KSW 79 Preview; De Fries v Duffee 2; Omielańczuk v Kita; Arek Wrzosek returns

KSW will tick another country off the bucket list this Saturday night with an event in the Czech Republic. KSW 79 takes place in the Home Credit Arena in Liberec, a city about forty-five minutes from the Polish border and just over an hour from the capital Prague. There are nine fights on deck, including one for a KSW international title. 

The main event features the most dominant heavyweight in KSW history. Phil De Fries (22-6) makes the eight defence of the title he won at KSW 43 back in 2018. The Englishman is the current owner of the longest winning streak in the promotion with eight victories. Sunderland’s finest is a UFC veteran and he has met his opponent before. Todd Duffee (9-3) won the first matchup at UFC 155 in 2012 via punches. De Fries has been a different man since then. After overcoming some mental health issues, he’s really found his feet in his KSW run. His grappling has been dominant and he’s been able to use submissions and ground and pound to finish fights regularly. Duffee hasn’t shown a lot of activity in recent times, with his last appearance being a no contest in 2019, and before that an iconic rock ‘em sock ‘em battle with Frank Mir in 2015. The 37-year-old American was very much a live by the sword, die by the sword kind of fighter at his peak. The stand-up is his best chance for success here and he’ll likely need to land early before the champion can get his grappling game started. Will it be revenge or the end of a dynasty?

Shocker MMA Solutions owner and manager Artur Ostaszewski will see two heavyweights from his stable do battle in the co-main event. In the red corner, Daniel Omielańczuk (26-13-1) looks to continue to build towards a title shot following a split decision win against Michal Martínek at KSW 75. The WCA Fight Team man is a 4-5 UFC veteran with solid wrestling, however he prefers to stand and trade power punches with opponents. Michał Kita (18-8) is a 42-year-old who has defied the hands of time. “Masakra”‘s plan will be to walk out to a Metallica tune and try to counter with some big bombs of his own. Both men are on the far side of forty, however Omielańczuk’s durability has been better in recent times. Kita has four stoppage losses from five, all to top opposition. Power is the last thing to go and both men still have it in abundance.

Continuing the heavyweight theme, Arkadiusz Wrzosek (1-0) is back for his sophomore appearance. The Warsaw man is a world class kickboxer who has competed for the Glory title and holds a win over Badr Hari. Arek brings a large and passionate crowd wherever he fights, however last time was a memorable atmosphere as he beat Tomasz Sarara in the Torwar in Warsaw at KSW 73. The 30-year-old will want to keep this on the feet where he is absolutely lethal with his striking as his ground game doesn’t hold a candle to it. His opponent is a familiar foe from their kickboxing days. Tomáš Možný (1-1) won a unanimous decision bout between the two in 2015. The Slovakian is a good, technical kickboxer who maybe lacks a little bit of power. This will be 4oz gloves though. The loss on his record is way back in 2011 and he was victorious in his return to the code in 2022. Another fight where revenge is on the line.

Dominik Humburger (5-0) is leading the local charge in the event after unfortunate injuries to Michal Martínek and Viktor Pešta knocked them off the card. The Czech is from Liberec and dropped the first puck at an ice hockey game in the arena at the weekend. The Ankos MMA man has been unstoppable to date, with all wins coming via stoppage. The 27-year-old makes you pick your poison, go out on your feet or take you down and smash you with ground and pound. He stepped in on late notice on his KSW debut and his opponent will do the same on Saturday night. Jorge Bueno (8-1) hails from Rio and has appeared in some top European promotions recently. The Brazilian won via first round rear naked choke at Oktagon 35 against Slovakian prospect Marek Mazuch. He followed that up with a win at Superior Challenge in Sweden in December, a first round knockout, his preferred method of victory. This is a man who never shies away from a fight.

Brian Hooi (18-9) is one of the most exciting fighters on the roster. The Dutchman is a highlight reel knockout artist with a submission threat. The Ruthless Fight Company man is a risk taker who puts it all on the line for the fans. He’s been on either side of a sensational knockout in his 1-1 KSW career to date. The 28-year-old dreams of bringing the promotion to Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena and a win here will help smooth negotiations. Jivko Stoimenov (13-5) is a natural finisher. On the feet, the Bulgarian hits with massive power. If you find yourself on the mat with him, he’s got a torturous leg lock to watch out for. Watch for him to set up for the high head kick. One weakness he has is being caught on the counter and all his losses have been finishes. This is one of the most enticing bouts on the card.

Andreas Berg Gustafsson (7-1) returns to the promotion following defeat to Damian Janikowski at KSW 55. The Swede is an IMMAF veteran and has a very solid Greco Roman wrestling game. Better known as “Bane”, he uses his body to crush you in grappling exchanges and has a potent shoulder lock that he’s perfected. The 32-year-old has wins in Cage Warriors, Fight Club Rush and Brave CF. He’s looking to add a gold KSW trophy to his collection. David Hošek (8-3-1) is from Prague so should have the crowd support. The Czech is 5-1 in pro boxing and has six knockout victories in MMA. He went 5-2-1 in Oktagon and he’s only been finished once. The 29-year-old holds an impressive win over Polish MMA stallworth Marcin Naruszczka. Will this be a classic wrestler vs striker matchup?

Ramzan Jembiev (3-1) is coming into KSW with a reputation of being a very talented prospect. The Atch Academy man is a training partner of featherweight and interim lightweight champion Salahdine Parnasse. The French scene sees him as their next big thing. The 23-year-old is a lethal knockout artist. Murilo Delfino (3-0) is looking to upset the odds. The Brazilian shoots out of the traps in his fights and has won all his matchups in the first round. The 31-year-old Imbituba man comes to Europe for the first time and will likely try and go for a knockout of his own from the get go. Let’s see if the hype is real.

Petra Částková (6-5) is a pioneer in Czech women’s MMA and she has competed in Bellator. The 41-year-old trains out of the renowned Reinders MMA gym in Prague. She’s gritty and tough with a decently rounded game. Natalia Baczyńska-Krawiec (6-3) is looking for third time lucky after losing her first two KSW fights. The 27-year-old is a competitive striker with a serviceable grappling game. This will likely stay on the feet and both ladies will be eager to get into the win column.

Frederico Komuenha (2-0) will open the show and will be the first to represent Czechia on the night. The knockout artist trains out of the Allstars gym in Sweden. The 30-year-old has finished both his bouts to date. Matyas Viszlay (1-0) is from neighbouring Slovakia and is also a striker with power. The Košice man is dropping down from light heavyweight to middleweight here. Will his power come down with him?

KSW 79 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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