Sunderland MMA record breaker Phil De Fries successfully defends world title once again
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The Thornhill fighter has successfully defended his KSW World Heavyweight Champion title for the eighth time, winning it nine, earning him the record of winning the most title defences of any heavyweight organisation.
The latest to take on the 36-year-old was Todd Duffee as the pair battled it out at KSW 79 in the Czech Republic.
Duffee was returning to the cage after four years and there was a score to settle after the pair last went head to head in the UFC in 2012, with Duffee managing to knock Phil out in one round.
It was 6ft4 Phil who dominated this time though, stopping Duffee in one round in less than four minutes, after his career has soared to new heights under Polish promoter KSW.
Dad-of-two Phil, who champions good mental health after previous struggles, said: “I always feel good going into fights, my head is good, and I’m in the right place now.
"I got him down early and could see he was struggling. He didn’t even hit me once.”
Phil usually fights in Poland, but says it was great to travel somewhere new for this bout, which took place at Home Credit Arena in Liberec, taking with him an entourage from Sunderland, as well as from his fight camp in Manchester.
"It was great atmosphere, the place was at capacity and the crowd were amazing. KSW have great production values and put on a great show,” he said. “It’s nice to see a bit of the world, too.”
There’s no resting on his laurels after his latest victory.
There’s plans for Phil to take on former UFC star Alistair Overeem on June 3 at PGE Narodowy stadium in Warsaw, Poland, which would be one of the biggest crowds ever for an MMA show at 58,000.
Phil, who fights out of TFT in Seaham, is undefeated since he signed to KSW, one of the world’s biggest fight promoters.
He’s one in a wave of successful fighters who hone their skills at the gym in Strangford Road, which is run by fellow Sunderland fighter and coach Andrew Fisher.