Two Dublin mixed martial artists will go toe-to-toe with top-class opponents in Gdansk, Poland this weekend.
Donaghmede’s Paul ‘Redser’ Redmond fights out of the Team Ryano gym in Finglas, while Ballybrack native Chris Fields runs SBG Swords on the town’s main street.
The Dubliners made their debuts last year with the Polish promotion – the largest in Europe – and have quickly moved up the ranks and wins on Saturday will see them given title shots.
Lightweight Redmond is set to take on Polish striker Gracjan Szadzinski and is expecting a hostile reception from the local fans.
It won’t be a shock to Redmond – who found himself on the wrong side of the 8,000-strong crowd in his hometown at KSW 40 at the 3Arena.
“I’m prepared for that,” the Donaghmede native told the Dublin Gazette.
“When KSW ran into town last year, I was fighting a Polish guy and boy did I get booed out of it in the 3Arena. I’ll expect the same thing down there, but it should be fun.”
Redmond – who had two fights in the UFC – expects a tough night against his hard-hitting opponent and is taking nothing for granted.
“You never know until you get in on the night. I know he’s got really good, strong, heavy hands, so I’ll be avoiding them. We’ll see what happens.
“He’s got nine pro fights – he’s lost two but he’s knocked out six of those MMA guys. He’s a really top-level striker and he has the power to put you out on your feet.
“Then again, I’m no slouch – I’m a brown belt in jiu jitsu and I’ve 21 pro MMA fights. [It’ll be] my ground game versus his as a striker.
34-year-old Fields struck a more confident note ahead of his fight with Brazilian former UFC veteran Wagner Prado.
He told the Dublin Gazette: “If you look at my record, I’m a mixed martial artist so I tend to win in lots of different ways.
“He’s had all his wins a certain way and I can easily figure out that rubik’s cube. Whereas I’m a much more difficult rubik’s cube for him to figure out.
“When I look at him and I look at me, I see a pretty easy path to victory. All that can change in one punch in the mouth, but that’s the game and that’s why it has such a big fanbase.”