Polish MMA promotion KSW will head to Dublin, Ireland for the first time in their history on October 21 when Norman Parke and Mateusz Gamrot go toe-to-toe for the second time this year at KSW 40.
Their first fight took place at KSW 39 in May where Gamrot defeated Parke via a unanimous decision. Despite being on the wrong end of the decision, Parke still has fond memories of the record-breaking evening.
“It was a great experience and probably one of the best of my career,” Parke said, speaking today at a press event in Warsaw.
“To fight in front of 50,000 plus people is something I will always remember.
“I’ve been following KSW for a long time and I know they have some of the best fighters in Europe.
“I’m looking forward to them coming to Dublin in October.”
The first fight with Parke and Gamrot was rife with controversy after the Polish champion appeared to bite Parke on the hand as they jostled for position on the mat. Gamrot at first avoided talk of an immediate rematch, but according to Parke he soon changed his mind when the check book came out.
“I couldn’t taken another fight, I know that he [Gamrot] didn’t want the fight to happen,” Parke said. “He wanted me to fight Mansour Barnaoui because he wanted Barnaoui to beat me. That fight is irrelevant at the moment because he just took Barnaoui down and controlled him and won the fight, but he’s trying to saying that Barnaoui is a better fighter than me and that doesn’t make sense.
“The only reason he took the rematch is because money talks. When someone is coming to him saying that he can earn double, if not triple your money, would you fight me? Of course you would. I talked to him after the [first] fight and he didn’t want to fight me. No chance.
“He can sit there and talk s*** all he wants, but it’s the truth.”
Despite Gamrot’s 13-0 record, Parke hasn’t been impressed by what he’s seen from the Pole so far. With KSW changing their championship bouts to five, five-minutes rounds as of next month, the former UFC man believes that gives him a big advantage.
“He should test himself against the best fighters, not handpicked opponents who he knows he’s going to beat,” Parke said. “He’s been fighting guys who he knows if wrestles he’s going to beat, but coming up against me, someone who can defend the takedown and who puts the pressure on he crumbles.
“Now he’s left his gym, he’s left the guys who brought him up. He’s confused and he’s coming up with all these excuses. I think it’s fear, I can see fear in his eyes. He doesn’t want to fight me over five rounds and he knows when he comes to Dublin that his cardio needs to be on-point or else he’s getting f***ed.”
With the fight under six weeks away now, Parke encouraged Gamrot to change up his gameplan and come to Ireland to put on a show. Parke believes he’s taken Gamrot’s best shot and he said he doesn’t want to see a repeat of the first fight which was mainly contested on the mat.
“You can see just be looking at him, he doesn’t want to make eye contact,” Parke said. “Listen, fight me next time we fight, don’t be a little girl. I was on the front foot applying the pressure and defending the takedown. He shot for takedowns constantly. He hit with me one good headkick in round one and I just took it. He thought, ‘F*** I just hit him with a head kick and he’s just coming forward.’
“He knows I’m a tough fight and that I’m going to come forward. I hope he comes to fight and doesn’t run like a girl.
“All he needed was a little dress and he would’ve looked like a little girl.”
“He was running for his life. He needs to show he’s a true champion. Show that Polish heart like the Polish guys that I train with–show that Polish heart.”