This Friday, former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett will battle former KSW champion Marcin Rozalsk.
The bout will headline the first event from Genesis, a new bare-knuckle promotion from KSW, a massively successful MMA promotion out of Poland.
Unlike most bare-knuckle spectacles, however, which only allow strikes with the hands, this one will also allow strikes with the elbows.
A bit about men and the fight itself, from a Tuesday press release:
Josh Barnett is a legend in the world of combat sports. Competing professionally since 1997, ‘The Warmaster’ won the UFC heavyweight title in 2002 beating Randy Couture before going to Japan to win the King of Pancrase Openweight Champion. From there Barnett had successful stints in Pride, Strikeforce, Affliction, and, most recently, he completed another run in the UFC defeating former champions Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir.
Outside of MMA Barnett has a history in submission grappling, pro wrestling, catch wrestling, and is true student of martial arts. Now the well-travelled American comes to Poland for the very first time to compete in a bare knuckle boxing bout, with elbows allowed, with a formidable foe in Polish superstar Marcin Rozalski.
Originally coming from underground fighting, Rozalski moved to the professional kickboxing ring in the mid 2000’s before jumping to MMA in 2011, making his debut at KSW 15. Since then this heavyweight bruiser became a true fan favourite right across Poland thanks to his finishes in the ring and his attitude & personality outside. In 2017, Rozalski would realise his dream, winning the KSW heavyweight title with a devastating 16 second KO win over Brazil’s Fernando Rodrigues Jr. in front of almost 60,000 people in Warsaw. He would soon relinquish the title and has only competed once since, beating K-1 legend Peter Graham in a kickboxing bout in 2018.
“The concept of the Genesis event and ruleset (bare knuckle boxing with elbows allowed) is to allow us to see martial arts at its rawest and truest form,” says promoter & KSW co-owner, Maciej Kawuslk. “There is no room for error in offense or defence. There are no 4oz gloves to protect your hands, no 8oz gloves to protect your head, and, with our ruleset, the clinch is not a place of sanctuary but rather a place of peril.”
With years of experience in combat & martial arts behind them, Josh Barnett and Marcin Rozalski will now meet in the main event of Genesis on Friday night live on www.KSWTV.com!