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Opening the Vault

I’ve been working in the martial arts space for the better part of the last fifteen years now and I’ve been involved in making some pretty bad-ass fights during that time – be it directly as a matchmaker for an event, as an advisor for a show or as an agent booking our own or friendly talent.

To grant you a little insight into my work, I will open my vault and show you some of these fights, some of which you have probably not seen before or even heard of, but trust me – they will all be well worth your time.

Let’s start off today with a true lightweight slobberknocker that took place in Magdeburg, Germany a little more than six years ago. Sascha Poppendieck, who had successfully promoted the “La Onda” event series for well over five years at the time, had asked me to put together an international middleweight tournament with participants from half a dozen different countries.

We had a colorful starting field featuring athletes that would go on to become UFC fighters and internationally wanted terrorists. In one of the super fights I pitted eventual Cage Warriors champion Ivan Musardo against Austrian standout Philipp Schranz.

Two little-known kids on the undercard totally stole the show, though: Sebastian Nowak was a young Div. II wrestler who trained under the “German Brock Lesnar” Mathias Schuck at the time. “Knacki” had a good start into his career, smashing three inferior fighters in a row to go 3-0, and grown quite confident in his abilities because of that.

Both Sascha and I agreed that it was time for a first real test for Nowak, so I looked to Poland for an adequate opponent and found him in Mariusz Pioskowik. I’ve met “Dyzio” for the first time a year earlier when he debuted against eventual KSW champion Maciej Gorski. Even though he came up short that night, I knew the short and stocky Silesian with his tenacious Greco-Roman style was the perfect match for Nowak’s freestyle wrestling.

The bout more than lived up to its expectations and went on to be nominated for the GnP1.de “Fight of the Year” award that year. But we’ve had enough of words, why don’t you go watch for yourself. Please be warned that footage of the fight is not particularly crisp as it’s from the pre-HD era. It is still watchable and enjoyable, though.

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