KSW 92 Preview: Wikłacz v Jojua; Materla and Rutkowski return

Our monthly dose of KSW action comes to us live this Saturday night. Gorzów Wielkopolski is a city in Western Poland between Szczecin and Poznań and is all set to host a big MMA show. KSW 92 goes down in the Arena Gorzów and we will see nine bouts, including one for a KSW international title.

Jakub Wikłacz (14-3-2) looks to make a second defence of his KSW Bantamweight title following a technical draw against Sebastian Przybysz last September. The bleached blonde BJJ whizz ran a marathon after that bout in October with only a month’s preparation, showing the fitness and the tenacity of the man. The 27-year-old Olsztyn native has nine submission wins to his name, showing a particular expertise in guillotines and triangles. The Pole is also a fine striker, and well able to hold his own at the top of the division. He moved his camp to Czerwony Smok in nearby Poznań a few years back and has shown great improvements since. Zuriko Jojua (9-1) was set to be a challenger for the title at Colosseum 2, however injury forced him to pull out. The Georgian has won both his contests under the KSW banner, a nice armbar submission on Shamil Banukayev and an impressive decision over former champion Antun Račić. The 28-year-old trains out of Oktopus Łódź, the home of middleweight champion Paweł Pawlak and welterweight champion Adrian Bartosiński. The Tbilisi man has a strong Caucasus wrestling background, good submissions and a little bit more power in his hands than Wikłacz. It’s hard to predict where this fight will be fought, however it should be fun.

Michał Materla (33-10) is the beating heart of KSW, a legend in every sense of the word. Debuting at KSW 6 back in 2006, it was love at first sight with the Polish fans. The Szczecin man will only be an hour or two from home in Gorzów. The 39-year-old is a blood and thunder warrior who’s been in more wars than Napoleon. Cipao is a black belt in BJJ with thirteen submission wins. The Pole is also a brave striker with thirteen knockout wins. This is where you find out if your cut person is up for the job. Piotr Kuberski (13-1) was the FEN middleweight champion prior to joining KSW, and he made quite the impression on his debut with a knockout win against Bartosz Leśko in November. Qbear obliterated him with more devastating hooks than a fisherman. The 35-year-old is chasing gold in his new home and will be looking to display his fan friendly knockout game for the worldwide audience. Eleven of his wins have come via knockout for the Ankos MMA Poznań man.

Daniel Rutkowski (16-4) is a man rarely seen without a cheeky smile on his face, and he’s one of the great characters of Polish MMA. The Pole is looking to bounce back from a defeat to Patryk Kaczmarczyk last time out.  A former FEN and Babilon featherweight champion, the 35-year-old began life as a Greco Roman wrestler, winning the Polish championship. The Radom man has developed a lovely kickboxing game since. Don’t miss a Rutek fight, particularly when he’s looking to prove himself after a setback. Julio Cesar Neves (36-1) is a Bellator veteran who wins more than someone who’s bought all the tickets to a raffle. Jordan Parsons was the only man to defeat the Brazilian, catching him in an arm triangle choke in the third back in 2015. The 29-year-old is a very well rounded martial artist, with twenty submissions and ten knockout wins on his record.

Kamil Szkaradek (5-0) is following the Robert Ruchała path by moving from his hometown of Nowy Sącz to Kraków in search of MMA glory. The 25-year-old had an extensive amateur career which has prepared him wonderfully for life as a pro. The undefeated Pole has a hat trick of KSW wins and is a very good grappler with a solid striking game. Miljan Zdravkovic (7-0) made quite the impression with his knockout win over Mariusz Joniak last September. The Serbian has done most of his damage on the feet so far, with four knockout wins to his name. Two prospects put their perfect records on the line.

Maciej Jewtuszko (12-5) straps on the gloves for one final time on Saturday night. The 43-year-old was KSW’s first lightweight champion, beating Artur Sowiński with a Brabo choke at KSW 21 in 2012. Irish fans may recognise him from his decision defeat to David Zawada at KSW Dublin. The Szczecin man has only fought once in MMA since, and it’s the first time we’ll see him compete in any code since 2021. This Berserker has a 100% finish rate and he doesn’t care where he does it with a 50/50 split between subs and knockouts. He was also one of the first to represent Poland in the UFC. Marius Žaromskis (23-10) is another one who is made up of legendary atoms. The Lithuanian has competed for Dream, Strikeforce, Cage Rage, Cage Warriors and many more. The 43-year-old is a great kickboxer with knockout power in abundance. Two men who deserve all our respect for what they’ve done for the sport.

Wiktor Zalewski (6-0) is another interesting prospect on the roster. The Płock man always travels with a dedicated and supportive crew, and Saturday will be no different. The 24-year-old is an impressive kickboxer with five knockout wins on his record. He’s vanquished two foes to date in KSW and will be looking to get into the rankings here. Adrian Zieliński (24-12) makes his KSW debut. The 37-year-old is a former FEN featherweight champion and was also a regular on ACB shows. The Olsztyn man is a Muay Thai stylist who throws heavy and does a lot of damage. The Pole is no slouch in the grappling exchanges either.

Tomasz Jakubiec (12-4) returns the promotion after winning two-in-a-row in regional promotions. The Katowice man is a BJJ black belt and he’s been getting rounds in around the country, frequently training with Marcin Held. The 33-year-old has also sparred with Andrzej Grzebek in kickboxing in the lead up, which suits his power striking game in the cage. Wojciech Janusz (13-8) is also back with KSW, winning his sole fight via rear naked choke at KSW 66. The 33-year-old Berserker has most joy in the choke game, however don’t underestimate his striking as he has power on the feet.

Oskar Szczepaniak (5-1) is another young man who’s had an extensive amateur career before an impressive start at the professional level. The 24-year-old has won his last three. The Berserker is a good submission player with a savage choke game. Both his pro wins have come via knockout so he’s no one trick pony. Michał Gniady (2-0) is another from the Czerwony Smok contingent on the card. The 25-year-old prospect is a solid wrestler with heavy hands. Beware of his guillotine choke when going for a takedown.

David Hošek (10-5-1) is an Oktagon veteran making his second KSW appearance, and is looking for his first win. The 30-year-old is a good boxer with seven knockouts on his résumé. Damian Mieczkowski (2-0) is another Berserker, however he is based out of the Kołobrzeg club, and also occasionally trains at Ankos MMA.. The young Pole is a professional soldier who won the 2022 Polish Army Championships in MMA. He is decent on the feet and is a good wrestler.

KSW 92 is live from 6pm Irish time on Saturday and access can be purchased at KSWTV.com or on the ViaPlay subscription service in select countries (including the U.K.).

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.

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