Mariusz Pudzianowski: World’s Strongest Man to MMA Gladiator

Mariusz Pudzianowski: World’s Strongest Man to MMA Gladiator

Poland’s Mariusz Pudzianowski has been crowned the ‘World’s Strongest Man’ on five occasions, the most decorated strongman in history. However, in 2009 he embarked on an unlikely career in Mixed Martial Arts in the KSW promotion in Europe. Essentially starting off as a novice in MMA at the young age of 32, Pudzianowski has constantly faced more experienced veterans and martial artists.

Coming from a sport like strongman, despite the obvious strength advantages, is actually a hindrance in MMA where stamina can be key and muscle fatigue can lose you the fight. And unlike other sports, losing often means being punched in the face or having a limb hyper-extended until. His cardio is something Pudzianowski has been working on greatly since he began fighting.

“I’m still improving my condition,” Pudzianowski told Generation Iron. “You can be the best jiu-jitsu artist or kickboxing fighter but when you have no gas in the tank you can’t do anything and the fighter with more stamina is more likely to win.”

Now 41-years-old, he looks the best he has ever been and when many fighters are well over the hill at that age Pudzianowski seems to be coming into his prime. He is currently on a three-fight-win-streak, all impressive wins in their own right, but none more impressive than his last fight where he went three full rounds with Jay Silva, a UFC veteran from America. It was in this fight that media heralded Pudzianowski as a true MMA fighter after witnessing the former strongman show improved technique as well as the ability to dig deep and win via decision. But in typical champion mindset, he is not happy with his performance, easily the best overall of his career.

“I learned a lot from that fight. I proved to myself that I have hard chin and that I have stamina for 3 rounds. Before this fight I sometimes quit when I was in serious trouble. This win over Jay showed me that I can fight and win even when I am exhausted but I still have mental power,” said Pudzianowski. “However, I’m not happy about my last performance because I took a lot of shots. Besides that I am never satisfied. Even when I was a World’s Strongest Man I had a lot to complain about.”

Pudzianowsi returns to action this weekend in the main event of KSW 44 opposite former heavyweight champion Karol Bedorf. This is a fight that has been asked for by years by KSW fans. While Bedorf was the long-reigning champion in KSW Pudzianowski was arguably the biggest star of the promotion but only learning his trade in the game, too soon to challenge of the title. But fans always wanted to see the two behemoths clash in the cage and now they get their wish.

At heavyweight the margin for error is slim. The power that these 120kg gorillas create leads to a lot of knockouts and finishes. When asked about to the route to victory in this fight Pudzianowski echoed this.

“In this fight the most important thing is not to make a mistake. In heavyweight category that costs a lot,” said Pudzianowski. “I will be careful. Karol is a great fighter. Being a KSW champion for so long says a lot about him. But I am coming to win and I think this fight will be fun and unforgettable.”

Generation Iron fans you can watch this fight and the whole KSW 44 fight card this Saturday June 9 via online PPV at and it kicks off at 1pm EST.

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