KSW 85 Preview; 2 Title Fights, Parnasse v Ruchała, Chuzhigaev v Gnidko

KSW head to southern Poland this Saturday evening with their regular monthly card. KSW 85 goes down in Nowy Sącz in front of a sold out crowd at the Strzelecki Park Amphitheatre. The fight card has nine bouts under KSW MMA rules, including two for international championships.

The main event sees the KSW Featherweight Championship unification bout. Salahdine Parnasse (17-1) is one of Europe’s elite talents in the sport. The Frenchman is the holder of the full title coming in, and he also holds the lightweight strap. The 25-year-old was due to compete against Marian Ziołkowski at Colosseum 2, however a literal last second injury forced it to be pulled. This made Parnasse the youngest Champ-Champ in KSW history. The Atch Academy man has a fantastic striking game with some of the slickest footwork in the business. From there, he can use a world class take down game and get the finish by submission. Robert Ruchała (9-0) is the hometown hero and the man everyone has bought tickets for. The Nowy Sącz man packed this arena out for his win against Damian Stasiak late last year. The 25-year-old is the interim champion, a belt he won against Lom-Ali Eskijew by knockout last March. Ruchała’s striking game is evolving at light speed, however submissions are still his greatest strength. You’ve got to be wary of his armbar.

The KSW Light Heavyweight Championship is up for grabs in the co-main event. Ibragim Chuzhigaev (17-5) was victorious against Tomasz Narkun by decision in January 2022 to pick up the crown, and made his first defence against Ivan Erslan in December. The Turk is a very well rounded fighter and can stand and trade all day long, out-pointing the opposition. He also has good wrestling, which could be seen in his 12-3 ACB run, seven of which he finished within the distance. Bogdan Gnidko (10-0) is the future. When we talk about stopping power and finishing instincts, this is who we’re talking about. The Ukrainian has been preparing a lot in UFD Gym in preparation for this contest. He’s never gone beyond 02:24 in the first and can knock you dead on the feet or submit you early. Nobody has been able to stop this ultra dangerous competitor to date.

Patryk Kaczmarczyk (9-2) is one of the young Polish stars rising up the KSW ranks. The 25-year-old is a former Armia FN champion and has a great wrestling game. Adding his Taekwondo and ever improving kickboxing game into the mix, the Prince of Radom is really coming into his own. He is in the shape of his career coming into this. Danu Tărchilă (6-1) is one of the youngest prospects on the roster at 20-years-old. The Moldovan is known for his calmness despite his age and is skilled for wherever the fight may go. With solid wrestling, good kickboxing and cardio, this man carries a threat from the first second to the last.

Patryk Surdyn (7-3) is a very talented bantamweight who’s not afraid to take on the toughest guys. The 28-year-old was dominating former title contender Werlleson Martins last time out until he caught a knee that ended it. The Łomża man is a very strong grappler and Jiu Jitsu player with good cardio. Kamil Szkaradek (4-0) is another hometown kid, however now trains in Kraków. Usually a decision artist, his undefeated streak has been down to hard work and solid grappling base. From there he tacks on competitive striking. He’s right into the big leagues with this fight.

Kleber Silva (21-11) had a good debut win against Łukasz Sudolski in January. The Brazilian is a knockout machine and boasts fourteen on his record. That’s not to say he’s a slouch on the ground either. Rafal Kijanczuk (12-6) takes this on short notice after Oumar Sy dropping out due to injury. The 30-year-old is the definition of an anyone, anytime type fighter. The Chełm man has one mode, and that’s to try and knock you out within the first few minutes. It’s hard to see this one lasting long.

Michał Pietrzak (10-6-1) is a tough, tough gentleman. The 35-year-old trains out of Czerwony Smok in Poznań with the likes of Mateusz Gamrot and Borys Mankowski. Wrestling is a very strong point in his game, along with a damaging kickboxing style. He will run through walls to get the victory. Marcin Krakowiak (12-4) trains out of Octopus Łódź, the home of KSW champions Paweł Pawlak and Adrian Bartośinski. The 30-year-old is also a good grappler with a delightful guillotine. In the striking game, his high kick is of particular note and will end things instantly if it connects.

Adrianna Kreft (5-0) is another young prospect on the rise. The Tczew native is a very well rounded modern mixed martial artist. With a dangerous and powerful kickboxing game, and some solid submissions to match, she is the one to watch when the title is up for grabs. Yasmin Guimarães (5-1) is a solid decision fighter. The Brazilian is a good BJJ player and is decent on the feet. The 27-year-old is here to show she’s not here to make up the numbers.

Łukasz Rajewski (12-8) is a Polish MMA veteran and brother of title challenger Sebastian Rajewski. The 34-year-old is another training out of Czerwony Smok. Being a Sanda specialist, he’s mostly known for his knockouts and great footwork. Anyone coming out of that gym practises wrestling regularly and we continue to see that side of his game improve. Wilson Varela (9-5) is a solid allrounder. The Marseille man has big power on the feet and if you try to take him down, the 28-year-old has a very nice guillotine to be aware of.

Wiktoria Czyżewska (2-0) is about as ferocious as I’ve seen a female fighter since Joanna Jędrzejczyk when she was laying waste to opponents on her UFC title run. At only 19-years-old, this young lady has everything in front of her. A good chunk of her camp was spent at American Top Team in Florida. There’s no fear in here, she’ll walk you down and overwhelm you with volume and power. So far so good with that gameplan. Sandra Succar (2-0) comes from the GAMMA amateur scene. The Lebanese has good submissions and cardio. She simply cannot let Czyżewska get on her bike in this or it’s over fast.

KSW 85 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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