KSW Heavyweight champion Phil De Fries and Josh Barnett have promised fans an exciting contest when the two meet in a submission only bout this Saturday (February 24th ) at KSW Epic.

The pair will go head to head in an open weight 10 minute match, in which no striking is allowed, as Barnett once against pits himself against a KSW champion. In his first contest against a KSW great, Barnett took on Marcin Rozalski in a bare knuckle contest and forced the lineal Heavyweight king to retire at the end of round two.

Now he is back and looking to take the scalp of De Fries, albeit in a different martial arts discipline.

Discussing the match, Barnett admitted that he is intrigued to see what the KSW Heavyweight champion will bring to the bout, believing De Fries is yet to show his full set of skills in the KSW cage. He said:

“Anything is possible but we have to get in the ring this Saturday and I promise, not if it is going to be a good match, it will be a good match. Both Phil and I are big, strong heavyweights. I don’t think you have seen much of Phil’s complete skillset because he hasn’t had to use it all and this is a submission only match. Normally, Phil pressures a guy, takes them down on the cage, mauls them like the big English bear he is. Maybe he has got a really good bottom game, or maybe his leg lock game is pretty strong, we are all going to have to find out under this rule set exactly what kind of submission grappler he is. We all know he is a fighter, not just a fighter, he is the reigning KSW Heavyweight (Champion).”

As Barnett alluded too, although De Fries has four submissions in his 10 bouts for KSW, the Sunderland man’s pressure usually ends up proving to be too much for his opponents. De Fries is entering the submission only bout ready to deliver an exciting grappling style on Saturday night.

“My game plan always remains the same, I started out as a submission grappler, I was the best submission grappler in the country at one point – this is when I was 20 years old by the way. I gave all the submissions up when I realized you can just punch people, but I have a very complete and very imposing top game with a lot of submissions and I’m 135kg at the moment. I feel strong, I feel great, I’ve had a great camp and me and Josh are going to bring the action, I am going to fight with reckless abandonment, and it is just going to be a lot of fun!"

The contest will be competed in an open weight category and when asked about the size of his opponent, the Heavyweight champion seemed unphased and even quipped that he believes he might have the edge when it comes to the scales.

“I train with ginormous heavyweights every single day. I am not afraid to fight anyone, MMA or grappling, and I am sure Josh is the same. I have had 30 fights; I have fought giants. I don’t think Josh is 135kg, I think I am bigger!

KSW Epic will feature a host of bouts under numerous different disciplines. Discussing the event, Barnett expressed his delight in such a show going ahead and also requested a small alternation to KSW MMA rules moving forward.

“I think it makes sense for an event called Epic to have every possibility to have epic fights. If you build a great promotion like KSW, you can put Muay Thai fights in there, you can boxing matches, you can put any style of fight in a ring as long as what you put together is comprised of the type of fighters you would find at KSW. You grab the champions and you’re going to get a good fight. Personally, I want to see the BJJ vs Judo fight with the jackets, its pretty interesting and if you ask me, all of the fights in KSW should be PRIDE rules, all of them.”

KSW Epic will take place at the PreZero Arena in Gliwice, Poland and will be topped with by KSW King Mamed Khalidov making his professional boxing debut against seasoned veteran Tomasz Adamek; as well as featuring a four man Light Heavyweight tournament, and numerous mixed rules bouts.