For a brief moment, Valentijn
Overeem looked like his younger brother.
Filling in for K-1 star Jerome Le
Banner on short notice, the elder Overeem overwhelmed
underskilled Polish kickboxer Marcin
Rozalski Saturday in their headlining feature at KSW
18 “Unfinished Sympathy” in Plock, Poland.
Le Banner was nixed from headlining against Plock native Rozalski
due to a knee injury before Overeem opted to take the bout on just
four days’ notice.
Overeem, who has developed a reputation as a shrinking violet,
showed no fear of exchanging early, attacking “Rozal” with heavy
punch combinations and a flying knee. However, after putting
Rozalski on the mat, Overeem and his foe engaged in a prolonged,
crude leglock battle. Though the advantage for Overeem seemed clear
-- “The Python” entered with 16 years of pro MMA experience against
Rozalski’s three MMA bouts -- the Pole actually wrenched an
Achilles lock of his own for a moment.
Eventually, Overeem went belly down on Rozalski’s leg, torquing a
toe hold that forced a tap at 2:25 of the first frame.
During his last trip to Poland in November 2009, Overeem tapped to
strikes in just 77 seconds against Rafal
Dabrowski, who hadn’t fought for four years prior. Since the
damning Daborwski loss, the 35-year-old Overeem has won four of
five with four first-round stoppages.
In the evening’s real main event, KSW light heavyweight champion
Blachowicz kept his momentum going, earning three 30-28
scorecards over late replacement and UFC veteran Mario
Miranda in a non-title affair.
Blachowicz, who spent time in Holland with Gegard
Mousasi prior to the fight, was originally slated to meet
another UFC veteran in Dave Branch. Passport issues for Branch left
Blachowicz without an opponent until Miranda stepped up on less
than one week’s notice.
The bout was not especially thrilling, but it was clear-cut. Though
most of the 15 minutes was spent clinching along the ropes, the
first and third round featured strong salvos of offense from the
Polish product, who scored with left hands and heavy kicks to the
head and body. In both rounds, Miranda was forced to the ropes,
reeling from Blachowicz kicks to the body. No Blachowicz flurry
could put the Kirkland, Wash.-based Brazilian out, but the
unanimous decision was well-appointed.
Blachowicz’s win, his 15th in 18 career bouts, comes a day after
his 29th birthday.
After knocking out UFC veteran Maciej
Jewtuszko in just 46 seconds this past November, Artur
Sowinski looked like he might be Poland's next hot prospect. In
his first outing since his breakthrough win, he was in over his
head against another fighter owning a win over Jewtuszko, British
UFC vet Curt
The 30-year-old Warburton used heavy low kicks and superior
wrestling to control proceedings. Though Sowinski landed isolated
punches and kicks standing, the Wolfslair rep was too steady in his
attack. In the second round, Warburton slowly set up and
arm-triangle choke from guard, passed to the side and forced the
tap at 3:03 of the frame.
Warburton, 1-2 in his UFC stint, moves to 9-3 with the victory and
has won back-to-back bouts since his Octagon release.
The aforementioned Jewtuszko got back into the winner's circle,
savaging British TUF 9 alum Dean
Amasinger in the first round.
Jewtuszko got off to an iffy start, kneeing Amasinger low and
following up with a salvo of knees that earned him a point
deduction. After the foul, an Amasinger takedown led to a Jewtuszko
leglock attempt. The Polish fighter took top position in the
scramble and instantly landed a heavy right hand that dazed the
Brit. Jewtuszko followed up with frantic punches and hammerfists
until referee Tomasz Bronder halted the beating at 3:39.
The undefeated run of David Oliva
came to an end, as Szczecin’s Karol
Bedorf dominated both rounds of their heavyweight affair.
Bedorf, 28, routinely all of Oliva’s takedown attempts before
claiming top position for himself. Though Oliva flashed with a
guillotine midway through the second round, both periods ended the
same: Bedorf with back mount, bashing Oliva in the head and
threatening with rear-naked chokes.
In just his second bout in the last two years due to injuries, the
ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships veteran took a 20-18
sweep on the scorecards, moving to 7-2 in his career.
Walus vanquished debuting strongman convert Kamil
Bazelak not long into their heavyweight tilt. The underprepared
Bazelak could hit only air before the 23-year-old Walus dropped him
with a wild right and followed up with punches until referee Piotr
Baginski was forced to stop the pummeling at just 1:48.
In the evening’s opener, lightweight Anzor
Azhiev moved to 2-0 in his young career taking three 20-18
scorecards over Cengiz Dana.
Azhiev showed flashes of his teammate Mamed
Khalidov’s arsenal, scoring with a brilliant flying knee in the
second, however, it was his powerful takedowns that allowed him to
take control of the bout.