We encourage you to read the interview with Mariusz Pudzianowski, by Artur Przybysz. Former strongman talks about his preparations for the upcoming bout against Butterbean at KSW 14, his strategy and about how it is to be hit by a girl in Poland.
After your last fight in the States you promised to be back in the ring and that the fans will see a different Pudzian. Please tell us what changes we can expect.
You’ll see a much leaner and fifteen kilograms lighter Pudzian. When I started MMA trainings I weighed one 138kg, now it’s only 118. I’m smaller, but much faster.
Your conditioning was you by far your biggest weakness. Many people even claimed that you have no cardio whatsoever. How has it changed since the last fight? .
I have lifted weights for more than twenty years, it was impossible to built an MMA conditioning in a few months. I have concentrated on improving this aspect for the last three or four months. After the Sylvia fight I took a week off to recharge my batteries and immediately got back to training. I started a specialized cardio program to prepare my body for MMA exertion.
Tells us more how it looks like? .
First we started on a bike, then after four or five weeks I began running. I had to loose some of my weight to better endure oxygen exertion. The process is ongoing, but I feel that everything is going the right way. I have a few weeks of hard trainings left and I need to use them to the full extent. I know my schedule and believe me it won’t be easy at all. Nothing but, training, sleeping and eating over and over again.
So how long are your bike rides and runs? .
I run for about one hour and a half, it’s usually ten to fifteen kilometers three or four times a week. I also ride a bike once a week and it’s about twenty-five kilometers. I have to admit that a year ago it wouldn’t have been possible for me to run such distances.
Is it safe to say that your cardio will no longer be an issue? .
I’m ready to fight two five-minute rounds and I won’t be concerned that I might run out of gas after six minutes.
We know a lot about your conditioning training, what about your MMA skills, your stand-up and grappling? .
I work on my technique with experienced MMA and K-1 fighters. They are professionals, who compete in both of these sports.
Is this true that you train with one of the best K-1 fighters in Poland Marcin Rozalski? .
I train with really good heavyweight fighters, who are among the best in the country. I don’t want to reveal their names, I just want to thank them for their invaluable help in my preparations.
Mariusz you are a big guy and it’s not easy to find sparing partners for you. Could you tell us their names. .
As I said before I don’t want to reveal any names. I can just say that they are pros who regularly fight in MMA. I bring new guys every two weeks.
Let’s talk about your upcoming fight at KSW 14 in Lodz. You are set to face a former heavyweight boxer with dozens KO victories in the main event of the show. What is your strategy against a guy who hits that hard? .
I need to keep my distance and be careful not to get to his close range. I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised at what you see from me. I have worked hard for four months and there is a progress!
What about taking it to the ground. Would it be difficult for you to take down this two-hundred-kilogram monster? .
I didn’t get my five World’s Strongest Man title for free. Although I don’t train for strongman competition anymore, I still have strength workouts three times a week. Even if Butterbean had lifted weights in preparations for this bout, he’ll never match my strength. Snatching and throwing him on the ground won’t be a problem.
You say that you no longer train for strongman competition. I look at you and it’s hard to believe what I see – a lean, but still impressively muscled guy. What’s your secret, do have aerobic training or maybe circuit training? .
It’s more like a circuit training. I do similar exercises, but with twenty or thirty reps. The circuit usually consists of ten exercises and I do a few rounds around it. I do squats or bench presses but with lighter weights.
My strength is about thirty percent lower, but I’m not worried about it. Before MMA I could deadlift four hundred kilograms now it’s three hundred, so it’s not that bad. I have lifted weights for twenty years, so the strength remains.
I remember that in strongman competition there is this exercise of lifting concrete balls to the platform. How much does the heaviest one weigh? .
There are six balls and the heaviest one is two hundred kilograms. If you think I’m going to lift Butterbean that high you are wrong.
To end the interview, Mariusz please say a few words to your opponent. .
Butterbean, you said that Pudzian hits like a girl. Come to Poland and I’ll show you how Polish girls hit!