Image Credit: KSW
Mateusz Gamrot’s last fight on his KSW deal ended up being a successful lightweight title defence, as he secured a unanimous points victory over Marian Ziółkowski. It’s been seven years and thirteen fights since ‘Gamer’ made his debut with the European promotion, and four years since he first won the lightweight title. The 29-year-old became the first champ-champ for KSW when he added the featherweight title to his collection in 2018, but it appears likely that his time with the promotion has come to an end.
In the build-up to KSW 54, the contest was dubbed as Gamrot’s ‘Last Dance’, indicating that the organisation find it unlikely they’ll be able to retain the Pole’s services. It ended up being a hard-fought, ground out points victory for Gamrot, who kept his perfect record unblemished. KSW CEO, Martin Lewandowski, confirmed on the broadcast after the fight that the promotion would submit a new offer to Gamrot, admitting he would love to keep the ‘living legend’ with the organisation.
While the challenger, Ziółkowski, was a more than a game opponent stepping up to fight for the title on just a week’s notice, he rarely threatened Gamrot. The ‘Golden Boy’ aimed to spoil the party in the opening round, as he used his superior reach advantage to good effect, keeping his distance from Gamrot with sharp jabs. The champion began to go through the motions though in the second round, as he began to find his rhythm, landing shots with increased accuracy and improved timing. Gamrot threatened with a heel-hook at the end of round two, but Ziółkowski managed to wriggle out. ‘Gamer’ began to control the fight, as the contest headed into the championship rounds due to his superior striking and takedowns, leaving Ziółkowski with little choice but to go for broke in the final frame.
But it was Gamrot who wanted to see out his current KSW contract on a high, in a secret location in Warsaw, with just a handful of fans cheering his name as he looked to sign off with a finish.
The contest fizzled out as it became clear who the victor would be, with everyone’s eyes focused on whether or not the lightweight champion might reveal where his future may lie. But Gamrot wanted to enjoy his moment – and rightfully so – being respectful to the company that has helped him rise to prominence and given him the platform to shine. The 29-year-old has made no secret of his desire to join the UFC, speaking openly about his wish to join Dana White’s organisation before the end of the year.
In the main support of the night, it was a very different kind of contest, as former heavyweight boxing champion, Izu Ugonoh, started off his MMA career with a win over Quentin Domingos via TKO (leg injury).
The Nigerian-born Pole had plenty of eyes and expectation on his eagerly anticipated debut. It was a tentative start from both fighters, as they both tried to feel their way into the contest. But it was Ugonoh, a former kickboxer, who landed the crucial blow midway through the first round. The 33-year-old landed a low kick on the back of the calf of Domingos, which initially didn’t seem to have any lasting impact. Domingos caught his leg and attempted a takedown. Ugonoh managed to reverse it, and then started to take control with some ground and pound. But the fight suddenly ended with Domingos writhing in pain on the canvas clutching his hamstring, the earlier kick finally taking its toll on the Frenchman.
There was revenge for Michal Kita, who secured a devastating knockout of Michal Andryszak. The pair first clashed back in 2017, where Andryszak won by anaconda choke in round one. Their second fight started off in exciting fashion, with both heavyweights exchanging blows early on. But it was Kita’s boxing that proved to be superior on the night. The 40-year-old rolled back the clock with two superb right uppercuts, which proved enough to stop his opponent. Kita spoke afterwards and was open to a trilogy bout with Andryszak, while current KSW heavyweight champion, Phil De Fries, was also up for a scrap with Kita.
Elsewhere on the card, brothers Lukasz and Sebastian Rajewski both picked up victories over Bartłomiej Kopera and Armen Stepanyan respectively, marking the first time siblings have fought on the same card at a KSW event.
Dublin-based Pole, Pawel Politylo, overcame Bogdan Barbu, despite being docked a point in the second round, to climb up the bantamweight ladder, while Kacper Koziorzębski moved to five wins in a row, forcing Adam Niedźwiedź into retirement midway through round two.
Also, during the broadcast, the promotion revealed the first details for KSW 55, which is set to be headlined by Szymon Kolecki and Lukasz Jurkowski on October 10 in Warsaw.
Complete KSW 54 results:
Mateusz Gamrot defeated Marian Ziolkowski by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) to retain the lightweight title.
Izu Ugonoh defeated Quentin Domingos by TKO (injury) at 2:22 of round one.
Michal Kita defeated Michal Andryszak by KO (punches) at 2:59 of round one.
Maciej Kazieczko defeated Karlo Caput by TKO (punches) at 4:30 of round three.
Pawel Politylo defeated Bogdan Barbu by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27).*
Lukasz Rajewski defeated Bartlomiej Kopera by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Kacper Koziorzebski defeated Adam Niedzwiedz by TKO (retirement) at 2:27 of round two.
Sebastian Rajewski defeated Armen Stepanyan by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25).
*Politylo was deducted one point for landing an illegal knee.