KSW has had a solid year of action so far, and they’ve laid the groundwork for a massive event this weekend. It’s not your run-of-the-mill regional PPV card, either. While their regular shows are already great, their big themed events really bring back that circus atmosphere in a good way.
Only this time, it’s not the “matchup of oddities” element that makes this special. It’s the Coliseum theme they used in the past combined with a fantastic bunch of matchups. It’s not only about the freakshows, it’s just packed to the gills with some bouts guaranteed to be straight fire with some of their biggest talents. It’s gonna be great.
Khalidov vs Askham 3
Scott Askham (19-5) has had a hell of a run in KSW. He made his promotional debut in 2018 and had a stellar finish over longtime KSW mainstay Michal Materla. in his debut. He then blew the doors off Marcin Wojcik and once again put the stamp on Materla in a rematch for the then-vacant middleweight title. He’s looked like a million bucks in his wins. In 2019, he faced KSW demigod Mamed Khalidov (36-8, 2 draws). How did a vet finding a second wind in his career do against an established legend? Pretty well, actually. Askham took that one by decision to successfully defend his belt.
Problem is, they had an immediate rematch where Mamed tapped back into the power that made him legendary in the first place. Khalidov nailed one of the best finishes of the year and added another phenomenal performance to his highlight reel.
Longtime fans will remember Khalidov as one of the best—if not the best—fighters to never compete in the UFC (at least among fighters not named Fedor Emelianenko). While spending the bulk of his time in KSW, he’s amassed an incredible record and had some of the organizations most bonkers moments. And that’s saying a lot for those familiar with KSW. Khalidov did suffer a loss to Roberto Soldic since that second Askham fight, and bounced back with a mammoth win over none other than heavyweight Mariusz Pudzianowski last year.
This fight isn’t just for a title, it cements Khalidov’s legacy even further with a win. For Askham, it’s another opportunity to get a win against a historically important fixture in the European scene and an underappreciated phenom. Looking at their recent body of work, there’s very little chance this disappoints.
Parnasse coming for that crown (again)
Another title fight is on offer between current champ and certified finisher Marian Ziolkowski (25-8, 1 draw) and featherweight champion Salahdine Parnasse (17-1). Ziolkowski is another of those unheralded talents doing amazing things but not getting much praise on this side of the world. He managed to avenge his previous loss to Roman Szymanski in December of 2020 by making the man’s body shut down, earning the KSW lightweight championship in the process. He followed that up with a vicious submission win over Maciej Kazieczko and a hard-fought decision win over Borys Mankowksi.
Parnasse is cut from much the same cloth. The young French talent has long been heralded as one of the best young talents in all of MMA. His lone loss was against Daniel Torres, a loss he avenged later by decision. Once he got over that hump, he never looked back. Mostly known for his formidable striking, he’s earning submission wins out there, too. And he makes it look relatively easy. It’s another banger, and could be fight of the night.
Pudzian! Pudzian! Pudzian!
Back when he was fighting Tim Sylvia at Moosin (yes, we are very old – shut up), former World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski (17-8) wasn’t taken very seriously by some in the MMA space. After spending some time in American Top Team and training at different places afterwards, he’s put his nose to the grindstone and carved out a great niche in KSW.
He’s got another weird showcase fight here against boxer Artur Szpilka. Szpilka has some MMA experience, but he’s never fought a guy like this in MMA. It’s not the most freakish fight, but it’ll do. And it’ll also most likely deliver.
A third title fight!
After Khalidov lost to Soldic and Soldic signed with ONE Championship, the title remained vacant. That problem gets solved this weekend as Pawel Pawlak (21-4, 1) faces the very talented Tomasz Romanowski (18-8). This should also be pretty good.
The other veterans get some love
Roman Szymanski (17-6) has had some really fun performances, and he’s up against Valeriu Mircea (28-8, 1 draw) in a battle of vets. Michal Materla (32-9) makes the walk yet again to meet Radoslaw Paczuski (5-1)
And yes, the patented KSW trailers are back. They’re still amazing.
KSW 83: Colosseum 2 takes place this Saturday, June 3rd stating at 1:00pm EST for those of us stateside. The event streams live via KSW’s own site and is available for purchase.
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