The dust has just about settled following Sunday nights KSW 40 event at the 3 Arena in Dublin.
The biggest talking point from the night came in the co-main event clash between Northern Ireland’s ‘Stormin’ Norman Parke and Mateusz Gamrot, with the latter’s eye pokes causing the referee to stop the contest late into the second round.
As soon as the opening bell rang both fighters met in the middle of the cage and started to trade blows, something Parke said he and his camp had prepared for when speaking to Pundit Arena:
“The plan was to pressure him and make him tired. When we realised after the first round that he wasn’t trying to make it a wrestling match, we decided to have a lot more exchanges and wear him down. You could see he was looking at the clock and looking for ways to rest.”
It was early in the first round when a kick from Gamrot landed below the belt causing the first pause to the action. Soon after the fight was halted again, this time Gamrot’s fingers connected with Parke’s eyes.
Then mid-way through the second round, Gamrot landed a seemingly more sinister eye poke:
“The low blow (was) an accident, the first eye poke was because he was getting tired and sloppy with his hands but the second eye poke was completely intentional. He was very tired and I kept walking through his punches, we believe he did this looking for a rest. I felt him breaking”.
The fight was waved away as a ‘no contest’ by referee Marc Goddard despite the KSW rule book stating three fouls in a fight results in a disqualification, but Parke doesn’t blame the ref:
“Marc did have his back to the action when the eye poke occurred and couldn’t see it to be honest. But three fouls should have been a DQ. My eye was still fuzzy for 45 minutes after the fight.”
Tempers inside the cage began to boil over as Parke confronted Gamrot’s corner men and in the midst of their argument, Marcin Bilman, who was in Gamrot’s corner, landed a cowardly blow on the chin of Parke.
But “Stormin” just laughs the cheap shot off:
“My son hits harder than that guy! I said after the fight that he reminds me of that little guy in school that sneaks up behind guys to punch them.”
Despite the drama that unfolded Norman Parke has no qualms about fighting for KSW again and he is already eyeing up a potential date at KSW 42 in early 2018.
He is even open to the prospect of fighting Gamrot a third time:
“Gamrot’s career is tainted by me. He knows he doesn’t want me coming after him for five rounds because I would have broken him before then.
“But I’ll fight him again, it’s the big money fight and a third time settles it once and for all.”
Ed Larkin, Pundit Arena