The card for leading Polish MMA promotion KSW’s March 19 event in Warsaw is in the late stages of finalization and it appears the show should feature a handful of recognizable names including Bellator, PRIDE, and UFC veterans. In addition to fights from Rogent Lloret and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou it now appears the organization has procured an opponent for Mamed Khalidov after originally scheduled adversary Thales Leites withdrew from the card with a knee injury.
According to sources close to the promotion, Five Ounces of Pain has learned talks between KSW and controversial striker James Irvin are ongoing with the expectation “The Sandman” will fill the vacancy opposite Khalidov. Though Irvin is currently facing a probable suspension from the CSAC after testing positive for steroids and was removed from an upcoming Shark Fights event as a result of the hit, Poland does not have an athletic commission meaning he can be cleared to compete there while risking repercussions back in the States by violating the board’s findings.
Khalidov is currently 21-4-2 with an even split at 10/10 between strike-based/submission victories. He is 4-1-1 in his last six outings including first-frame finishes by way TKO of Jorge Santiago in November 2009 and a first-frame TKO.
Comparably, Irvin has lost four of his last five fights and is at a crossroads in his career where success against the popular Eastern European is crucial. He holds past wins over Terry Martin, Scott Smith, and Houston Alexander.
It also appears “KSW 15: Revenge” will feature Polish strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski making a return to the ring after forcing Eric “Butterbean” Esch to tap from strikes last September at KSW 14. Based on information from the same source, the 3-1 Pudzianowski will likely be paired with fan-favorite James Thompson.
Thompson is British brawler known for packing lot of power as well as embodying a “Rock Em Sock Em” spirit where little fear if any is ever shown in terms of suffering a knockout. He is 1-8 in his last nine fights but has had his hands raised in the past against Don Frye, Dan Severn, and Hidehiko Yoshida.