KSW had little trouble in finding a replacement for Grabowski as another former UFC heavyweight, Luis Henrique (12-5) decided to take his shot at the championship gold on short notice.
Henrique entered the UFC on a seven-fight win streak whilst holding a professional record of 8-1. During his time in the UFC Henrique managed to amass six fights before being released. At the time of his release, his UFC record stood at two wins and four losses.
Henrique lost his UFC debut against, former UFC heavyweight title challenger, Francis N’Gannou (14-3) via a second-round knock-out. After his loss to N’Gannou he won his next two fights against Dmitry Smolyakov (9-3) and Christian Colombo (8-4), by second and third-round submission respectively.
Henrique’s UFC win streak would, however, end after those two victories. Henrique went on to be released from the UFC after suffering three consecutive loses against Marcin Tybura (17-5), Arjan Bhullar (9-1), and Ryan Spann (16-5).
Since being released from the UFC Henrique has gone undefeated and will come into his title bout, against De Fries, on a two-fight win streak. His two wins came against Rodolfo Oliveira (1-4) via first-round submission and, former KSW champion, Michal Andryszak (20-8) via second-round submission.
Henrique’s opponent and current heavyweight champion, De Fries, will enter the cage, on September 14th, on a five-fight win streak. Three of these wins have been claimed under the KSW banner. What makes this win streak even more impressive is the fact that all three of De Fries wins for KSW have been title fights.
De Fries claimed the heavyweight belt in his first fight for KSW by knocking out Michal Andrysak (20-8) in the first round. He has since defended the belt twice against a former champion, Karol Bedorf (15-5) and current light heavyweight champion, Tomasz Narkun (16-3).
There is no doubt that Henrique will come into this title match as the underdog against a champion who has impressed in all three of his KSW appearances. Henrique’s best chance to upset the Englishman will be to take the fight to the ground so that he can utilise his impressive submission game.
KSW 50 will take place on September 14th at the SSE Arena, Wembley, in London England. The event will feature four title bouts including, Philip De Fries (17-6) vs Luis Henrique (12-5), Tomasz Narkun (16-3) vs Przemyslaw Mysiala (23-9), Norman Parke (27-6) vs Marian Ziolkowski (21-7), and Roberto Soldic (16-3) vs Patrik Kincl (22-9).
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