Euro Light Heavyweight Showdown Ends in Draw

By Tim Leidecker Sep 14, 2008
DABROWA GORNICZA, Poland -- Three thousand fans filled the sold-out Hala Centrum on Saturday to witness the latest installment of Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki, the most popular and successful mixed martial arts event in Poland.

Despite the packed audience, you could hear a pin drop when Daniel Tabera of Spain took on KSW superstar Mamed Khalidov in the main event.

Instead of sticking to his usual game plan of ground-and-pound, Tabera decided to kickbox with his opponent for large portions of the opening round. In fact, after the break, it was Khalidov who forced the bout to the ground, as the man from Shoot team in Valencia came more and more alive on the feet.

Ten minutes passed and the judges couldn’t identify a clear winner, forcing the bout into an extra round. The battle went back and forth with Tabera scoring punishing kicks on the feet and defending everything Khalidov threw at him on the ground. It was a fair call that there was no winner and no loser in the end.

With the draw, Khalidov extended his undefeated streak to 14 bouts and Tabera cemented his reputation as one of Europe’s best at 205 pounds.

It was half past midnight when lightweight grand prix finalists Maciej Gorski and Jedrzej Kubski entered the ring for the final fight of the night. As expected, the pre-tournament favorite Gorski took home the title due to his good combination of powerful kickboxing and strong wrestling. When Kubski finally managed to take the bout to the ground 90 seconds before the end of the fight, Gorski had already racked up enough points on the scorecards.

Swedish madman Alexander Gustavsson flew in on the day of the event with less than 24 hours’ notice to take on co-headliner Krzysztof Kulak. After taking a short nap in the locker room, the Shooter from Stockholm was more than awake in the ring and dominating the standup.

Sandra Leidecker/

Jahmai Satisch works a kimura from
the top against Mariusz Slotta
In the second round he proved why they call him “The Mauler.” Gustavsson systematically beat down his opponent from top position and came close to several one-punch knockouts on the feet to score a huge upset by unanimous decision.

French Thai-boxing specialist Christian M’Pumbu impressively showed how far his ground game has improved in his battle with KSW star Jan Blachowicz. The latest KSW tournament champion, however, came closer to finishing the bout with a tight guillotine late in the first round. M’Pumbu, rocking a “Common” beard, appeared to have more weapons both on the feet and on the ground before Blachowicz caught him with an excellent armbar from the guard 3:12 into the second round.

Late-replacement Andre Reinders, a kickboxer from Prague, took on Antoni Chmielewski in the second bout of the main card. Chmielewski, a Polish judoka, put Reinders on his back for most of the first round. Then, in what seemed to come out of nowhere, Chmielewski put Reinders to sleep with a looping overhand right at 3:45 of the first.

In one of the most anticipated battles of the evening, Frenchman Francis Carmont had Polish muay Thai ace Lukasz Jurkowski in trouble early after a big slam. Carmont, of Europe Top Team, pounded on his opponent and eventually finished him by rear-naked choke at 4:14 of the first.

Light heavyweight action between local hero Daniel Dowda and Slovenia’s Marko Drmonjic came to life late in the first round when Drmonjic landed 10 unanswered blows in a row. After an uneventful second round, the fight was declared a draw and went into overtime. There Dowda, a KSW team member, played it safe to win a unanimous decision.

Germany’s Peter Sobotta made his international debut against undefeated Cechen grappler Kerim Abzailov. The fight was too close to call after two rounds. In the extra round, Sobotta finally got the better of the standup, scored a takedown and poured on a relentless series of hammerfists for the referee stoppage at 1:12 of the third round. This was arguably one of the biggest wins in recent German MMA history.

In the lone heavyweight bout of the night, Team Schrijber’s Jahmai Satisch was looking to defend the Dutch colors versus Polish BJJ champion Mariusz Slotta. Much to everyone’s surprise, it was Satisch who controlled the battle on the ground, scoring with heavy punches inside Slotta’s guard. Both men ran out of gas in the second round, but Satisch got the judges’ nod unanimously after several nearly successful kimura attempts.

Other Results:

Maciej Gorski def. Mariusz Pioskowik -- TKO (towel thrown in) 3:40 R2
Jedrzej Kubski def. Zaurbek Muchaev -- unanimous decision 5:00 R2
Bruns Marschiano def. Andrzej Kumor -- submission (guillotine choke) 4:46 R2
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