World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski’s long-awaited MMA debut is just a week away. Until today the popular Pudzian has been secretive about his training regimen and preparations for the fight against pro boxer Marcin Najman. Today at 10 o’clock in Martial Arts Pavilion at Warsaw’s Physical Education Academy, the Strongman had one of his last trainings which was opened for the press. I took the opportunity to talk to Mariusz, here’s my interview:
Hi Mariusz. Your MMA debut is only a week away, so I need to ask about your training camp. Are you satisfied with your preparations?
- I can safely say that I have trained really hard for these last nine weeks. Three, four trainings a day, six days a week. At the beginning I also had some strength workouts, but then I left it out. You saw my training, you should say how I’m doing.
I was shocked, especially after you lifted your opponent who was trying to catch you in an armbar and then you slammed him on the mat. Let’s get back to the interview. Which MMA techniques you incorporated to your game?
- Every morning I have grappling trainings with elements of wrestling and judo. In the evenings I have 40-minutes-long boxing work-outs. I join both these areas and I really enjoy it. After all the mixture of style is what MMA is all about.
Your rival Marcin Najman stresses in every interview that he is a boxer and he wants to win using his boxing techniques. Are you planning to avoid his stand-up skills or are we going to see an explosive striking contest?
- If Najman wants to exchange punches with me I wish him luck (laughing). I won’t be as slow as an ox and I won’t let him beat me up. My mother didn’t feed me to be a bum. These hands can hurt, believe me!
KSW Team fighter Maciej Gorski once said that fighters who used to train karate have great ability to land precise strikes and low kicks are their dangerous weapon. You showed glimpses of precision and your physical strength lately when you broke your sparing partner’s leg with one kick..!
- I 100% agree with Maciek that karate fighters are really precise with their punches and kicks. As for this unfortunate kick, indeed I hurt his leg, but I didn’t kick with my full power. I used about 30% of my ability.
So what is going to happen when you’ll use all your power? Will you snap someone’s leg?
At the beginning of your training camp nine weeks ago you weighed 140 kilograms. At the moment you are much lighter. What did you gain with this weight loss?
- I’m at 127 kilograms now and I’m not the same Pudzian as a few weeks ago. I’m quicker and more agile. There are even wrestlers with a few years experience who are not able to do what I can.
Many fighters whom you trained with today believe that you will certainly win without any problems and that Najman is a too easy opponent for you. Do you also underestimate the fighter you are going to face in the ring December 11th?
- I never underestimate my opponents whether it’s Strogman competition or anything else. One can’t underestimate even the weakest rival. I may not like him as a person, but when I enter the battle I respect anyone who does the same. Pudzian does not underestimate anyone… even Najman.
In none of your earlier interviews did you specify whom do you train with. However, there is one person who constantly brags about your preparations to the media. Don’t you think he is using yourself to promote his business?
- To be honest I don’t care. I’m not a novice in professional sports and I choose whom I work with. At the moment Mirek provides me with everything I need. It is him who brings fighters to spar with me, it’s his role and I don’t have time for this. I don’t treat anything what he does as using my person to promote his things.
Isn’t it irritating that you don’t talk to the media much while he’s there all the time? I don’t believe you…
- We agreed that if he wants to talk about my preparations I don’t have anything against it.
Thank you Mariusz for this interview and see you at the KSW ring, December 11th
- Thanks and greetings to all my fans.
Interview by Artur Przybysz
Editor’s note: If you want to see what a 5x world’s strongest man looks like working out, here are some photos. Can you imagine getting hit by someone this big and strong?