FightBox on Facebook
English (United Kingdom)Polish (Poland)Czech (Čeština)

January 2016: Polish Kickboxing - Taking The World By Storm

Living in Poland for the past 11 years, it’s no surprise that I’ve interviewed more than a few Polish fighters for The FightBox Podcast and although Poland is not generally viewed as one of the strongest kickboxing nations, that could soon change with a wave of Poles currently taking the world by storm.

Being a foreigner, I find it intriguing how Poles generally hold both a pessimistic and very patriotic view of their country at the same time. This goes for a number of things, including kickboxing. They all seem to have a similar view of the Polish kickboxing / Muay Thai scene: they’ve got some really talented fighters, but there are a few factors holding them back.

1) There’s not enough money / sponsors to really build a successful kickboxing scene.

2) Fighters and gyms seem to spend too much time arguing with each other rather than helping each other.

3) When Poles do get a chance to perform on a worldwide stage, they generally lose.

With several big opportunities on the horizon, Polish fighters have a chance to improve their outlook on the future. Coming up on February 27th in Chicago, long time Polish standout Paweł Jędrzejczyk will fight at Glory 27. Jędrzejczyk, a five-time world champion, was the first Pole to ever compete and win at Rajadamnern Stadium. Along with another top Polish fighter, Tomasz Makowski, these athletes now have the opportunity to fight among the elite in their sport. Jędrzejczyk will be competing in the welterweight division (77kg / 170lbs) while Makowski, the organizer and star of Makwoski Fighting Championship (MFC), will be in the featherweight division (65kg / 143lbs). However, it’s unlikely that Makowski will be fighting at Glory 27 due to an injury, but he still remains under contract.


Paweł Jędrzejczyk holding his Glory contract

Of his upcoming fight in Glory, Jędrzejczyk said “I’m very happy that Mr. Hemmers has given me this chance. A lot of people have helped me to get here including Cezary Podraza, Łukasz Banach and Eric Haycraft. I won’t disappoint them. I will do my best to win this fight in good style. I hope it will only be the beginning of my big adventure”.

Speaking of Glory, it was assumed that Rafał Dudek would be making his debut for the promotion sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, being ranked the number six featherweight in the division, but it was revealed in episode 48 of The FightBox Podcast that Dudek had not even signed a contract nor agreed on a date on which to fight, despite his ranking. Dudek will get another big break though, at Enfusion Reality 6, a reality TV program from the Thai island of Koh Samui. This sixteen episode show will be filmed over a two week period starting on January 21st. Among the list of fighters and celebrities involved on the show is Saenchai, who is recognized as one of the top standup fighters in the world and it is possible that Dudek may even fight him.


Rafał Dudek shown ranked as the #6 Glory Featherweight

The 31 year old Dudek, who regularly trains at the world-renowned Mike’s Gym in Holland, said of his upcoming appearance in the Enfusion Reality show “Mike Passenier set up this opportunity for me and I’m really happy everything worked out. I won my last two fights and I’ve been training really hard, so I hope there will be a good result”.

2015 was not a bad year for Poles overall, as many opportunities were presented. Paweł Jędrzejczyk had a draw against Ekapop Sor Klinmee in the Max Muay Thai promotion in August that really turned a lot of heads and Dudek competed in Superkombat Fighting Championship in November, live on FightBox HD, narrowly losing a decision to local Romanian fighter Cristian Milea. Tomek Makowski tested his skills overseas in China at Kunlun Fight 26, competing on the same card as Yodsanklai. Elsewhere, Polish heavyweight Michał Turyński defeated Vladimir Tok in the KOK Heavyweight WGP Tournament as well as Muay Thai fighter Bartosz Batra recently competing at the Thai Fight Countdown event in Thailand on New Year’s Eve.

All of this coupled with the fact that Joanna Jędrzejczyk (no relation to Paweł), a former six-time world Muay Thai champion becoming the UFC Strawweight Champion in 2015, has really drawn a huge amount of attention to the Polish scene. And “JJ” may not be alone for long. Karolina Kowalkiewicz debuted in the UFC strawweight division with a victory over Randa Markos on December 19th and has her eyes set on her countrywomen’s title.

The eyes of an entire nation will be watching closely as these warriors try to carve out their own legacy on a worldwide stage in kickboxing and try to prove once again that Poland is a country to be reckoned with. If successful, they may draw more eyeballs in the direction of kickboxing in this country, help to popularize the sport in their homeland and could start to disintegrate the Polish view of the “Pole losing abroad”.

And for god’s sake, someone please give Dawid Kasperski a chance to compete in one of the bigger kickboxing promotions. The kid is ultra talented and if given a chance, has the potential to become a huge star in this sport.

Check out my podcasts with Paweł Jędrzejczyk,  Rafał Dudek and Joanna Jędrzejczyk and also check out Glory Kickboxing on FightBox. Our name for it is “First League”.

- Daniel Austin (Don Roid) (blog) (podcast)

  • Dodaj na:
    Facebook Google Bookmarks