Image Credit: Rocky Warriors Cartel
Once again, only one show took place in the last fortnight in Poland – Rocky Warriors Cartel 5 from Mrągowo. However, a deluge of press conferences and fight announcements means that the proverbial summer transfer window is in full swing. Check out the moves of all the players in the Polish MMA market made below.
KSW Confirms August Event
KSW revealed that their next event will take place on 29th of August at an as-of-yet undisclosed location. Brand new signing, Izuagbe Ugonoh (Pro Debut), will face Quentin Domingos (5-1) of France in one of the bouts. Ugonoh is transitioning to MMA after first competing in kickboxing and more recently, boxing. Domingos has 2 years of pro MMA experience and was tabbed to be Mariusz Pudzianowski’s opponent on the cancelled March KSW card.
A heavyweight rematch between the ultimate finisher, Michał Andryszak (21-8), and veteran Michał Kita (19-11-1) was also announced. Andryszak is coming off a one-kick, 9-second KO victory over Ion Grigore at Rocky Warriors Cartel 5 last week. Kita has also fought already during the pandemic. At FEN 28 in June, he retired Igor Pokrajac in 37 seconds and promptly jumped ship to the bigger promotion.
Another exciting transfer from FEN is near-unpronounceable welterweight, Kacper Koziorzębski (6-2). The obscure 25-year old showed up to fight FEN top contender, Szymon Dusza, in July and dominated him in a striking affair. He is going to get a clash-of-styles match-up against grappler, Adam Niedźwiedź (7-3), who made quick work of Alanas Dedul at Rocky Warriors Cartel 5.
A bantamweight tilt between Paweł Polityło (4-2) and Romania’s Bogdan Barbu (16-11) is also confirmed for this event. Polityło’s only losses are to the very experienced KSW bantamweight champion, Antun Racic, while Barbu’s sole trip to Poland ended with a TKO loss to Sebastian Przybysz.
The latest fight added is the debut of head-kick maestro Sebastian Rajewski (8-5) against UFD Gym’s Armen Stepanyan (6-3). Rajewski, from a famed kickboxing family, has delivered a head kick KO in three of his last four wins. Stepanyan started his MMA career in Poland and has a number of amateur trophies to go along with his pro record. Since 2019. he moved west to train at the UFD Gym facility in Düsseldorf, Germany.
FEN Finalizes Card for 22nd August
Fight Exclusive Night (FEN) has lost a number of their fighters to offers from other promotions. Despite that, they managed to put together a card with a number of intriguing match-ups for Ostróda in two weeks’ time.
In addition to the fights reported last time, the organisation announced Adrian Zieliński (19-9) against UFC veteran and current ARES FC fighter, Danilo Belluardo (12-5) at lightweight. Oktagon MMA’s welterweight, Robert Bryczek (10-3), joins the promotion and is set to face Jacek Jędraszczyk (7-2).
Wotore bareknuckle tournament runner-up, Kacper Miklasz (Pro Debut), will begin his MMA career with a fight against fellow rookie, Paweł Biernat (Pro Debut). A kickboxing fight between Karol Łasiewicki and Patryk Rasch rounds out the card.
Popek Joins Fame MMA
Notorious rapper and fighter Popek Monster (3-4) has made a surprising, but also completely not surprising, move to join Fame MMA – Poland’s internet celebrity fighting league. Popek is scheduled to face “Warsaw Shore” cast member Damian “Stifler” Zduńczyk (Pro Debut) at Fame MMA’s seventh event on September 5.
The rest of the card features mostly staples from previous Fame MMA events and newcomers with some claim to internet fame. Notable exceptions are Marcin Najman (2-5), a former boxer notorious for not trying in his fights and Kasjusz “Don Kasjo” Życiński (2-0). Życiński, now a reality show star, was once a promising amateur boxer coming in 3rd during the 2014 Poland Boxing Championships.
They will not fight each other, despite mutual insults at Fame’s presser. Najman will instead fight struggling MMA fighter Dariusz Kaźmierczuk (1-8) while Życiński faces PunchDown slapping contest winner, Łukasz Lupa, under kickboxing rules.
Heavyweights join ACA 109 card
Top contender in ACA’s heavyweight division, Daniel Omielańczuk (23-9-1), won’t get to fight for the promotion’s title on their August 20 card. The 37-year-old who wants to remain active will instead fight Tomas Pakutinksas (19-12-3) of Lithuania. The ACA newcomer is riding a 6-fight win streak albeit compiled against very inexperienced opponents.
Adam Pałasz (4-0) joins the Chechen organisation from FEN, where he scored an impressive KO over Marcin Sianos this June. The 29-year-old heavyweight has his work cut out for him against the experienced Dmitry Poberezhets (24-5-1). The Ukrainian has not competed in MMA since 2016 however.
Armia Fight Night switches TV partners
Promoter, Filip Bątkowski, made an entirely different kind of transfer with his Armia Fight Night (AFN) promotion moving from Polsat to the national public broadcaster, TVP. AFN, which works in close cooperation with the Polish Army, had events from 2 to 7 broadcast on Polsat Sport channel. Their 8th event will take place in Gliwice on September 11.
One of the main fights is a clash for the inaugural featherweight title (styled “sabre” in AFN) between Adrian Kępa (7-4) and Patryk Kaczmarczyk (4-0). The more experienced Kępa has two wins in AFN already but the spotlight will be firmly on Kaczmarczyk. The 21-year-old from Radom made waves in the Polish MMA scene after two outstanding wins at the first events of the pandemic period for Babilon MMA. Kaczmarczyk, who showed skills as well as swagger in the cage, dispatched Krystian Krawczyk in a one-sided beatdown and later defeated Hubert Sulewski via liver punch.
AFN joins the growing ranks of TVP’s mixed martial arts promotions after years of ignoring the sport. in addition to AFN, TVP currently carries Rocky Warriors Cartel, ONE Championship and ACA events. Polsat, long considered the champion of MMA in Polish Television, hosts KSW, FEN, Babilon MMA as well as the UFC.
Skibiński to defend Babilon MMA title on August 28th
Tomasz Babiloński has been, by far, the busiest promoter of the pandemic period. With three boxing and two MMA events under his belt already, he will hold event number six on August 28. This time, Babilon MMA will leave the confines of a make-shift TV studio in Radom for Hotel Ossa, an hours drive south of Warsaw.
The main-event will feature welterweight champion Daniel Skibiński (15-5) defending his title against veteran, Carlo Prater (34-20-1). Skibiński has won 9 straight fights and hopes win number 10 will get him that elusive invitation to the UFC. The card will also feature undefeated fighters Łukasz Sudolski (6-0) and Bartłomiej Gładkowicz (6-0) against Croatia’s Mario Zgela (4-1) and Robert Maciejowski (4-3-1) respectively. A women’s fight between Olga Michalska (2-0) and Weronika Zygmunt (5-4) is also scheduled.