In what was being billed as one of the biggest cards in Unified MMA history, Unified MMA 42 lived up to the hype.
The promotion’s final event of 2021 took place Friday night in Edmonton, Alta. in front of a sold out crowd at the River Cree Resort and Casino.
In the main event, Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz (now 9-1) wasted no time claiming his first professional title, knocking out Graham Park (now 8-3) less than two minutes into the first round to become the new Unified MMA super middleweight champion.
Outside of the finish being faster than he predicted, Ksiazkiewicz said the fight went exactly how he envisioned it playing out and knew the finishing blow was a perfectly clean land.
“I just used my superior technique, like I said. I tranced him a little bit with that lead hand moving it around, which setup that heavy left afterwards,” said Ksiazkiewicz in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I saw his eyes roll back, like his soul leave his body.”
Having made an appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) already, it’s evident Ksiazkiewicz is on the UFC’s radar.
Now back in the win column after dropping his DWCS bout, Ksiazkiewicz said he feels the UFC or another big promotion have to take notice.
“I feel like the top four major promotions in the world can’t sit on me anymore,” said Ksiazkiewicz.
“They’ve got to give me that call now, so I’m very excited with this title win.”
In the co-main event, Shane Campbell (now 21-8) had a dominant showing in a second round TKO victory over Hubert Geven (now 13-4).
The bout was originally scheduled as a lightweight title bout, but Geven was unable to make the 155-pound limit, so the bout was changed to a three-round non-title fight.
Campbell said he was frustrated with Geven’s weight miss, adding this continually happens with his opponents, and said he made a hefty demand, which was granted, in order for the fight to proceed.
“I demanded 70 per cent of his purse, which is absurd. The commission even felt awkward asking him for that kind of money because I don’t know if this has ever really been done that you can take 70 per cent of a guy’s purse. But this is ridiculous; you don’t show up for title fights and miss weight and come in looking like a bag of milk. That’s bulls**t,” said Campbell in an interview with MMA Empire.
“And it’s happening way too much. For someone to give up 20 per cent to get a weight advantage is f**king ridiculous. And it’s happening everywhere, it’s not just happening in regional shows. It’s happening in the UFC and because there’s no repercussions people keep doing it, so yeah I’m going to demand 70 per cent because that’s f**king bulls**t. If I felt like he actually tried to make weight I would’ve been more sympathetic and I don’t think I could’ve asked for that. But when you show up and clearly didn’t try to cut weight, I have no remorse.”
Campbell has now won four straight fights and is 9-2 since being released from the UFC in 2016.
He said it’s becoming nearly impossible to find opponents who will fight him in Canada and feels he’s earned a second shot on the big stage.
“I’ve terrorized the Canadian scene. There’s no one here that will accept a fight with me, definitely not at 155. Maybe since the last time Sunny has looked for someone else some people have grown some balls and are willing to step up.” said Campbell.
“After this win, I’m showcasing I’ve grown a lot, I’ve matured, I’m well-rounded and maybe it’s time Dana and the UFC pick me up again.”
KB Bhullar (now 10-3) was successful in getting back in the win column, finishing Brandt Dewsbery (now 15-4-1) with a highlight-reel head kick in the first round.
Although he was happy with the finish and the result in general, Bhullar was quick to pay his respects to Dewsbery.
“Brandt Dewsbery is such a great guy. He’s an awesome fighter, very skilled and I have nothing but respect and love for the guy. He comes from an awesome team at CMC,” said Bhullar in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I knew this was going to be potentially just a war. I had that feeling in my head and was just mentally preparing for that. It was one of those days where you wake up in the morning feeling nervous and knowing it might be a long day at the office. I kind of went in with that mentality and normally I’m very calm and collected before fights. I don’t usually feel any emotion or anything, but today I came in prepared with that feeling.”
Since being released by the UFC Bhullar has remained active, currently 2-1 since his last UFC bout in May.
While the end goal is to get back to the UFC, Bhullar said the best thing he can do right now is stay as active as possible.
“Right now, the most important thing to me is to stay active and keep winning. I’m not too caught up in titles and what not right now. If the right opportunity presents itself, sure, we’ll do it,” said Bhullar.
“For me right now, stay active and keep fighting. I’m healthy, I’m okay and that’s what matters.”
In other action on the card, Simon Marcus, Cole Campbell, Jett Grande, Ramil Kamilov, Leo Bonin, Nick Felber, Mitch Wiles and Ian Stoby all left with victories.