KSW 86 Preview; Wikłacz v Przybysz 4; Fadipe Returns

Our monthly dose of KSW action comes to us this Saturday from Wrocław, the capital of the Silesian region of Poland. The action will go down in the Hala Orbita and we will be treated to nine fights under KSW MMA rules, including one for an international title.

The main event of the evening is a quadrilogy bout for the KSW Bantamweight Title. The reigning, defending champion Jakub Wikłacz (14-3-1) holds the advantage in the tie, winning two of the three contests to date, with it being 1-1 under the KSW banner. The Olsztyn native has been training out of Czerwony Smok in recent years, which has seen a great improvement of his striking. The 26-year-old Pole is known as one of the nation’s greatest submission players and has won nine by that method. His guillotine is lethal and can throw up a mean triangle. Sebastian Przybysz (12-3) has been active since their last confrontation, winning two third round finishes since May. The Mighty Bulls man is a very well rounded fighter with a 75% finishing rate. With eight bonus wins from eleven KSW bouts, the 30-year-old always brings the action. The Pole rips to the body, keeps a high pace and volume, and sinks in submissions quickly. The Gdańsk born, Gdynia trained player has trained at Kill Cliff in Florida in recent times in a bid to upskill his already dangerous bag of tricks. Wikłacz and Przybysz are inevitable and this is becoming an all-time great MMA rivalry.

Speaking of excitement, Michał Michalski (10-5) brings that in spades in our co-main event. The 34-year-old grew up just outside of Wrocław so should have a loud hometown following. Training out of Ankos MMA in Poznań nowadays, he works a lot on his wrestling to add to his karate background. The Pole is a quick starter, has big power, brutally damages opponents with his elbows and is always looking to end it. Dominik Humburger (7-0) puts his undefeated record on the line. The 27-year-old hails from Czechia and is a soldier by trade. The Liberec man is an attritional striker who usually finishes fights in the second or third rounds. The Czech can keep a pace and packs a punch.

Lom-Ali Eskijew (20-7) is an ultra talented fighter from the UFD Gym in Düsseldorf, home of the likes of Roberto Soldić and Antun Račić. The German has a very strong wrestling background, however has fallen a bit in love with his striking. The 31-year-old puts all his limbs to good use, with particularly vicious elbows and some spinning attacks thrown in for good measure. This man is a tough puzzle to solve. Dawid Smiełkowski (10-0) is another putting his perfect record on the line. The 27-year-old has a rare trait so far in his pro career, no matter how bleak it looks for his chances, he always finds a way to win. The Ankos MMA trained man is a very good kickboxer who uses his levels well and punishes to the body and the head with his kicks. Will this be a case of this cat running out of lives?

Artur Szczepaniak (9-2) came up shy in his first KSW title shot against Adrian Bartośinski in April. The Polish born, Genk, Belgium trained athlete is an all-action type of fighter and has a well rounded game. The 26-year-old has five knockout wins and a pair of submissions on his résumé. Danger lurks around every corner in every minute of any fight with this man. Henry Fadipe (14-10-1) is the embodiment of an anytime, anywhere, anyone fighter. Have gumshield, will travel. Don’t get ready, stay ready. The Lagos born welterweight lives in Dublin and trains out of Fantom MMA in the city’s historic Moore Street. Since returning from a forced hiatus, the Dubliner has been a revelation. The 32-year-old has won five of his last six, with the only blemish coming in a razor close decision. Under the tutelage of Ivan Vivat, his calmness in the cage has been combined with good defence and an accurate and powerful striking offence. He is the owner of KSW’s first Peruvian necktie submission victory and is looking for his third promotional win in just ten months.

Kacper Koziorzębski (9-5) is a hometown fighter and should have a sizable backing on fight night. The 28-year-old is a blood and thunder risk taker who loves to finish fights. Whilst having zero knockouts in KSW gloves, the Wrocław man does have power. Sometimes confidence leads him into situations where he can be caught on the counter. Wiktor Zalewski (5-0) is an exciting kickboxer training out of the capital’s WCA gym. The undefeated Masovian throws vicious knees and elbows a plenty and it’s unwise to let him get into clinching positions. He can start quickly and keep a high pace for fifteen minutes.

Damian Piwowarczyk (6-2) celebrated his 26th birthday during the week and will be looking to celebrate victory with a few beers post-fight. The Czerwony Smok man is a great submission player and is very flexible for a man of his height. The Pole’s kickboxing game has been improving at lightspeed and picked up his first promotional knockout last time out. The confidence is returning after stumbling in a couple of fights. Łukasz Sudolski (10-2) is a Contender Series veteran and a former Babilon MMA champion. The Szczecin man trains at the Berserkers gym with the likes of Michał Materla and Tomasz Narkun. The 30-year-old has wicked hands and has six wins via knockout. You don’t get to train in his gym without good BJJ, which nicely supplements his striking game.

Filip Stawowy (10-3) is a big heavyweight who is from Glinno. The 27-year-old is a fast starter and has only won one decision. The Pole swings hard and lands heavy, with eight knockout wins. He got his first submission win in his last bout, however I’d expect him to revert to type here. Viktor Pešta (18-8) makes his long awaited KSW debut here and is a veteran of the UFC and PFL. The Czech is well rounded, however has won his last three by knockout. The 33-year-old is perhaps more comfortable taking it down and going for a rear naked choke.

Mariusz Joniak (11-4) won his KSW debut at Colosseum 2, a fight he took on the day of the fight. The 26-year-old is a good submission player who is a master of the choke. From his eight wins via sub, he’s pulled off a Von Flue and North South, as well as your everyday variety guillotine, arm triangle and rear naked choke. He’s found and durable, and hasn’t been finished since 2017. Miljan Zdravkovic (6-0) is an undefeated newcomer. The Serb is a good kickboxer with a lethal head kick. Like his opponent, durability and cardio is a big strength. His power lasts the duration of the bout and has finished fights in all three rounds. 

Oskar Szczepaniak (4-1) had an extensive amateur career before turning pro with over eighteen fights. The 24-year-old is a good submission player who is adept at back takes and dangerous from bottom. He is decent on the feet as well. Adrian Gralak (5-1) is another WCA Warsaw competitor. Kickboxing is his game, carrying a devastating head kick and powerful punches. The 26-year-old will want to keep this standing. Both men’s losses were to Yann Liasse, so no shame there.

KSW 86 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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