Mamed Khalidov submitted James Irvin at KSW 15. | Norbert
WARSAW, Poland -- Mamed
Khalidov’s lightning-fast submission of
UFC veteran James Irvin
was the silver lining to a largely disastrous evening for Polish
mixed martial artists at Saturday’s Konfrontacja
Sztuk Walki 15.
Before a hometown crowd at Torwar Hall, Khalidov began the fight in
typical fashion by throwing a spinning heel kick. He missed and
dropped to his back, where Irvin gave chase and threw powerful
shots. Khalidov composed himself and swiftly rolled into an armbar
that had the American -- who weighed in at 200 pounds for the
middleweight contest -- tapping at the 33-second mark and the fans
screaming with excitement. Khalidov was just the third Polish-based
fighter to defeat a foreign opponent on the night.
“I’m very happy to represent Poland,” said Khalidov, who recently
received his Polish citizenship. “We are fighters. If I have
prepared for months for a fight, then I have to take it, even if my
opponent came in overweight.”
Another UFC vet, Rameau
Thierry Sokoudjou, fared better in the show’s co-main event, as
he snapped Jan
Blachowicz’s nine-fight win streak to claim the KSW light
The fighters chose to exchange low kicks throughout the bout, a
decision which proved disastrous for Blachowicz. The Cameroonian’s
powerful strikes dug into Blachowicz’s lead leg often and hard.
By the midway point of round two, Blachowicz’s leg was heavily
swollen and the 28-year old struggled to keep his balance.
Sokoudjou’s kicks were relentless and ultimately proved too much:
after 10 minutes of battering, Blachowicz was unable to answer the
bell for the third round and left the arena on a stretcher.
“I know I didn’t have the power to beat him. He showed me a
weakness and I took advantage of it,” the victorious Sokoudjou said
after his title win.
The vacant KSW lightweight title was claimed by Finland’s Niko
Puhakka, who put Maciej
Gorski to sleep with an arm-triangle choke at 3:20 of the
Gorski looked spry in the standup, but was unable to put a stop to
Puhakka’s takedowns. After a particularly flashy slam in the second
stanza, Puhakka moved to side control and secured the winning hold.
Gorski went out and referee Tomasz Bronder stopped the fight,
though the Pole was unable to come to terms with the official’s
decision for a few minutes after the fight.
Espoon Kehahait teammate, Toni
Valtonen, proved to be too much for Poland’s Lukasz
Jurkowski to handle. The heavier and stronger Finn completed
most of his takedowns and spent approximately eight minutes of the
10-minute bout on top of Jurkowski throwing strikes.
After the fight, Jurkowski took the microphone and announced to the
crowd that, having lost his 10th fight, he was retiring from MMA.
The 30-year-old thanked the hometown fans for their support and
received a rousing ovation.
Lloret survived scattered scares over the course of 10 minutes
to out-grapple returning Pole Karol
Bedorf to a unanimous decision. Successful sweeps and brief
flashes of offense from Bedorf were drowned in Lloret’s dominating
In a largely tentative affair, former Cage Rage
light heavyweight champion James Zikic
became the top contender to the KSW middleweight title by defeating
Chmielewski after a three-minute overtime round. Neither
fighter landed any significant strikes through two five-minute
periods, save a few sharp low kicks from Chmielewski in the opening
frame. The Pole also threw Zikic to the ground, but failed to
capitalize on top position. With 30 seconds to go in the dead-even
extension round, Chmielewski slipped while throwing a low kick and
Zikic took full advantage, getting on top and attacking until time
After competing just once in the past four years, Poland’s Michal
Materla enjoyed a victorious comeback, submitting Cyrille
Diabate teammate Gregory
Babene at 4:29 of round two. The Frenchman used striking to
stifle Materla early, but resorted to takedowns in the second
frame. Once on the ground, Materla outclassed Babene with sweeps
and submission attempts before ultimately ending the middleweight
contest with a guillotine choke.
In a fight that was expected to be a wild brawl, Marcin
Bartkiewicz set out to take down K-1 kickboxer Marcin
Rozalski. The heavyweights clashed heads during a takedown
attempt in the first round, opening a gash on the side of
Bartkiewicz’s head. The cut eventually caused the ringside doctor
to stop the fight. However, the accidental clash of heads seemed to
elude officials, who awarded Rozalski the TKO victory.
Mamed Khalidov’s cousin, Aslambek
Saidov, won the evening’s competitive, grappling-heavy opener
with a unanimous decision against Ruben
Crawford. Saidov pressed for takedowns and brought the fight to
the floor on multiple occasions. Crawford, however, did well to
maintain guard and even threatened with submissions from his back.
After 15 minutes of back-and-forth, all three judges awarded the
bout to Saidov.