit and brilliant technique in a catchweight bout against another certified finisher in Marian Zlokowski (19-6, 1 draw). Erbst just regained his title after defeating Artur Sowinski in a rematch last December. His steadily improved boxing and lethal BJJ background have made him one of the most complete, exciting and essential fighters to watch in KSW. Ziółkowski is rangy, a tricky striker with brutal body kicks and a slick guard game.
Former UFC fighter Wagner Prado (13-3) has been 5-1 since his UFC release with all of his fights being finishes. He looks to continue his winning ways as he faces another SBG Ireland representative in Chris Fields (a.k.a. “The Housewives’ Choice“, 12-7, 1 draw) in what should also be a battle of attrition. Filip Wolanski (11-2) takes on (Daniel Torres) in what should be a fight with a lot of scrappy scrambles and wild flurries.
Full card is as follows:
Karol Bedorf vs Mariusz Pudzianowski – Heavyweight
Tomasz Oświeciński vs Erko Jun – Heavyweight
Gracjan Szadzinski vs Paul Redmond – Lightweight
Wagner Prado vs Chris Fields – Light heavyweight
Filip Wolański vs Daniel Torres – Featherweight
Dawid Gralka vs Sebastian Przybysz – Bantamweight
Michał Materla vs Martin Zawada – Catchweight (198lbs)
Łukasz Rajewski vs Leo Zulić – Featherweight
Marian Ziółkowski vs Kleber Koike Erbst – Catchweight (150lbs)
The weigh ins are done and over with, and you can check that out here:
Also, be sure to check out the utterly bonkers promo reel for the event (link here):
KSW 44 will be streaming live via their proprietary web player as well as over on FiteTV, starting at 10:00am EST.
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