This interview was sent to us and is published courtesy of KSW Spokesperson Artur Przybysz.
World’s Strongest Man’s next MMA fight is only nine weeks away. I met Mariusz Pudzianowski in Olsztyn and I decided to ask him about his preparations for KSW 13, his fight in USA and future plans. Here is the interview.
Mariusz your next MMA bout will take place at the Martial Arts Confrontation 13 on May 7th in Katowice. Tell me please, how are your preparations going? Who do you train with?
Three, four times a week I have ninety-minute boxing classes with Krzysztof Kosedowski. I train Greco-Roman wrestling with Polish National team under Ksawery Biedermann and I also perfect my grappling skills in another gym. I mix everything together and I feel I’m good at it.
Before competing in Strongman you built a special gym in your house in Biala Rawska. I’ve heard rumors that you preparing a special place at home for your MMA training now. Is this true?
I don’t have all the equipment I need yet, but this will change soon. At the moment I have a gym at my disposal twenty-four hours a day in Warsaw, so whenever I want I can train there. I just wish I have enough will, power, and health to do that.
You will fight in KSW in May, two weeks later in Moosin in USA. Isn’t the gap between this two fights too short? Aren’t you afraid, that you will be worn out, battered or injured?
I know what it means to fight three five-minute rounds. I get another new opponent every minute when I spar and I handle that. So if I can deal with five foes in one round, there won’t be any problem with only one. Obviously there’s a possibility that I will break a leg or pull a tendon. It’s occupational hazard, but I don’t take it under consideration.
Lukasz Jurkowski the first KSW champion has been in negotiations to fight on this show for over a year now and still nothing is set in stone. Aren’t you concerned that your US debut may also not come to effect?
I’m not concerned at all. I have a clause in my contract that once I sign it, within 24-hours I will receive certain percent of my purse for this bout. If it’s not there, I’m not going anywhere.
You’ve agreed to face Tim Sylvia, who only two years ago was a champion of the biggest organization in the world, but there are rumors that you were afraid to meet Pawel Nastula in the ring. Is that true?
Listen, I’m not afraid of anyone. I have my next fight on May 7th and another two weeks later, if everything goes as planned I’ll face Pawel in September. I do it step by step. My people, who work for me, they arrange everything. I don’t make any decisions without advice of my coaches.
At the beginning of the interview you mentioned Krzysztof Kosedowski. He also trained Pawel Nastula for his fights in Pride. Do you expect that, if you indeed get to fight former Judo Olympic Champion, coach Kosedowski will help you to prepare a strategy which will exploit Pawel’s weaknesses in the stand-up.
I’ll prepare the strategy by myself. My task is to enter the ring and leave victorious. I need boxing skills to know how to punch. I watched many heavyweight MMA fights and you don’t see a lot of punching there. You throw two, three strikes and the fight goes to the ground. I won’t be a pro boxer. I train this discipline to better my conditioning and to know how to move and avoid getting hit. It’s the same with wrestling, which teaches you how to take down your opponent and how to clinch. Jiu-jitsu gives you the ability to submit your rivals. You can’t prepare a strategy. You either are a fighter and you fight or, as we say it in Poland, you won’t make a skylark out of a crow. Even if you have the best coaches in boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, but the disciple doesn’t have the “it factor”, he will never become a world champion. I know it because I’ve already become one. There are a lot of good athletes in Strongman competition in Poland, but I don’t see anyone winning world championships. I try to coach them, but many of them are missing this “it factor” to be successful.
Many people predict that Mariusz Pudzianowski will leave Strongman competition for good this year because MMA fights are more profitable. Could comment on that?
I don’t want to retire from Strongman yet, but I will definitely not compete so frequently. Instead of twenty events, maximum two or three. I just don’t want to leave it all behind, because it is helpful in MMA. The technique, the conditioning is important, but so is the strength. Especially in the heavyweight division the bestial strength is absolutely necessary, if you possess it you have the advantage. As for the finances, the gentlemen don’t talk about it. I have the possibility to fulfill my childhood dreams and I want to do it.
So what are these childhood dreams, you’re talking about?
I’ve always wanted to be a professional fighter. Now I’m able to do it.
Mariusz, thanks for your time and all the best in your MMA career.