KSW graces our combat landscape this week, assembling a card with a major emphasis on action. That’s a great thing, and they’re giving us a title fight at the top along with a possible #1 contender fight in the co-main slot.
Patrik Kincl (24-9) is one of the best talents you haven’t seen much of stateside, making waves on the Czech MMA scene and moving up to ACB for a spell. Now he’s making noise for all the right reasons in KSW, especially after his KSW debut which saw him obliterate Tomasz Drwal. That fight was odd and not very pretty, but once Kincl found his footing and got his timing down, it was curtains for Drwal. He followed that up with a TKO over Tomasz Romanowski in June and has the quick turnaround to fight this weekend. His hard hooks inside do major damage, even if he can be a slow starter.
But he’s impressed the brass so much that he’s getting a shot against Croatian champ Roberto “Robocop“ Soldić (18-3). The welterweight champ since 2018, Soldić has been one of the most solidly consistent and exciting champions they’ve had in an organization full of them.
His last fight saw him go up to middleweight against KSW mainstay Michal Materla, which didn’t go well for Materla. Look at that nuclear left hand in action. He defends takedowns well, is strong and athletic in a manner that suits him well for the rigors of MMA, and hits like a diesel truck. Kincl needs to be wary of the early blitzes and be sure to not be the slower starter this time. Soldić also needs to be mindful of the inside game and the odd directions that Kincl throws punches from, especially up close.
The co-main features former bantamweight champion Antun Račić (25-9, 1 draw) attempting to bounce back from losing his title against Sebastian Przybysz. But that means he’s got to outwork Jakub Wikłacz (11-3, 1 draw). Wikłacz is a gritty submission grappler that 7 of his 11 wins have been finishes, and all but one of those finishes were chokes. With Račić having a dogged and determined wrestleboxer approach to fighting, he runs the risk of leaving his neck out there for the reaping. Račić has become a far more comfortable and disciplined striker that doesn’t have to force things to the ground but keeps the wrestling threat in his back pocket. All of that aids his striking game since he keeps his opponent thinking and guessing. The problem is closing distance properly and his height and reach disadvantage, which most opponents have not been able to exploit. Perhaps with a good counter game and proper distance management, Wikłacz can put a dent in that.
Damian Janikowski (6-3) took a little time, but he manage to bust up Jason Radcliffe in his last outing. Now he’s got his newfound confidence due to improved defense along with his high-level wrestling and super-strong striking to beat back Paweł Pawlak (18-4, 1 draw). Pawlak was in the UFC for a spell, going 1-2 before going back to the European scene and improving in all aspects of his game, especially his clinchwork. His nasty foot stomps from the clinch might be something Janikowski hasn’t seen before, but he’s also going to have to contend with the best athlete he’s ever faced and carefully look for opportunities to pick his shots.
Another former UFC fighter is Darko Stosić (15-4), who went 1-3 there before landing in KSW to nail back to back finishes and looking pretty damn good in the process. He’s got a big task ahead of him when he faces Michał Andryszak (22-9). Andryszak submitted Guto Inocente back in January, and packs major power in his hands while possessing a crafty and opportunistic submission game predicated mostly on front chokes. It’s not the usual heavyweight slop — these guys aren’t just good to watch, they should be great to watch against each other.
You can watch the weigh-ins here:
Or the condensed highlights, which are right here:
The criminal vs cop theme for the main event is an odd angle, but your mileage may vary.
Seriously, they’re running with this theme hard:
Only thing missing is some L.A. Noire antics:
Anyway, Pawlak vs Janikowski:
Antun vs Wikłacz:
And Andryszak vs Stošić:
Full card is as follows:
Roberto Soldic (76.8 kg/169 lb) vs. Patrik Kincl (77.1 kg/170 lb) – KSW welterweight title
Damian Janikowski (84.4 kg/186 lb) vs. Pawel Pawlak (84 kg/185 lb) – Middleweight
Michal Andryszak (115 kg/254 lb) vs. Darko Stosic (105.4 kg/232 lb) – Heavyweight
Antun Racic (61.7 kg/136 lb) vs. Jakub Wiklacz (61.7 kg/136 lb) – Bantamweight
Tomasz Romanowski (79.9 kg/176 lb) vs. Aleksandar Rakas (79.5 kg/175 lb) – 80 kg/176 lb Catchweight
Emilia Czerwinska (57.1 kg/126 lb) vs. Weronika Eszer (56.8 kg/125 lb) – Flyweight
Damian Piwowarczyk (93.3 kg/206 lb) vs. Marcin Trzcinski (92.1 kg/203 lb) – Light heavyweight
Sara Luzar Smajic (56.8 kg/125 lb) vs. Aitana Alvarez (56.9 kg/125 lb) – Flyweight
Michal Domin (67.9 kg/150 lb) vs. Szymon Karolczyk (*68.9 kg/152 lb) – 68 kg/150 lb Catchweight
KSW 63: Soldić vs Kincl takes place this Saturday starting at 2:00pm EST for those of us stateside. This event will be available from KSW’s site player as well as on FITE.tv.
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