KSW 61 Preview

KSW returns to the Tricity area for the first time since May 2019 this Saturday night. KSW 61 is live from the Ergo Arena on the Gdańsk/Sopot border. There will be approximately 6000 fans in attendance, the first big crowd since December 2019. The audience will have their temperatures checked on arrival and social distancing measures have been put in place both inside and outside the arena.

Two KSW legends will do battle in the main event of the evening. Mariusz Pudzianowski (14-7) is a man who needs no introduction. He came into KSW as a 5-time World Strongman Champion and since then has grown to be a legitimate mixed martial artist. Łukasz “Juras” Jurkowski (17-11) is the man who started it all for KSW. He won the very first tournament all the way back at KSW 1, notching up 3 victories on the night.  Nowadays he is usually found at the commentary desk, however there’s still some gas left in the tank. With both men edging towards the end of their fighting careers, it will be important to appreciate them while we can. This fight should be a bit of fun.

Salahdine Parnasse (14-1-1) is looking to bounce back from his first career defeat against the always exciting Filip “Nitro” Pejić (15-4-2). This should be an exciting standup battle. France’s Parnasse is an exquisite technical striker that has cardio for days. Pejić is an explosive powerful kick-boxer who can change your night at the flick of a switch. Parnasse has all the talent to outstrike Nitro, however he’ll have to avoid any mistakes as he is unlikely to get away with it. This is not one to miss.

Darko Stošić (14-4) makes his sophomore appearance in the KSW cage. He will take on Polish veteran Michał Kita (20-12-1). Stošić is a heavy hitter who loves to hit power takedowns. He’s not the most active fighter, he is however effective. Once he gets you down, his ground and pound is deadly. Kita is a man who’s seen it all before. If he can keep this standing, he can use his power to end it. Stošić is hittable and Kita is a dangerous striker.

Tomasz “Tommy” Romanowski (13-7) is a man who is on a roll. On paper, his record doesn’t look much. In reality, he’s an exciting all rounder on an eight fight win streak. He is one of the most popular fighters on the roster and had to earn his contract the hard way, winning KSW’s version of TUF – Tylko Jeden. Czech Republic’s Patrik Kincl (23-9) is looking to snap the streak. The former ACB and XFN man had a highlight reel knockout win against Polish MMA legend Tomasz Drwal last time out. He will be looking to do the same on Saturday.

Donovan Desmae (14-6) is making his KSW debut following a split decision loss for the Cage Warriors Lightweight title in his last contest. He will be out of the frying pan and into the fire against recent KSW title challenger Roman Szymański (13-6). A win for Desmae puts him right in the mix for Marian Ziółkowski’s belt. This is a very evenly matched fight with both men good on the feet and capable on the ground. This will be all about hitting harder and hitting quicker.

Karolina Owczarz (3-1) had a change of scenery in the lead up to her fight with newcomer Monika Kucinic (1-0). Owczarz has been training at WCA Warsaw since her loss to Justyna Haba in November. She is a boxer by trade and has been steadily improving her wrestling each time. She is very aggressive in the submission game, including from her back. Slovenia’s Kucinic is a Muay Thai fighter. She won via unanimous decision on her debut in Brave FC.

Ivan Erslan (9-1) is back in action following his defeat to Tomasz Narkun back in November. The Croatian will face off against “The Polish Bear” Przemysław Mysiala (24-10-1). Erslan is a finisher and has concrete in his hands. Mysiala is an accomplished Jiu Jitsu player who is equally dangerous on the feet. Blink and you may miss it.

UFC Veteran Damian Stasiak (12-7) moves up to featherweight in this one. He will welcome the all-action Andrey Lezhnev (19-9) to the KSW cage. Stasiak is an expert in karate and BJJ. He is tricky in all areas of the game and he usually doesn’t need the scorecards when he’s on form. Lezhnev is very durable and will keep walking forward until the death. He will be looking to make this a dogfight, enforcing his crisp boxing game.

Jakub Kamieniarz (9-7) and Adam Niedźwiedź (7-4) will open the card. Both men are looking for their first win under the KSW banner. We could be in for a treat if this one hits the ground. Kamieniarz has a knack for leg locks and guillotines. Niedźwiedź is highly proficient in arm triangle chokes. If it stays standing, Kamieniarz has a slight edge.

KSW 61 is live on Saturday night from 19:00 Dublin time. You can buy access on KSWTV.com or on FITE TV.

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.