England’s KSW heavyweight champion Phil De Fries knows all about his latest challenger’s soccer exploits, and he made sure to reference them as he signed off his pre-fight comments ahead of fight night in Poland.
De Fries is looking to register his seventh straight heavyweight title defence when he takes on Brazilian contender and former Chelsea FC backup goalkeeper Ricardo Prasel at KSW 74, which takes place Saturday, and the dominating Brit said he’s confident of continuing his championship reign.
“I love coming to Poland, I love being KSW champion,” he said.
“I like to be part of big fights. I like to be in the big arenas, I like the big competition. It means a lot to meand I love having that belt strapped around my waist. And it’ll be strapped around there next time, too.”
De Fries’ form since joining KSW has been impeccable. He won the vacant heavyweight title on his promotional debut with a first-round TKO of Michal Andryszak at KSW 43, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Since that win, De Fries has successfully defended the title six times to cement himself as one of most dominant champions in KSW history. His career record reads 21 wins, six losses but his KSW resume is a perfect one, 7-0. It’s given him a new level of confidence as he continues to shine under the bright lights of the Polish promotion.
“I believe I can beat anyone,” he said.
“I’m so confident. It’s working hard in the gym and giving it your all, so I do feel invincible, you know?
“It all depends on the fighter, but you’ll see an aggressive me, that’s for sure. I’m not going to lose (the title).”
De Fries faces Prasel, a former backup goalkeeper at English Premier League club Chelsea FC. The Brazilian kick-started his time in KSW with a second-round TKO finish of Michal Kita at KSW 68, and he finished Poland’s Daniel Omielanczuk via first-round Achilles lock submission at KSW 70.
Despite Prasel’s impressive submission last time out, De Fries doesn’t think he has too much to fear in the grappling department.
“I’m too strong for him on the floor,” he stated.
“I think if he wants to go down there, he’ll feel how strong I am.”
While De Fries did mention that he has to be wary of the Brazilian’s leg locks and submissions off the back, he thinks he can dominate on the ground.
But, if his comments are any guide, it looks like the Englishman may be targeting a finish using his strikes on Saturday night.
“He is extremely durable. Kita punched him so much, he was getting punched so much! He’s very very tough. He’s not easy to put away.
“In that last fight, I set the record for most strikes thrown at heavyweight. I don’t stop working. I always try to finish the fight.
“People might not like grappling, but Prasel hasn’t got very dangerous striking. I’ll be so much more comfortable there. I want to get some knockouts standing up, too!”
De Fries’ comments featured in the main event promo for KSW 74, where he signed off with a cheeky dig at the Brazilian’s soccer career.
“OK, Ricardo, you’d better bring your A-game when we fight. You’re gonna get beat,” he began.
“You were second-best at Chelsea, and you’re gonna be second-best at KSW, too.”