Sunderland fighter De Fries confident of bringing KSW heavyweight title home

MMA fighter Philip De Fries ahead of heavyweight world title bout.
MMA fighter Philip De Fries ahead of heavyweight world title bout.

Sunderland fighter Philip De Fries is hoping to silence a partisan home crowd and bring a MMA title back to Wearside.

The 31-year-old takes on Michael Andryszak tonight for the vacant KSW heavyweight belt in Wroclaw, Poland.

De Fries, a drugs advice worker for the NHS, has been in Poland all week, building up to one of the biggest bouts of his career.

And he believes he can rise to the occasion in front of more than 11,000 passionate fans to claim victory.

De Fries said: “ If I win, it will be the biggest belt ever brought back to the North East.

“Andryszak is a good fighter and is ranked in the top 20 in the world so I’m expecting a tough challenge.

“However, I’m really confident. I’m feeling good and training has gone well.

“I will be the underdog but on my day I can beat anyone.

“Andryszak is the best fighter in Poland but I don’t think he’s as good as some people think.”

De Fries flew into Warsaw at the beginning of the week, and has been undertaking various media interviews and publicity shoots ahead of the fight, which is big news in Poland.

The back end of the week has been about relaxing and conserving energy for the Millfield man, who fights out of TFT gym in Seaham.

He added: “The fight is on Poland’s equivalent of the BBC so it’s been quite a build-up.

“The Poles are a good bunch of fans and while they will be cheering Andryszak on, I think they’ll give me some respect.

“I’ve fought in Japan and Russia so I know what to expect from fighting away from home.

“I’ve had five fights in the UFC, competing in America, so I have plenty experience.

“Once you are in the cage, you just shut everything else out and focus on the job.”