KSW lightweight champion Marian Ziolkowski held on to his title at KSW 66, but he was made to work for it as he was pushed to the limit by former welterweight champion Borys Mankowski in Szczecin, Poland.
Ziolkowski had to battle back and forth through five hard-fought rounds against Mankowski, who headed into the bout in fine form and arrived in excellent shape for the matchup.
In an evenly-matched contest, Ziolkowski was able to do enough with his striking on the feet, while defending Mankowski’s grappling threat, to mean scores of 48-47 on all three cards and register his second title defense.
After his victory, Ziolkowski was magnanimous in victory and stated that Mankowski had done more than enough to earn a rematch with him in the future.
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In the co-main event, the longest title reign in KSW history finally came to an end as light heavyweight champion Tomasz Narkun succumbed to the tricky challenge of Russian Ibragim Chuzhigaev after a grueling five-round battle.
Chuzhigaev started the better of the two and appeared to have Narkun in trouble in Round 1. But the champion gradually worked his way back into the matchup and, after a big round in the fourth, the bout was hanging in the balance heading into the fifth and final round.
But fatigue had well and truly taken over by the final frame as the two exhausted rivals battled to the final bell, as the judges were called into action to determine the victor.
All three judges were in agreement, with all three cards awarding the win, and the title, to Chuzhigaev with scores of 48-47, 48-47, 48-47.
— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 15, 2022
Also in action was former middleweight champion and longtime KSW fan favourite Michal Materla, who had his hometown crowd on their feet with a first-round TKO finish of British knockout artist Jason Radcliffe.
Radcliffe often makes fast, explosive starts to his bouts, but against Materla he started more steadily and kept at range, looking to assess the Pole’s cadence. However, when the pair stepped into striking range, it was Materla who made his power pay.
A shot to the temple sent Radcliffe stumbling backward across the cage, and Materla swarmed his man before hammering him with ground strikes until the referee stepped in to wave off the matchup at the 4:07 mark.
OVERHAND RIGHT!!! 💣
🇵🇱 Michal Materla finishes 🇬🇧🇯🇲 Jason Radcliffe!! #KSW66
WELCOME HOME MICHAL!! 👏 pic.twitter.com/8ena2Dwa8m
— KSW (@KSW_MMA) January 15, 2022
KSW 66: Official Results
- Marian Ziolkowski (c) def. Borys Mankowski via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) – for KSW lightweight title
- Ibragim Chuzhigaev def. Tomasz Narkun (c) via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) – for KSW light heavyweight title
- Michal Materla def. Jason Radcliffe via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:07
- Krystian Kaszubowski def. Robert Maciejowski via unanimous decision
- Sebastian Rajewski def. Niklas Backstrom via unanimous decision
- Wojiciech Janusz def. Damian Skawzynski via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:04
- Donovan Desmae def. Lukasz Rajewski via submission (triangle armbar) – Round 2, 4:07
- Gracjan Szadzinski def. Francesco Moricca via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:58
- Kacber Koziorzebski def. Hubert Szymajda via unanimous decision
- Patryk Surdun def. David Martinik via unanimous decision