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Phil De Fries: Satoshi Ishii ‘more than likely’ next challenger for KSW title

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Former UFC fighter Philip De Fries continued his resounding resurgence by claiming a one-sided decision over KSW light heavyweight champion Tomasz Narkun in their KSW 47 super fight last weekend, marking his second title defense since claiming the promotion’s heavyweight crown.

The towering English heavyweight spoke of his great respect for former opponent Satoshi Ishii ahead of the Lodz main event and underlined that the Japanese fighter would makes sense as a future title challenger should they both claim victories on the card. With Ishii edging out former champion Fernando Rodrigues Jr. in his KSW debut on Saturday night, De Fries expects that the former Olympian is likely to be the next challenger to his heavyweight strap.

“We talked a bit,” De Fries told Eurobash. “I had been training with Fernando as well so it might have been a little bit awkward when we were all together, but we talked a bit.

“[Ishii is] just a really good guy. All of his corners are good guys, but that fight is more than likely going to happen next, but me being friends with him won’t change me trying to get him. I didn’t really like [Tomasz] Narkun that much, but I didn’t fight him angry, I was more impartial. I just try to keep a straight face and stay the same. Like or dislike, it doesn’t mean anything to me once I get in there.”

Despite taking out three of the scariest fighters under the banner thus far—Michal Andryszak, Karol Bedorf, Tomasz Narkun—De Fries acknowledged that international audiences would see Ishii a bigger scalp. He noted that he would also like to avenge his loss to Ishii dating back IGF 1 in 2014, before the English heavyweight had sought help for his anxiety.

“I suppose [the win would mean more for international fans], but it would mean a lot to me as well since he beat me before. He beat anxious Phil, now it’s time for un-anxious Phil and he’s looking for revenge.”

De Fries was quick to point out that the Ishii fight has not been made yet and suggested that a big showing by Bedorf or Damian Grabowski could secure them the next crack at the strap depending on what happens when they clash at KSW 49.

“You never know, they might bring somebody back. [Karol] Bedorf and Damian Grabowski might have a great fight. One of them might take a dominant win and KSW might give them [the next title shot]. I don’t know, I think logically [Ishii] is the fight to make and it’s a fight I’m happy with. I’m sure Ishii wants to fight for the belt too, so if everyone’s happy why not go ahead with it?”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Phil De Fries interview begins at 32:00.

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