Fight Facts: KSW 51

By: Jay Pettry
Nov 12, 2019

Fight Facts is a breakdown of all the interesting information and cage curiosities on every card, with some puns, references and portmanteaus to keep things fun. These deep stat dives delve into the numbers, providing historical context and telling the stories behind those numbers.

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KSW on Saturday planted its flag in Croatia for the first time. KSW 51 featured an unexpected fight day opponent change, one of the few anaconda chokes ever seen in the promotion’s cage and an old lion who still has a bit left in the tank.

DOBRODOSLI!: KSW 51 was the first event the promotion has put on in the nation of Croatia. Zagreb is the third non-Polish city the promotion has visited in its 15-year existence, along with London and Dublin. Mirko Filipovic was in attendance.

QUALITY INSTEAD OF QUANTITY: Ten fights took place at KSW 51, the most since KSW 39, where 11 were placed on the card. The promotion has only exceeded nine fights at an event twice in the past five years.

PUDZIAN POWER: Mariusz Pudzianowski, 42, earned his 13th win with the promotion by stopping Erko Jun with punches in the second round. Only four fighters hold more victories with KSW: Lukasz Jurkowski (15), Jan Blachowicz (16), Mamed Khalidov (18) and Michael Materla (18).

USED TO THE BRIGHT LIGHTS: The headlining bout was Pudzianowski’s eighth in KSW. Across those eight marquee slots, he has won six times with four knockouts.

WORLD’S STRONGEST FIGHTER: Pudzianowski is now the fifth fighter in company history to fight for KSW at least 20 times. All but one of his 21 career bouts have taken place under the KSW banner.

A REGULAR OUROBOROS: Borys Mankowski hit the third anaconda choke in KSW history when he tapped Vaso Bakocevic in the first round. The first two were performed by Niko Puhakka at KSW 14 in 2010 -- against Mankowski -- and later at KSW 39 in 2017, as Michal Andryszak finished Michal Kita.

RAPACIOUS RACIC: Across five rounds, Antun Racic captured a unanimous verdict over Damian Stasiak and the inaugural KSW bantamweight belt. He is currently the winningest fighter in the division’s short history.

BUILDING A NEW DYNASTY: With his fifth win inside the promotion, Racic has now been a part of four of the nine bantamweight fights in KSW history. His promotional debut took place at featherweight. He then dropped down and scored four decision wins.

THE RAC ATTACK IS BACK, JACK: As all five of his wins have come at the hands of the judges, Racic now holds the record for the most consecutive decision victories in company history. He has gone the distance in each of his last 10 bouts.

RENDER UNTO CEZARY: By tapping Aleksandar Ilic with a rear-naked choke in the second round, Cezary Kesik improved his undefeated record to 10-0 with nine finishes.

IVAN’S NOT HOME!: After finishing Darwin Rodriguez with punches, Ivan Erslan is still perfect at 8-0 with one no-contest, which came after his victorious opponent failed a post-fight drug test. All five of Erslan’s stoppage wins have come in the opening round.

EVOLVED TO FINISH: As Rodriguez lost by first-round knockout, all 14 of his career bouts have ended before the final bell. Rodriguez has only been beyond the second round once, and he won that bout in the fourth stanza over Ricardo Echarte in 2018.

WOOF: Aleksandar Rakas was originally slated to face Krystian Kaszubowski, but the night before the fight, Rakas injured his foot while walking his dog. Ivica Truscek replaced Rakas on several hours’ notice and lost by split decision.

MOSTLY STORIES: Rakas joins a small yet illustrious group of fighters who have fallen out of their fights within 24 hours of their contests due to unfortunate circumstances. Kevin Randleman slipped on a pipe before his UFC 24 headliner and knocked himself out; Tim Means knocked himself out in the sauna right before weigh-ins ahead of his UFC on Fox 5 contest; Renan Barao fainted and fell in a bathtub, hitting his head and knocking himself out of his UFC 177 bout; and C.B. Dollaway was forced to withdraw from his bout at UFC 203 when an elevator malfunctioned and he injured his back.

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into KSW 51, Jun had never been defeated (three fights), Filip Pejic had never lost on the scorecards (18 fights) and Ilic had never been finished (14 fights).

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