Mateusz Gamrot is considered one of the best lightweights in Europe, and on Sunday night in Dublin, he will look to underline that status against Norman Parke in their rematch at KSW 40 – the Polish promotion’s first trip to Ireland.
The first clash between the two at the colossal KSW 39 wasn’t without controversy.
With Parke having contested nine bouts in the UFC, he was the perfect opponent for Gamrot to make a statement against.
In the second round of the bout, Parke claims that Gamrot chose to bite down on his finger as the Northern Irish fighter stuffed one of his takedowns. “Gamer,” on the other hand, claims that Parke was deliberately trying to fish hook him.
After the bout, which Gamrot won by unanimous decision, Parke insisted that the Polish public saw him as the real winner of the lightweight title fight because the referee should have taken a point from the champion because of his infraction.
Gamrot doesn’t agree.
“If Norman thinks that Polish fans agree that he won the first fight, he must have problems with his head,” Gamrot told MMA Fighting through a translator.
Gamrot claims that the reason why he wanted a rematch is because he wasn’t content with his display in the first outing, rather than an outcry from fans. The Polish submission specialist pointed to the bad blood that exists between the two when he promised to make an example of Parke on his home soil.
“I agreed to a rematch with Norman, because I was unhappy with my performance in the first fight. My wrestling didn’t work,” he said.
“In the second bout, it will be different. I improved my takedowns and grappling. I will humiliate him on his own land.”
Many believe that Parke gave Gamrot one of his toughest challenges, but the defending champion barely considers him in the top three of his most difficult opponents to date.
“I think that Mansour Barnaoui is much better then Norman,” he said. “I have really tough fight with Jefferson George few years ago also. So Parke is probably in third or fourth position in my private ranking.”
Although fans raved about the back and forth nature of their first outing, it did little to highlight Gamrot’s status as the best lightweight outside of the UFC. This time, he says he has made sure that he is in “optimal” shape and believes he will be able to show the world why Polish fans have been singing his praises for the last few years.
“Norman said that I fought like a girl in the first fight,” Gamrot said. “This girl beat him fair and square and that means that I won with him in my worst shape ever. That says a lot about my potential.
“When I will step into the cage on Oct. 22nd in my optimal, best shape I will prove that I am the best lightweight outside the UFC Octagon.”
While Parke believes that his opponent has proven himself to be a dirty fighter based on his behavior in the first fight, Gamrot said his public perception hasn’t changed at all. The only thing he says that is different is how fans feel about Parke.
“It does not affect my reception,” Gamrot said.
“I think that people see him as a clown because he behaved strangely. Because of this incident I let everyone know that if someone would foul me and put his fingers in my mouth, I will react.”
The champion kept his cards close to his chest when asked if he could see the UFC in his future.
“I am KSW champion for now,” Gamrot said, “and I have a valid contract with this organization.”