On May 21 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA, the only 5-time World’s Strongest Man, Mariusz “Dominator” Pudzianowski (1-0) will take on former 2-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim “Maine-iac” Sylvia (26-5). Those two very unlikely opponents will headline the “God of Martial Arts” event presented by Moosin, a South Korean-based promotional company. Pudzianowski and Sylvia met for the first time on April 5th at a press conference in Boston. During the press conference both were all smiles and handshakes; however, during a one-on-one interview, Pudzianowski was already pulling no punches….
Przemek Garczarczyk: What are your first impressions of Tim Sylvia?
Mariusz Pudzianowski: He’s big, but big people fall down very spectacularly. I will be too fast and too quick on my feet for him, and I won’t be afraid that he’ll catch me with his long arms. MMA is a new fascination for me – I won everything in Strongman competition and needed something to make my blood boil. MMA – this is it. I will make a name for myself in the US by beating Sylvia.
PG: You’re “starting” with a 2-time world champion? Sylvia has 16 more knockouts than you have fights.
MP: This is what I love about MMA. If you’re good, you’re record, how many wins you have makes no difference. Look at Brock Lesnar. The moment I catch Sylvia, the fight is over. He will not stand up after I get him in my arms and start pounding on the ground, and I have no doubt that I’ll be able to do it. Tim will be a great target and people really underestimate what I can do in MMA.
PG: You started preparing for this fight and your MMA career eight months ago. You defeated your first opponent in only 43 seconds, and on May 7, just two weeks before the Worcester fight, you will fight in Poland again. Is there too much on your plate?
MP: Not at all. During Strongman competition I was used to have three different events during weekend – one in Poland, one in Berlin and maybe one in Moscow. During those eight months I only had maybe 3-4 days off, but this is how I like it. Easy for me to prepare for Sylvia, because there’s a lot of tapes with his fights, lots of material. What he is going to use – those 43 seconds against Marcin Najman? I will be prepared, with maybe 260 pounds of pure muscle.
PG: Bookies have you as a big underdog…
MP: Could I put some money on myself? Can you do that in the States? In maybe 18 months, maybe two years I want to be the new world champion, fighting Fedor or whoever will be the best. We will see who the bookies like then.