Polish MMA promotion KSW is hoping to bounce back from the coronavirus sooner rather than later, and has bolstered its roster with a key signing ahead of their return to action.
Like the rest of the world’s major MMA organizations, KSW’s 2020 event schedule was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but KSW’s CEO Martin Lewandowski told MMA Junkie that his team has used the enforced time away from live event operations to plan for the next chapter in the company’s history.
“This pandemic has provided a very big challenge not only for us, but the whole world,” he explained. “We’ve had to change some things in our day-to-day operations but it has made us strategize more for the future.”
KSW’s large-scale arena events are renowned for their production values and sense of spectacle, but the advent of the coronavirus has meant the organization has had to rethink how it will move forward in these socially-distanced times. But Lewandowski said that his team has been working tirelessly to finalize a comeback strategy and hopes to announce an event soon.
“We are an events based company. No events mean no ticket sales, no business on our PPV platform KSWTV.com, less sponsorship, less merchandise sold – apart from our online store KSWShop.com – and basically significantly reduced revenue across the board,” he explained. “We have been forced to think and to come together internally to try to solve this puzzle of moving forward in the short to medium term, and in a way these situations make you grow, both personally and as a company.
“At the time, we actually looked at every possible way to host an event in some form when our last show was canceled in March. But it was simply not feasible then due to government restrictions and safety protocols. Then we felt obligated to cancel our next shows in April and May. However, now it is all starting to ease up and we are close to confirming our next card. I do not want to say when right now because we are still putting all together. But it will be announced soon.”
Although Lewandowski and KSW have been unable to host live events during the pandemic, they have still sought to improve their product, and have launched a new KSW mobile app to help better serve their fans. They have also made a notable new signing, with Lewandowski revealing to MMA Junkie that FEN middleweight champion Andrzej Grzebyk has signed with the promotion.
MMA Junkie highlighted Grzebyk (16-3) as a potential Contender Series talent for later this year. But now the Polish striker has signed to KSW, where Lewandowski says the 29-year-old, who competes at both welterweight and middleweight, will only help strengthen his roster ahead of their return to action later this year.
“This is signaling our intention to move forward strongly,” Lewandowski explained. “He is one of Europe’s best talents and I am really happy he has signed with us at KSW.”