Sunday, 20 December 2020

Croatian MMA Fighter Antun Racic Defends Title as KSW Bantamweight Champion!

December 20, 2020 - On Saturday, Antun Racic (25-8-1) defended the title of KSW champion in the bantamweight category for the first time in his career. reports that Antun Racic defended the title of KSW bantamweight champion with a unanimous decision of the refs after five exhausting rounds against the Brazilian Bruno Dos Santos. KSW 57 was held in Lodz, Poland, on Saturday. 

It was the fight of two masters, and Racic, as a phenomenal wrestler, sought an answer against the Brazilian jiu-jitsu on Saturday night - and finally deservedly celebrated.

The 30-year-old from Dubrovnik did not start the fight well. Dos Santos was better on the floor and came very close to a submission several times - especially in the first two rounds, during which he dangerously threatened a chokehold from behind.

Things didn't look great for Antun 'Killer' Racic in those first 10 minutes. Still, the 30-year-old showed calmness, resourcefulness, and a big heart in the most difficult moments, and each time he successfully found his way out of a dangerous situation.

As the fight progressed, Racic became more and more active. He easily took down his opponent, and little by little, he tired the Brazilian who could no longer follow that rhythm. With more control and pressure in the last three rounds, he reached the deserved turnaround.

After a full 25 minutes of fighting, all that was left was to wait for the referee's decision, and it was unanimous in favor of the Croatian fighter.

Antun did not expect an easy fight, which he revealed the night before when he called Dos Santos an "excellent opponent." Racic said in an interview with Fight Site that "a demanding fight awaits him," but he also stressed that he believes in his skills, work, and discipline.

With a big win in Lodz, Antun ‘Killer’ Racic thus achieved the 25th win in his professional career and the seventh in a row. This was his first defense of the KSW title he won in Zagreb 13 months ago.

Out of 34 professional fights, Racic has only eight defeats and one draw. He never knocked out an opponent but forced them to surrender 13 times.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Friday, 4 December 2020

Croatia's Antun Racic Defends Title Against Bruno Santos at KSW 57

December 4, 2020 - Croatia's own Antun Racic (24-8-1) will defend his KSW bantamweight title against Brazilian prospect Bruno Santos (9-1) at KSW 57 in Poland on December 19.

Racic made history at KSW 51 last year after becoming the first-ever KSW bantamweight champion. The 30-year-old defeated Damian Stasiak by decision at the Arena Zagreb to earn his place in the KSW history books. Overall, the Dubrovnik born fighter has won five straight fights since joining the promotion in 2017. The Roberto Soldic teammate will now be aiming to make a successful first defense to his title.

His opponent is top Brazilian prospect Bruno Santos (9-1). At just 22-years-old, Bruno Santos joins KSW and immediately has the biggest opportunity of his young career. While 2020 has been a slow year for most due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Santos has already won two fights in his native Brazil this year. The youngster will have confidence and momentum heading into this contest. 

This title fight joins two others on the KSW 57 card. The UK's Phil De Fries (18-6) defends his heavyweight crown against Polish veteran Michal Kita (20-11-1) while Polish stars Marian Ziolkowski (21-8-1) and Roman Szymanski (13-5) meet for the vacant KSW lightweight title.

KSW 57 Fight Card
Live on

Main Event
Heavyweight Title
Champion Phil De Fries (18-6) vs. Michal Kita (20-11-1)

Co-Main Event
Vacant Lightweight Title
Marian Ziolkowski (21-8-1) vs. Roman Szymanski (13-5)

Artur Sowinski (21-11) vs. Borys Mankowski (20-8-1)

Bantamweight Title
Champion Antun Racic (24-8-1) vs. Bruno 'Gafanhoto' Santos (9-1)

Cezary Kesik (12-0) vs. Abus Magomedov (23-4-1)

Tomasz Drwal (22-5-1) vs. Patrik Kincl (22-9)

Kacper Koziorzębski (7-2) vs. Marcin Krakowiak (9-3)

Albert Odzimkowski (11-4) vs. Christian Eckerlin (12-5)

KSW 57 will be live in Croatia on RTL and via online PPV on

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Croatian Ivan Erslan Challenges Tomasz Narkun for KSW Light Heavyweight Title

November 4, 2020 - Croatia's Ivan Erslan (9-0) will challenge KSW champion Tomasz Narkun (17-3) in the co-main event of KSW 56 scheduled to take place on November 14 in Lodz, Poland. 

Fighting out of the ATT Zagreb gym, Erslan made his promotional debut at KSW 51 last November in his native Croatia. The entire Arena Zagreb jumped to their feet with excitement as Erslan defeated Spain's Darwin Rodriguez with an emphatic first-round TKO. The 28-year-old then scored another first-round stoppage win this past July at FNC 3 in Croatia, cementing his position as the number one contender for the light heavyweight title. 


Tomasz Narkun is the longstanding KSW champion and has defended his title four times. Regarded as the best light heavyweight fighter in Europe, Narkun has had career wins over the likes of Goran Reljic, MMA veteran Sokoudjou, Przemysław Mysiala, and became the first man ever to beat Mamed Khalidov in KSW.

Both Narkun and Erslan are known for their finishes, making this contest exciting and unpredictable. 

In the main event of KSW 56, Roberto Soldic (17-3) jumps up to the middleweight division to face former champion & KSW legend Michal Materla (29-7) in an explosive contest and one of Soldic's toughest fights to date.

This event promises to be one of the biggest nights ever for Croatian MMA.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

First KSW Event in Croatia Draws Over 11,000 MMA Fans to Arena Zagreb

November 10, 2019 - KSW 51 took place Saturday night, November 9 at the Arena Zagreb in Croatia. It was the first-ever KSW event in Croatia and over 11,000 fans watched live as Mariusz Pudzianowski showed everyone he still has it, defeating the much younger and faster Erko Jun with a second-round TKO win. 


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Sebastian Rudnicki/KSW

Former champion Borys Mankowski found his spot back on the winning sheet for the first time since 2016 with an impressive submission win over Vaso 'The Psycho' Bakocevic and Croatia's very own Antun Racic became the first-ever KSW bantamweight champion with a decision win over Damian Stasiak.

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Sebastian Rudnicki/KSW

Other notable winners on the card were the undefeated Ivan Erslan and Cezary Kesik who move to 8-0 and 10-0, respectively, Daniel Torres achieved the biggest win of his career, and Ante Delija won the war of the giants with a second-round stoppage over Oli Thompson.

"This means everything to me in the world. After ten years in martial arts. I have to thank my team and you fans who have been great," Delija said in front of the entire arena. 

Main Event
Mariusz Pudzianowski (13-7) def. Erko Jun (3-1) via TKO (punches), round 2,  1:42.
Watch Video

Co-Main Event
Catchweight 161 lb
Borys Mańkowski (20-8-1) def. Vaso Bakocevic (39-19-1) via submission (anaconda), round 1,  1:42.
Watch Video

Inaugural Bantamweight Title
Antun Racić (24-8-1) def. Damian Stasiak (11-7) via majority decision (47-47, 48-47, 48-46).

Daniel Torres (10-4) def. Filip Pejić (14-3-2) via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28).

Cezary Kęsik (10-0) def. Aleksandar Ilić (12-3) via submission (rear naked choke), round 2, 4:25.
Watch Finish

Ante Delija (17-3) def. Oli Thompson (20-11) via TKO, round 2, 1:50.
Watch Finish

Light Heavyweight
Ivan Erslan (8-0) def. Darwin Rodriguez (9-5) via TKO, round 1, 1:30.
Watch Finish

Roman Szymański (12-5) def. Milos Janicić (11-3) via unanimous decision (29-27x3).

Krystian Kaszubowski (8-1) def. Ivica Truscek (38-33) via split decision (29-28x2, 28-29).

Sebastian Przybysz (6-2) def. Lemmy Krusić (20-7) via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26).
To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page
Tuesday, 22 October 2019

KSW 51 Zagreb: TCN Discusses Upcoming Spectacle with CEO Martin Lewandowski

October 22, 2019 - TCN caught up with the CEO of KSW, Martin Lewandowski, about the upcoming MMA spectacle at the Zagreb Arena on November 9, 2019. 

To begin, can you tell our readers a bit about KSW as an organization?

We launched KSW in 2004, starting with a really small event in front of just 300 people. Over the past fifteen years, we've grown to become the biggest MMA promotion in Europe and one of the world's leading promotions. In 2017, we staged KSW 39 at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland. This event drew an attendance of 57,766 people and became the biggest MMA event ever in Europe and the second biggest MMA event of all-time, behind an old Japanese event and larger than any UFC event ever.


Primarily we are a Polish-based promotion, but in recent years, we began our expansion more into Europe. We've had three successful events in London, Englan, a fantastic event in Dublin, Ireland, and now we are coming to Croatia for the first time on November 9th with KSW 51. I'd say it is safe to say we are moving to become a European MMA promotion now rather than just a Polish MMA promotion. Although since the early days of KSW, we've had fighters from all over the globe compete for us.

KSW will be coming to Zagreb for the first time next month - what can we expect from this event?

What makes KSW so unique is that we don't just promote fights; our event as a whole is a spectacle. From the production to the music to the lights and our famous opening ceremony, a KSW event is like no other. You add all this on top of high-quality fights from the start of the card right until the end, and you have an unforgettable night. We treat each event like it is a night at the theatre or the movies for fans. People attend these from start to finish and they are entertained throughout.

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Lewandowski with Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic

What was it about Zagreb that enticed you to host the KSW MMA event there in November?

Everything just fell into place perfectly for this event. We have great support already in Zagreb and the Mayor of the City Milan Bandic has been very welcoming to KSW.
There is a huge gap in the market here in Croatia as there is no promotion regularly staging large scale events here. It is a nation with a rich & impressive history in martial arts & combat sports and, much like Poland, this region has been forged through hard times in the past. It reminds me so much of Poland. MMA is already an accepted and much-loved sport here.

In regards to putting an event on in November, it just seemed right for us. It was one of the months which was open for us and we were actively seeking to stage an event then. I had been looking at the Balkan market closely for a while already - looking at other cities, investing in Balkan fighters - and after speaking with Croatian manager Ivan Dijakovic for hours about doing a KSW in Zagreb, we saw an opportunity to come in and take over the city for one night.

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Roberto Soldic

What can you tell us about the MMA fighters on the card for Zagreb?

Well, the main event is a huge heavyweight clash between five-time world's strongest man Mariusz Pudzianowski and social media star & bodybuilder Erko Jun of Bosnia. Both men are big stars worldwide. The co-main event is former KSW champ Borys Mankowski, who is one of our most popular fighters in Poland, versus Vaso 'The Psychopath' Bakocevic, one of the Balkans' most entertaining and popular fighters & personalities.

Croatia is well represented on the card. Dubrovnik's Antun Racic has a chance to make history and become the first-ever KSW bantamweight champion when he faces Poland's Damian Stasiak. Undefeated light heavyweight Ivan Erslan will make his KSW debut, the exciting Filip Pejic and Aleksandar Rakas are also on the card. On Wednesday, we just announced that Croatia's top heavyweight Ante Delija will face Bosnia's Denis Stojnic in what is arguably the biggest ever heavyweight fight between two fighters from the Balkans.

Where do you see MMA in the Croatian sporting landscape?

In the overall landscape, I think it has fallen back a bit. It is obviously a very popular sport in Croatia, KSW has a great fanbase here. However, when you haven't got a regular promotion to follow locally, which constantly uses local fighters and stages major events, then the sport will take a back seat to all the other major sports.

One of the biggest Croatian stars is Mirko Cro Cop. He still ranks very highly amongst stars from all sports not just kickboxing or MMA. The majority of other countries don't have this, they have icons from other sports like soccer, tennis, golf etc., so when you have a hero from a particular sport who is so universally known, then this gives you an indication of the popularity or potential popularity of MMA.

Where does Croatia currently rank in the MMA world? What Croatian fighters should we be keeping an eye on for the future?

I think Croatia is an emerging nation once again for MMA. In the past, we've had Croatian fighters like Goran Reljic, who was KSW light heavyweight champion, and Igor Pokrajac compete for us. Obviously, Mirko Cro Cop has arguably been the best fighter this country has produced and there hasn't been anyone who has recreated his success since, but looking at the current crop of fighters coming through, I think the future is bright.

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Antun Racic

KSW welterweight champion Roberto Soldic is easily one of the top prospects in the whole sport. It is worth keeping an eye on Ivan Erslan and Filip Pejic; both will be competing at KSW 51, they are so exciting and have all the potential in the world. Then you also have experienced pros Antun Racic and Ante Delija, who are currently among the best in the world in their respective divisions.

And I also believe Croatia can half-claim Stipe Miocic as their own, haha. He is a phenomenal fighter and a great champion in the UFC.

What potential is there to grow the sport in Croatia? What advice would you have on how to accomplish this?

There is a lot of potential here to grow the sport more in Croatia and throughout the Balkans. As I said before, there is a rich history for the sport in this region and already there is widespread acceptance. It is actually one of my personal goals to help the sport grow by staging a yearly marquee KSW event here and to continue to provide a platform for Croatian fighters to compete on.

On the regional level, the only advice I can give is to urge people to support local fighter and local events. There is huge emerging pool of fighters from all over the country and they need support to grow.


Filip Pejic

Any closing words?

I look forward to bringing KSW to the beautiful country of Croatia for the very first time, and I hope to see you all these on November 9. Let’s make the first KSW event a historical event that makes the whole Balkans talk about KSW!


More information on KSW 51 can be found here

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

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