Sunderland’s Phil De Fries registers his name into KSW history as the first British-born world champion following his heavyweight title win at KSW 43.
De Fries, 32, defeated Michał Andryszak in Wrocław, Poland to become the fourth KSW heavyweight champion, an honour previously held by Polish MMA legends Karol Bedorf and Marcin Rozalski.
Meanwhile, in the main event of the April 14 showcase, Dricus Du Plessis dethroned Croatian hardman Roberto Soldić to add the KSW welterweight championship to his trophy case. Du Plessis — who holds the EFC welterweight and middleweight titles — captured his third major accolade with a second-round knockout.
— KSW (@KSW_MMA) 14 April 2018
Outside of the epic main event, three fighters from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland were on deck, including Norman Parke and Yannick Bahati.
Phil De Fries leads the charge at KSW 43
It was the North East’s De Fries, however, who secured the biggest victory when he finished surging prospect Andryszak with some vicious ground and pound. The official finish came at 3:32 of round one.
Andryszak, 25, had been in receipt of a generous amount of hype leading in, and he looked good for it early in the fight. He targetted the body of De Fries, using both leg kicks and knees directed to the abdomen. It was this brutal onslaught which forced “F-11” to push for the takedown.
One minute it looked like standard ground work by De Fries, but a surplus of daggering elbows and ground & pound — from half guard of all places — forced the referee to stop the fight, crowning Team Fishtank’s De Fries the new heavyweight champion.
KSW 43: Norman Parke eases to win, Yannick Bahati falls to Olympic medallist
In another of KSW’s co-main events, former EFC and BAMMA middleweight champion, Yannick Bahati fell to 2012 Olympic Greco-Roman bronze medallist, Damian Janikowski.
It took just 18-seconds for Wrocław’s own Janikowski to secure victory, handing Bahati his third loss on the bounce. His win over an experienced and successful fighter like UTC’s Bahati was made even more impressive by the fact Janikowski had only two professional fights prior.
Fan favourite Janikowski has great potential to succeed as a main player for the KSW brand if his career trajectory carries on this way.
— KSW (@KSW_MMA) 14 April 2018
Earlier in the show, Norman Parke put on a near picture perfect showing against Łukasz Chlewicki, only overshadowed by the fact the Northern Irishman failed to make the contracted weight.
Parke, 31, missed weight for his second consecutive KSW appearance — and for the third time since the start of 2017 — but went on to completely shutdown Chlewicki in front of the energetic Wrocław crowd.
The UFC veteran showed elusive execution across three rounds, as he darted in-and-out, boxing up Chlewicki whilst avoiding any reactionary damage. He almost clinched the finish in the final round following a superb left high kick, however, the resilient Chlewicki managed to survive.
Parke was awarded the — rather resounding — unanimous decision victory.
A rubber match (if we can call it that) against Mateusz Gamrot still eludes Parke, however that trilogy certainly isn’t a write off just yet. In an interview with MMANytt, KSW co-founder Martin Lewandowski confirmed it’s a fight the promotion would still like to engineer.
With Lewandowski also revealing that KSW will return to the UK for the first time since October 2015, it’s a fight which would fit perfectly on that card, if Parke can subdue his weight cutting problems.
Photo & Video Credit: KSW.