Roman Szymanski vs. Daniel Torres
Before his debut in KSW, I wasn’t remotely confident that wild Brazilian striker, Daniel Torres, would be able to handle a step up in competition. He looked dominant in his regional footage, but he was not facing anyone who could give him a stiff challenge.
In a competitive fight with boxing stylist, Filip Wolanski, the young Brazilian walked away victorious in his first fight for KSW. Instead of throwing wild looping shots constantly, Torres showed some refinement in his striking – although he still needs to work on his defense. That being said, I did score the fight in favor of Wolanski (and I know I’m not the only one).
Now in a completely different match-up, Torres faces an opponent that will surely try to grapple with him. This could be disastrous for the Brazilian, since he showed total incompetence defending takedowns earlier this year against Kamil Lebkowski.
While Roman Szymanski has serviceable striking, his ground game is where he excels. Against Brazilian veteran, Denilson Neves, the Polish fighter was able to land takedowns repeatedly and dominate on the mat. A physical powerhouse, Szymanski looks like the bigger and stronger fighter in this match-up.
Unless Torres has somehow learned to counter-wrestle in the past year, I simply don’t see how he deals with the takedowns of Szymanski. Some fighters never develop into good wrestlers and Torres has a non-ideal body type for stuffing shots.
The Polish fighter could get cracked in a wild exchange, but I definitely favor Roman Szymanski to implement his game plan at +120.
Mateusz Gamrot vs Kleber Koike Erbst
Undefeated wrestling and ground strikes specialist, Mateusz Gamrot, faces his toughest test against jiu-jitsu phenomenon, Kleber Koike Erbst. Gamrot will be seeking to become the first two-division champion in the history of KSW as he goes for the featherweight belt.
Gamrot isn’t the most fluid striker. He mainly fires single shots and is ultimately looking to close the distance in order to grab hold of his opponents. A physically dominant wrestler, Gamrot likes body lock takedowns but also shoots a good single leg and runs the pipe well. He remains heavy from top position and typically favors ground strikes over submission attempts.
Not many fighters are willing to go to the ground with a submission ace like Erbst, but Gamrot has stated that he’s unafraid to do so.
Erbst is incredibly talented on the mat and is dangerous off is back – scoring numerous submission victories by way of triangle. He advances positions rapidly and typically looks several steps ahead of his opponents in transitions.
While it’s clear that striking is his secondary art, Erbst has developed into a proficient kickboxer over the years and I think he has the advantage standing. He certainly has more offensive weapons in his toolbox than his Polish opponent.
Gamrot will be able to decide where the fight takes place as the superior wrestler, but what if he’s at a disadvantage on the mat and on the feet? It’s interesting to see whether Gamrot will be able to advance to mount and tee off on Erbst, as he has done in the past, or if he’ll get caught in a submission.
For what I perceive to be a competitive fight, I feel these lines are wide. I had no problem betting Kleber Koike Erbst at +165.
Tomasz Narkun vs. Mamed Khalidov
In a rematch of a spectacular fight from earlier this year, Mamed Khalidov seeks revenge over light heavyweight champion, Tomasz Narkun, after being submitted by triangle in the third round. While both fighters are well-rounded, each excel in a different area.
Khalidov is a pleasure to watch. With solid kickboxing fundamentals as well as some flashy axe kicks and spinning back kicks thrown in, Khalidov’s creativity sets him apart from other strikers. His straight right is the money punch and he dropped Narkun numerous times throughout the first contest.
Despite losing the first two rounds, Narkun staged a rally in the third and had his opponent in trouble against the fence. Immediately after, Narkun got cracked by a combination of punches but was able to lock in a triangle when his opponent followed him to the mat. This was not a fluke, you can see Narkun lock in the same submission against Marcin Wójcik.
Although a competent grappler himself, I don’t think Khalidov will want to play around on the mat again with such a lethal submission artist.
While Narkun lacks a bit of finesse on the feet, he’s still a dangerous striker and has numerous knockout victories on his record. He might be outclassed from a technical perspective, but if Narkun lands flush he’s absolutely capable of finishing this fight. Narkun is also in his athletic prime at 28-years-of-age while Khalidov is getting up there in age.
Looking at how the first fight went, I think Khalidov can dominate the striking exchanges and avoid the mat.
My Main Plays
- 2.5 units on Roman Szymanski at +120
- 1 unit on Kleber Koike Erbst at +165
- 1.5 units on Mamed Khalidov at -150