Champion Sunderland fighter Phil de Fries prepares to defend KSW world heavyweight title

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One of the city’s most successful fighters ever is preparing to bring home the world heavyweight belt once again.

Phil de Fries, from Thornhill, is a record-breaking MMA fighter who defended his KSW World Heavyweight Champion title for the eighth time earlier this year, winning it nine, earning him the record of winning the most title defences of any heavyweight organisation.

It’s also the most title defences in promoter KSW’s history who honoured Phil’s five years of being undefeated this summer by presenting him with a Rolex watch.

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He’ll be sure to remove it for his next title defence fight, however, which will see the 6ft4 city fighter take on Polish heavyweight Szymon Bajor.

Phil lifting the heavyweight belt at his last title defence. Photo courtesy of KSWPhil lifting the heavyweight belt at his last title defence. Photo courtesy of KSW
Phil lifting the heavyweight belt at his last title defence. Photo courtesy of KSW

They’ll go head to head on the KSW fight card in Gdynia, Poland, on July 15, a country where Phil has earned himself a loyal army of fans.

Dad-of-two Phil said he’s confident about the bout: “He’s a good fighter, but he’s not particularly dangerous in any one area, he does everything well. But I’m feeling confident.

"I have a great team around me and when you have a good team it’s easy to do well.”

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Phil fights out of TFT gym in Seaham under coach Andrew Fisher alongside fellow Sunderland heavyweight Mick Parkin who fights in the UFC, as well as sparring sessions with UFC fighter Tom Aspinall in Manchester.

He’s one in a wave of successful fighters who hone their skills at the TFT gym in Strangford Road.

*KSW 84 takes place at the PolSat Plus Arena, Gdynia, Poland, on July 15 2023.

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