KSW 15: Matt Lindland and Thales Leites Unable to Fight Mamed Khalidov

Leon HorneAnalyst IFebruary 28, 2011

Mamed Khalidov dismantling Clay Guida's brother Jason at a now defunct EliteXC event
Mamed Khalidov dismantling Clay Guida's brother Jason at a now defunct EliteXC event

I'm not sure if many people in North America know much about the KSW fight club, but it is the premiere fight league in Poland. The organization has played home to a few fighters that might ring a bell: UFC light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson won under their banner once, former boxer turned mixed martial artist Eric "Butterbean" Esch and former strongman turned mixed martial artist Marius Pudzianowski also fought for KSW.

Butterbean and Pudzianowsk certainly don't jump out as premiere fighters by any means, and Gustafsson is still climbing that UFC ladder. However, they do have some solid fighters within the organization, and one of them is middleweight fighter Mamed Khalidov.

Khalidov boasts a record of 21-4-2, and although he lost recently to UFC middleweight recruit Jorge Santiago by way of decision back in March 2010, Khalidov won a knockout victory over Jorge in November 2009.

KSW had Khalidov scheduled to fight Matt Lindland at KSW 15 on March 19th, but Matt was forced off the card due to a hand injury which was reported by KSW on February 20th.

Lindland, a former Olympian and UFC veteran, would have been a high profile fight for Khalidov with a lot of upside had he won.

Rumors swirled around the possibility of replacing Lindland with former UFC middleweight fighter and No. 1 contender, Thales Leites. Leites would have been another good name for Khalidov to add to his list of growing opponents. Once again, rumors of a Leites knee injury have been swirling around the internet and he may be forced off the card just like Lindland.

Although not clear whether Leites is injured or not, sources from within KSW have stated that they are looking for a new opponent for Khalidov. Regardless, something has obviously gone wrong.

I am not sure of any last minute replacements that would fit the bill, but David Loiseau is coming off a win in late February; if he isn't too beat up, maybe he'd want the quick turnaround. Another UFC castaway, Gerald Harris, is scheduled to fight in May, so maybe he'd be prepared to take a fight in March if his contract allows.

In any case, time is running short for KSW and Mamed Khalidov. Hopefully they find someone soon, although it might be difficult to find someone of Lindland's or Leites' level on such short notice.


Leon Horne has been contributing to Bleacher Report for two years now. He focuses mainly on mixed martial arts, but he has also written about tennis, football and hockey. Just send him a message if you want to talk sports or discuss any opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter for updates: Follow Leon_Horne on Twitter