KSW 43: Du Plessis and De Fries Claim Gold, Janikowski and Parnasse Dazzle

Wroclaw, Poland – For the first three minutes of the KSW 43 main event, fearsome Croatian welterweight Roberto Soldic (13-3) looked like a man on a mission as he smashed Dricus Du Plessis (12-1) with everything in his potent arsenal. Yet Du Plessis didn’t go away easy, and once he survived the KSW welterweight champ’s first wave of southpaw headkicks he turned things around and proved “Robocop” to be something short of superhuman. With Soldic tiring midway through the first, Du Plessis grappled his way to a standing back triangle that he used to sap more strength. Then in round 2 Du Plessis hit the bullseye with a counter left hand killshot. A handful of followup ground strikes separated Roberto Soldic from consciousness and ushered in 24 year old Dricus Du Plessis as the new KSW welterweight king!

KSW 43 Co-Main Event – Middleweight:
Damian Janikowski (3-0)   TKO1   Yannick Bahati (8-4)

Even if you weren’t convinced that Olympic bronze medalist Damian Janikowski is a legit force at 185 after his first two KSW appearances, you had to be impressed after Janikowski took down and brutally TKO’d former BAMMA and EFC Africa champ Yannik Bahati in just 18 seconds at KSW 43. Bahati simply didn’t have a prayer against the overpowering 28 year old Greco-Roman stylist. KSW will probably take their time to pull the trigger on Janikowski, rather than throwing him straight to their middleweight elite. But it will be really fun to see the wrestling star match up with guys like Michal Materla and Mamed Khalidov sometime in the not-too-distant future. For now, you’ll have to settle for 18 seconds of unadulterated violence followed by 23 seconds of high-level gymnastics:

KSW 43 Main Card 4 – KSW Heavyweight Title:
Phil De Fries (15-6)   TKO1   Michal Andryszak (20-7, champ)

Advocates of 2 AM barroom brawl tactics will appreciate Michael Andryszak’s gameplan versus top British heavyweight Phil De Fries, as the defending KSW champ swung for the KO with insane Duffee-esque wide punches from the opening bell. De Fries ate a handful of strong body kicks and a couple of glancing fists, but he hung tough against the cage and landed a couple of counters that caught the Pole flush on the chin. After the initial burst this fight was all De Fries, with the KSW and Bellator vet took dominant top position and smashed his way to a ground-and-pound TKO with about 90 seconds left in round 1! This was a rough performance from Andryszak, who enjoyed every physical edge over De Fries but acted like a victory was a foregone conclusion. In any case, what a great achievement for Phil De Fries, who took the fight into his world on the ground and brought home one of the most prestigious heavyweight belts in MMA for his efforts.

KSW 43 Main Card 3 – Featherweight:
Salahdine Parnasse (11-0-1) UD3 Artur Sowinski (18-10)

Add France’s Salahdine Parnasse to your list of exciting talents to watch, because he has every tool you could hope for in a 20 year old prospect and ring savvy beyond his years. Former KSW champ Artur Sowinski started working to get the fight into the clinch but found himself planted on the mat via an explosive judo toss. Parnasse showed off his accuracy with a pinpoint uppercut as the Pole stood up. That sequence set the tone for the bout, as Parnasse offered plentiful offense while thwarting everything that Sowinski threw back. The Frenchman’s high kicks looked excellent, and he used them to set up his hands. Sowinski is as tough as they come, and he responded by biting down on his mouthpiece and swinging even harder, but Parnasse was simply unavailable to be hit. Wherever the fight took place Salahdine Parnasse was the better man, and he emerged from this 15 minute with plenty in his gas tank and nary a scratch. That’s saying something, considering the level of opposition he was facing in this one – maybe you prefer Duquesnoy’s credentials, but the eye test suggests that Parnasse may be the best French prospect in the game today.

KSW 43 Main Card 2 – Lightweight:
David Zawada (16-3) Sub3-RNC Michal Michalski (6-3)

A quick glance at records may suggest Michal Michalski to be the newcomer and David Zawada the grizzled veteran, but the 27 year old Zawada is actually a year younger. In any case, Michalski proved that he’s the prospect out of the two as he used skilled hands to blow the German straight out of the cage. The two men traded willingly in the pocket to start the fight, with Michalski landing nearly every power right hand that he threw. The favorite Zawada toppled backward into the base of the cage after eating a punch halfway through the round, and the Pole rode out top position en route to a likely 10-8 first round.

Per KSW English announcer Will Vanders, entering round 2 Zawada “looked asleep at the wheel” after suffering a “bouillabaisse of pain” in the first – credit the man with colorful command of the vernacular, if nothing else. Michalski took the fight back to the ground with ease and dominated the first two minutes, at which point Zawada suddenly came back to life. The German popped to his feet and even scored some top control of his own. But two more solid punches from Michalski in the final minute knocked Zawada’s mouthpiece to the mat (for the sixth time in the bout) and earned him a one-point deduction.

This one very well could have been 20-16 or 20-15 heading into round 3, yet Zawada looked like the fresher man as he swung for the fences. Michalski was first to find the target in round 2, but it was Zawada who landed a huge shot that sent the Pole to the canvas! The German pounced immediately, skirting to the back before grabbing a no-hooks RNC. Michalski was out of it by now, and it took only a moment for Zawada to squeeze out the comeback! In terms of comebacks, this was about a 7 on the Darren Elkins scale, which is to say, a hell of a comeback. Michalski showed plenty in his KSW debut, but kudos to David Zawada who picked up his fourth straight win, including three in the KSW cage, and who proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he’s a man who can never be counted out of a fight.


KSW 43 Main Card 1 – 159 lb Catchweight:
Norman Parke (24-6-1) UD3 Lukasz Chlewicki (14-8-1)

Prior to this bout the colorful cage KSW announcer informed the crowd that 39 year old vet Lukasz Chlewicki was entering “The Last Chance Saloon”. Chlewicki met an imposing bouncer in the form of Northern Ireland talent Norman Parke, who gave the Pole virtually no offense during their three round bout. Parke came in a bit soft in the middle and overweight, which may explain why he didn’t rely on his usual clinch-heavy strategy. Instead, the UFC veteran did a nice job using his range edge to smash the Pole with plentiful body kicks from the southpaw stance. Those kicks had Chlewicki shaking out his right arm about a minute into round 2, and we never saw him seriously commit to a power right after that point. Once the older fighter was damaged, Parke opened up with combinations that found the mark. The Irishman ended the second on top pounding away.

Parke went right back to his left leg assault in round 3 as the injured but gritty Pole couldn’t offer much in return. Parke finally dropped Chlewicki with a thudding high kick two minutes into the round, but he followed his man to the ground instead of seeking a finish. That allowed the dinged veteran to hold onto the final bell. Nonetheless, this was a clear and necessary win for Norman Parke. Parke picked up the wipeout decison 30-26, 30-26, 30-25 in the final bout on his KSW contract – now the scrapper can put his bizarre two-fight series with KSW champ Mateusz Gamrot firmly in the rear view mirror.

KSW 43 Prelim 2 – Bantamweight:
Antun Racic (21-8-1) UD3 Kamil Selwa (10-7)

Eight-fight M-1 Global vet Antun Racic got the job done against similarly grizzled Kamil Selwa. The Croatian ace outworked the home bantamweight over three rounds to advance to 2-0 in the promotion and throw his name in the hat for a future KSW title eliminator.

KSW 43 Prelim 1 – Lightweight:
Maciej Kazieczko (4-1) UD3 Maciej Kalicinski (3-1)

KSW favorite Kazieczko has been with the promotion ever since he won his first pro fight via one-punch KO in 15 seconds. His education on the job has been occasionally rocky, including a KO loss to Gracjan Szadzinski at KSW 41 that knocked him from the world rankings. This time out Kazieczko faced off with lanky 22 year old Kalicinski and got the job done via three round unanimous decision.

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