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Sunderland MMA fighter Phil De Fries on preparing to defend his world heavyweight title

He’s one of Sunderland’s most successful fighters – and Phil De Fries is confident he’ll be be bringing the world heavyweight belt back to Wearside once again.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 12:28 pm

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The 35-year-old’s MMA career has soared in recent years, winning eight bouts in a row and successfully defending his KSW belt five times.

Now he’s back in training to defend it for a sixth time when he takes on No 1 contender Darko Stosic on February 26.

Signed to Polish promoter KSW, Phil is one of their most popular and successful fighters, holding the record for the world heavyweight belt.

Sunderland fighter is the reigning KSW World Heavyweight champion

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The next title defence fight will take place in Warsaw, Poland as the main event on the KSW 67 fight card, and Phil says he’s feeling confident of another win.

"He’s a good contender, but my cardio is better and I’m much bigger, as he’s a small heavyweight,” said the dad-of-two from Thornhill.

He added: "I hate to lose, but it’s always good to have a good contender as it means I invest more in the training camps. If your contender isn’t good, you just get sloppy.”

Phil fights out of TFT MMA in Seaham, which is home to a number of professional fighters, with Andrew Fisher and Michael Parkin flying to Poland with him as his cornermen.

The fight will be available on the KSW app

Due to Covid, Phil’s recent fights have always taken place in Poland where the promoter is based, but he says he’d love to defend a title on home turf.

He said: “They were going to do a fight in Birmingham but because of Covid and the logistics of it they’ve all had to take place in Poland. It would be great to have a fight at home, especially somewhere like Newcastle Arena. I get a lot of support from Sunderland so it would be great to fight in front of a home crowd.”

Phil first got into martial arts when he was 14 and began doing BJJ before moving on to MMA when he was 20. He fought for the biggest fight promoter in the world, UFC, in his 20s.

But it was joining TFT gym and signing to KSW when he was 30 that’s led to his greatest success in the sport.

Phil fights out of TFT MMA in Seaham

UK & Ireland fans can watch KSW 67 live on www.KSWTV.com and the KSW App on February 26.

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