High Fives: Of Injured Strongmen, Knockout Kicks and Double Champions

By Guy Portman Mar 25, 2019
UFC Fight Night 148 and Bellator 218 did not have a monopoly on the mixed martial arts scene during the weekend of March 22-24. Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki on Saturday in Lodz, Poland, played host to a strong card with KSW 47, which was anchored by a heavyweight title fight. Meanwhile, the Legacy Fighting Alliance bantamweight crown as up for grabs at LFA 62 on Friday in Dallas.

SIZE MATTERS … KSW 47 was headlined by a superfight that saw heavyweight champion Philip De Fries defend his strap against lightweight titleholder Tomasz Narkun. In the first round, Britain’s De Fries came close to finishing the contest with an overhand right that dropped his Polish adversary to the mat. Once there, he landed a barrage of ground-and-pound, but Narkun survived. After five largely one-sided rounds, De Fries was awarded the unanimous decision. In defending his belt for the second time, “F-11” moved to 17-6 with one no-contest. Meanwhile, Narkun slipped to 16-3.

FREAK INJURY … The KSW co-main event was a showdown between promotional newcomer Szymon Kolecki and former World’s Strongest Man winner Mariusz Pudzianowksi. Late in the first frame, Kolecki succeeded in dragging his larger opponent to the canvas. Upon hitting the mat, Pudzianowski immediately clutched his left thigh. Recognizing that “Pudzian” was unable to continue, the referee called a halt to proceedings at the 4:29 mark of Round 1. Kolecki improved to 7-1, while Pudzianowski dipped to 12-7 with one no-contest.

KNOCKOUT KICK … Serbia’s Aleksandar Ilic clashed with Poland’s Damian Janikowski in a middleweight showcase at KSW 47. A former Olympic wrestling bronze medalist, Janikowski used takedowns and top control to dominate the first two rounds. However, early in the third, the tables turned when Ilic threw a high left roundhouse kick that landed flush on the side of his rival’s head and knocked him cold. The official time was 0:32 of Round 3. The triumph saw the “Joker” up his record to 11-2. In defeat, Janikowski fell to 3-2.

A DOUBLE CHAMP … The LFA 62 headliner pitted reigning interim flyweight champion Casey Kenney against Vince Cachero for the promotion’s vacant bantamweight belt. The bout got off to a fast start, with both fighters throwing down on the feet. The finish came when Kenney grabbed the back of his opponent’s head with both hands and delivered a left knee to Cachero’s chin that rendered him unconscious 1:38 into Round 1. With the win, Kenney, now 11-1 with one no-contest, became the first dual champion in the organization’s history. The loss saw “The Anomaly” drop to 6-1.

REAR-NAKED VICTORY … In the LFA 62 co-feature, America’s Levi Mowles squared off with Turkey’s Ahmet Kayretli at bantamweight. Mowles dominated the first stanza with good work on the ground. Kayretli emjoyed some success with his striking in the second. The third round was nearing its end when the American took his grounded adversary’s back close to the cage. From there, Mowles set up the fight-ending rear-naked choke, which elicited the tap at the 4:21 mark. In securing the submission, Mowles rose to 11-4. The setback dropped “The Turk” to 9-3.


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