Polish Strongman Mariusz Pudzianowski will get his shot at redemption against UFC vet Sean McCorkle on Sept. 28 at "KSW 24: Battle of the Giants" in Lodz, Poland. The two first tangled back in June at KSW 23 when McCorkle (17-6) tapped Pudzianowski (5-3, 1 NC) out with a Kimura just 1:57 into round one, showing the 36-year-old Biała Rawska born fighter still has a ways to go with his jiujitsu-defense game.
Coming into their bout in June McCorkle was riding a three-fight losing streak, including a submission due to Kimura loss of his own against Japanase Olympic Judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii at "IGF: GENOME 24" back in February. Prior to the three losses though, MicCorkle had racked up six straight wins — all by submission, including a first round stoppage of Richard White via can opener at Bellator 60 in March of last year.
Pudzianowski's venture from Strongman competition to MMA has been up and down. After winning his fifth World's Strongest Man competition in 2008 (then placing 2nd in 2009), Pudzianowski made his pro MMA debut at KSW 12 in Dec. 2009, stopping Marcin Najman via submission due to punches in just 43-seconds.
"Pudz" returned in May 2010 at KSW 13 to win a unanimous decision over Yasuke Kawaguchi and it looked as though this MMA thing could be yet another very physically demanding sport the Strongman could conquer. However, he bit off more he could chew in his next match just two weeks later, taking on former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, who stopped Pudzianowski with punches in round two.
Since then Pudzianowski has picked up wins over Eric Esch, Bob Sapp and Christos Piliafas, and suffered losses to James Thompson and the aforementioned McCorkle. He also has one No Contest against Thompson, a bout "Pudz" originally won via decision but was overturned due to a "judging error".
Pudzianowski has yet been able to take that next step up in competition and each time he has faced a UFC veteran it has not gone his way. What will be different in this rematch with McCorkle? He has made some major changes to his coaching staff since their first fight, so maybe that will help — but don't hold your breath.
"KSW 24: Battle of the Giants" will be headlined with a battle for the vacant KSW Heavyweight Championship between Pawel Nastula and Karol Bedorf. Other notable bouts on the card include Maciej Jewtuszko vs. Andre Winner for the KSW Lightweight Championship, Michal Materla vs. Jay Silva at middleweight, and a heavyweight match-up between UFC vet Oli Thompson and Kamil Walus.