At KSW 49, on Saturday, the powerhouse of Polish MMA is pitting its top two middleweights against each other—again.
Michal “Cipao” Materla (27-6) is out to regain the championship belt he’s held as far back as 2012 against Scott Askham (17-4) in a rematch.
The two warriors first met in the beginning of 2018 at KSW 42. The Polish-born Materla had long been a staple for the promotion with 19 fights under the KSW banner at the time. Askham, though, after a rollercoaster ride during his time in the UFC, and competing once in the ACB, was making his KSW debut opposite Materla.
Askham, of England, didn’t waste any time. He immediately began lashing kicks to his man’s midsection. Materla, who had lost just once in his last seven bouts, eventually hit the deck where a left hand finished the job just under 70 seconds into the first round.
In his latest outing, Askham turned the trick again. In a homecoming at Wembley Stadium for KSW 45, the Englishman backed former title challenger Marcin Wojcik into the cage and a folded him with a left body—then volley on the ground forced the referee to call a halt to the acion. It was another first-round knockout for Askham. Of his last five victories, he’s finished four of his opponents.
Martela, 35, made his own KSW debut back in 2006. In 2012, he defeated Bellator and UFC veteran Jay Silva by majority decision to lift the vacant middleweight strap. Following Mamed Khalidov’s retirement, the 185-pound crown is up for grabs again. Askham and Khalidov are the only men to get the better of Martela since 2014. During that period, the Polish slugger rattled off eight wins, most notable were crushing knockouts over a pair of lethal grapplers in Rousimar Palhares and Paulo Thiago. Heading into the weekend, he’s won back-to-back fights.
The nine-bout ticket also includes KSW welterweight champion Roberto Soldic (15-3), who at 24 years old, looks like the most finely-tuned 170-pound fighter outside of the United States. He defends his belt against the undefeated Krystian Kaszubowski (7-0).
Soldic is coming off two straight wins, most recently obliterating Brazilian journeyman Vinicius Bohrer with a cracking left hook.
— KSW (@KSW_MMA) December 1, 2018
The event takes place May 18 at the ERGO Arena in Gdańsk, Poland. DAZN’s broadcast of the action begins at 1 p.m. ET.
Full Fight Card:
Michael vs. Scott Askham, middleweights
Roberto Soldic vs. Krystian Kaszubowski, welterweights
Karol Bedorf vs. Damian Grabowski, heavyweights
Akop Szostak vs. Erko Jun, heavyweights
Pawl Politylo vs. Antun Racic, bantamweights
Martin Zawada vs. Thiago Silva, light heavyweights
Artur Sowinski vs. Norman Parke, welterweights
Michal Andryszak vs. Luis Henrique, heavyweights
Leszek Krakowski vs. Michael Dubois, lightweights