Mariusz Pudzianowski is just getting started with his MMA career.
Earlier this month at KSW 70, Pudzianowski scored arguably the biggest win of his MMA career when he knocked out Michal Materla with an uppercut 1:47 into the first round. It was his fifth win in a row, and afterward, he even got a bit emotional, which he says was because of all the work that went into that moment.
“To get to the place where I am Saturday, it took me 13 many years to reach this place and face this contestant,” Pudzianowski said to Ariel Helwani, on The MMA Hour . “You needed to work really hard, you needed to toil, and it took me 13 years.”
He is widely regarded as one of the most respected strength athletes in the world, winning the World’s Strongest Man contest five times. This was from 2002 to 2008.. Then he began to participate in MMA in 2009.. Since then, he’s seen moderate success, amassing a 17-7 record with one no-contest.
At 45 years old and over one decade into his career in the fight game, Pudzianowski now believes he’s finally getting the hang of things.
” I had to shape and retrain myself,” he stated. I was involved in heavy lifting sports for 25 many years. My body had to be reshaped after I was in MMA for 13 many years. And the strange thing is, although I’m getting older, I feel like it is easier and easier, kind of lighter for me to do the training than I used to do in the past when I was younger.”
This improvement is good news for Pudzianowski as his next fight could be his biggest. After his victory at KSW 70,, he was greeted in the cage and teased by Mamed Khalidov (former KSW light heavyweight and middleweight champion), about a possible fight. Pudzianowski and Khalidov are two of the biggest draws in KSW, having collectively headlined 30 of the promotion’s 70 events.
A fight between the stars could be one of the biggest in KSW history, and Pudzianowski appears excited about the prospect.
“Mamed. That is going to prove an exciting challenge.” Pudzianowski stated. “When I started MMA, I learned everything from Mamed. I watched him, and now we might be crossing gloves one day. I think this might make for a great challenge.
“Most probably, that might be the next fight, but we still have some time before that happens. This is not something I am thinking about at the moment. When I’m ready, it’s going to be in a year’s time or so, so it will be 12 months of toil, of real labor. I’m not going to be laid back. I’m going to work really hard.”
Khalidov has found himself in a career skid as of late, dropping four of his last five fights. Still, the name and the history would make a Pudzianowski-Khalidov bout a massive fight for KSW. However, it’s not only the one that makes sense.
The five-time World’s Strongest Man has previously suggested bouts against other World’s Strongest Man champions, Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall, who met in a boxing match in March. A bout with Khalidov appears to be the frontrunner though, and when it does happen, Pudzianowski believes it will have to take place in the biggest venue in Poland.
“Probably it will be the national stadium in Poland like it was two or three years ago, with 60,000 fans,” Pudzianowski said. “So when we sign the document on the dotted line, probably the national stadium and 60,000 people.
” I had a fight at such a venue. It is truly extraordinary. You cannot describe it in words.”
PGE Narodowy, Warsaw’s home to the Polish national soccer team, is where Pudzianowski refers. KSW previously went there for KSW 39: Colosseum, an event headlined by Khalidov with Pudzianowski in the co-main event.
As for a potential date, Pudzianowski didn’t have anything specific, but he did say he was targeting a return to the cage before the end of the year.
” It’s hard to believe, but I will be back this year if there are any injuries during training,” he stated. But otherwise you will see me in my cage this year .”