KSW Rankings: Post-KSW 55 update – Khalidov regains gold, several fighters sign elsewhere

Mamed Khalidov (right) celebrates his regaining of the middleweight title at age 40. Credit: KSW.

The action-packed KSW 55 is in the books, and with that, a new set of rankings are required. Some fighters have moved on to new promotions, while other athletes made their debuts with the Polish giant. Throughout this article, MMA-Prospects will look at what changes have happened and why the site has ranked the fighters where they are.

BANTAMWEIGHT

Poland’s Patryk Surdyn (5-1) made his debut for KSW after a 5-fight, undefeated career, four of which came against fairly solid competition in Armia Fight Night. However, he faced a stiff test in his debut, taking on #4 ranked bantamweight and former UFC fighter, Damian Stasiak (12-7). Surdyn lost by submission in the second round and enters our rankings at #7.

Damian Stasiak remains at #4 following the victory. This is his first win inside the KSW cage, going 1-1 after a majority decision loss to champion Antun Racic last November. It’s expected that Stasiak should be able to rise up a few places if he gets the opportunity, but his current 2-6 streak, albeit against fantastic competition, holds him back for now.

Dawid Gralka (6-3) has been added at #8. His previous omission was simply a tabulation error, so he has been reintroduced. His 0-2 KSW record, unfortunately, sees him enter at the bottom of the list, but with his two opponents being #2 and #3 in our current line-up, it’s not a huge knock on his abilities.

FEATHERWEIGHT

While there have been no changes, already #1 ranked, then-interim champion Salahdine Parnasse (14-0-1) has been promoted to undisputed champion following dual-champion Mateusz Gamrot’s signing with UFC.

LIGHTWEIGHT

No changes.

WELTERWEIGHT

Two new faces have been added to the Welterweight rankings, as KSW reality show winner Tomasz Romanowski (10-7) and Romania’s Ion Surdu (10-2) clashed at KSW 55.

It was Romanowski who emerged victorious, and when combined with his impressive run during the Tylko Jeden series, this makes it eight straight MMA fights without a loss for the Pole. Beating an opponent with the record of Ion Surdu sees Tomasz enter the rankings at an impressive #6, right behind Kacper Koziorzebski.

Surdu enters at #10 despite the loss, entirely due to his record prior to his current streak and the loss to now-sixth ranked Romanowski.

Surdu made it ten straight before picking up a loss to Kevin Ruart (9-3) in Brave CF and the aforementioned Tomasz Romanowski setback. His wins over Farzad Ghaderi (18-9) hold him in good stead here, and he just breaks the rankings with Jakub Kamieniarz’s (9-7) drop in the rankings, which will be discussed momentarily. This sees Savo Lazic (10-5), who was previously ranked at #10, slip out of the rankings.

The other welterweight bout on the card saw Krystian Kaszubowski (9-1) take on Jakub Kamieniarz. The unanimous decision win sees Krystian hold his #3 spot, but is not enough for him to overthrow second place’s Andrzej Grzebyk (17-3). Jakub Kamieniarz falls out of the top 10 with the loss, cementing his KSW record at 0-2.

MIDDLEWEIGHT

The headline fight saw the legend, Mamed Khalidov (35-7-2), with perhaps his biggest win to date, which is crazy considering his historic career. Khalidov knocked out Scott Askham (19-5) in their championship rematch, allowing the Pole to once again reign over the division. Askham falls back to number two, but the rubber match is expected imminently.

It was a busy night in the middleweight division, as the co-main event featured the return of Michal Materla (29-7), who dispatched Aleksandar Ilic (12-4) in impressive fashion. The second round KO might have been a sign of intent for Materla, but with his pair of losses to Askham, it’ll be very difficult for him to break the top two in the near future.

Ilic also stays in place, with his stoppage victory over Damian Janikowski (5-3) March 2019 clash supporting his position.

Speaking of Janikowski, the Olympic hero would welcome highly-touted Swedish prospect Andreas Gustaffson Berg (6-1) to Poland with a fantastic fight that was split in the minds of the judges. It was Janikowski who managed to secure the win, but as previously mentioned, he’s currently being gatekept by Aleksandar Ilic, who sits one place above him at #5.

Gustafsson suffers the first professional loss of his career, moving to 6-1. He enters the rankings at #8 and will be eager to get back in the KSW cage as soon as possible.

Another big change at middleweight is the removal of Dricus Du Plessis (15-2). He signed on the dotted line with UFC since the first incarnation of the rankings, and the South African was successful in his first contest for the company.

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT

Poland’s Przemyslaw Mysiala (24-10) knocked back Stjepan Bekavac (19-11) in the second round, but the catchweight bout did little to affect the current standings, as first-ranked Ivan Erslan (9-0) and champion Tomasz Narkun (17-3), rumored to compete for the title at the next KSW event, continue to hold their spots by a considerable margin.

Spain’s Darwin Rodriguez (9-5) has been removed from the rankings due to his signing with Bellator. Rodriguez was due to fight Alessio Sakara (20-13) at Bellator Euro Series 9, but Sakara suffered an injury. It’s not clear if Rodriguez is still scheduled to fight again for Bellator.

HEAVYWEIGHT

Ante Delija (17-3) has been removed from the rankings due to his signing with UFC, and subsequent removal from a UFC event due to a contract dispute with the PFL. This has paved the way for Poland’s Izu Ugonoh (1-0), the former professional boxer who advanced to 1-0 as an MMA fighter with a win over Quentin Domingos (5-2) earlier in the year, to slip in at #10. It’s unusual to see a fighter with so little experience break the top 10 rankings, however after Michal Wlodarek (8-2), there aren’t any clear contenders, so Ugonoh steals a spot on his debut win alone.


KSW’s next event comes on November 14th for KSW 56, an event sure to see further action in the rankings.