After capturing the KSW heavyweight title in April with a TKO win over highly ranked Michal Andryszak in his promotional debut, England’s Phil De Fries’ (15-6) first title defense will come on home soil as he faces former champion Karol Bedorf (15-3) at KSW 45 on October 6 at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England.
Hailing from Sunderland, England, De Fries has established himself as one of the elite European heavyweights. The 32-year-old has fought all over the world in some of the biggest promotions, including five appearances in the UFC, sharing the cage with the likes of Stipe Miocic, Matt Mitrione and James Thompson.
Riding a three-fight-win-streak and feeling as good as he has ever done, De Fries is looking forward to facing the challenge of Bedorf and vows to remain the KSW heavyweight champ for a long time coming.
“Bedorf is a beast. Longest reigning KSW heavyweight champ. A great fighter and a gentleman, but there is no way he is beating me, especially not on home soil,” said De Fries. “I am literally a different fighter than I was in the UFC. I’ve improved vastly, I’ve conquered the anxiety that plagued me in the UFC, and now I plan on being the KSW heavyweight champ for a long time. I can’t wait to defend my title in London and show everyone what I am made of.”
Bedorf, who is widely regarded as one of the best heavyweights in the world, is a man on a mission. There can be no denying that the former champ has had a tough couple of years. After dropping the title in disappointing fashion to Brazil’s Fernando Rodrigues Jr. at KSW 37 and suffering an injury that forced him from the historic KSW 39 card, the 34-year-old finally returned to action last month and showed no signs of ring rust as he submitted Mariusz Pudzianowski in the opening round.
As the heavyweight behemoth celebrated post fight in the cage he signaled to the belt around his waist. Looking to build on his impressive return to action, he has decided to immediately head straight into enemy territory and challenge De Fries in his own backyard and try regain what he believes is his championship.
The card will also feature Olympic medalist Damian Janikowski, the UK’s number one middleweight Scott Askham, Polish superstar Michal Materla, and infamous rapper Popek Monster.