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Preview – KSW 41: Mankowski vs. Soldic

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Poland’s premier MMA showcase sets the stage for a great weekend in European MMA.

KSW rounds out the year with another major event, and this one’s stacked with popular talent and two title fights at the top.

The main event will be a welterweight clash between Borys Mankowski (19-6-1 draw) and Roberto Soldic (12-2). Mankowski held a six-fight winning streak until he lost at the hands of the seemingly unstoppable Mamed Khalidov back in May at the Colosseum event. Mańkowski has fought an impressive list of fighters throughout his career, including early career losses against Marcin Held, Mairbek Taisumov, and Niko Puhakka along with wins over former UFC fighter John Maguire, current UFC talent Jesse Taylor, and Aslambek Saidov. The lone draw on his record was against UFC fighter Peter Sobotta.

Soldic came in as a replacement after an injury forced South Africa’s EFC welterweight and middleweight Dricus du Plessis out of action, but comes in with a solid record. Soldic is coming fresh off a win at Cage Warriors 87 where he CroCopped Lewis Long in the opening minute of the very first round. Only one of his wins has come by decision, with most being KO/TKO victories on the European/Russian circuit. He has wins over Tech-Krep and ProFC veteran Yaroslav Amosov, Serbian fighter Marko Radakovic, and Rafal Lewon.

The co-main event a heavyweight fight between Tomasz Oswiecinski (pro debut) and Pawel Rak (a.k.a. Popek Monster). Oswiecinski is an actor and personal trainer that allegedly has a street fighting past, and was signed to KSW this fall. His opponent is the colorful and eccentric rapper that started his career at 2-0 in Cage Rage in 2008. He took an eight-year hiatus to fight Polish strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski last year, which ended in a TKO loss. He then defeated another musclebound wonder in Robert Burneika via submission to strikes.

Featherweight action rounds off the top of the card with another title bout when Artur Sowinski (18-8) faces Kleber Koike Erbst (22-4-1) in a rematch from KSW 33. Like Mankowski above, Sowinski had early losses to Marcin Held and Niko Puhakka, as well as losses to Curt Warburton and Conor McGregor. He’s steadily improved though, and has earned tough wins over Anzor Azhiev, Vaso Bakocevic, Lukasz Chlewicki and X-Gym’s Fabiano Silva.

Erbst is known to most for his grappling credentials, with 18 of his 22 wins of his wins being by submission. Fighting in organizations such as DEEP, HEAT, RINGS, ZST, Pancrase and Rebel FC (giving him the unofficial King of Caps Lock legend nomination), Erbst has amassed victories over George Hickman, Leszek Krakowski, Takahiro Ashida, current RIZIN fighter Yusuke Yachi, and former WEC champion and UFC fighter Miguel Torres.

Other bouts on the card include former Ultimate Fighter contestant Marcin Wrzosek (12-4) facing Roman Szymański (10-3) at featherweight, while ace wrestler Damian Janikowski (1-0) faces Antoni Chmielewski (32-16!!) at middleweight. Former Inoki Genome Federation heavyweight and king of MS Paint belts Fernando Rodrigues Jr (11-3) tests himself against 25-year-old ACB and KSW veteran Michał Andryszak (19-6)

Be sure to check out the event trailer below, as well as other preview vids on their YouTube channel.

Full card is as follows:

Borys Mańkowski vs Roberto Soldić – Welterweight

Paweł Rak vs Tomasz Oświeciński – Heavyweight

Artur Sowiński vs Kleber Koike Erbst – Featherweight

Marcin Wrzosek vs Roman Szymański – Featherweight

Damian Janikowski vs Antoni Chmielewski – Middleweight

Gregorz Szulakowski vs Kamil Szymuszowski – Lightweight

Michał Andryszak vs Fernando Rodrigues Jr. – Heavyweight

Maciej Kazieczko vs Gracjan Szadziński – Lightweight

Łukasz Rajewski vs Salahdine Parnasse – Featherweight

KSW 41 takes place this Saturday, December 23rd. The event starts at 11:00am EST and will be streamed live via KSWtv.com.


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