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Former UFC Champ Tim Sylvia Returns To MMA In One Week

In only his third professional mixed-martial-arts fight, iconic Polish powerhouse Mariusz “Dominator” Pudzianowski makes his U.S. debut against former 2-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim “Maine-iac” Sylvia, headlining the May 21st “Moosin: God of Martial Arts” pay-per-view event, at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Pudzianowski, 5-time World’s Strongest Man, is arguably the most popular Polish sports personality today, even hotter than boxer Tomasz Adamek, Formula One driver Robert Kubica, tennis player Agnieszka Radwanska, swimmer Otylia Jedrzejczak and NBA player Marcin Gortat.

The 6-1, 275-pound chiseled Pudzianowski practices karate, boxing and even finished second last year in Poland’s version of “Dancing With The Stars.” Taking on a super heavyweight such as the 6-8, 300-pound Sylvia (25-6-0), however, rates as an ambitious challenge for the relatively inexperienced Pudzianowski.

Sylvia (25-6-0), a native of Eastbrook, Maine, has defeated many of the top MMA heavyweights and super heavyweights – Andrei Arlovski (2) Brandon Vera, Jeff Monson, Wes Sims, Ricco Rodriguez, Mike Whitehead (2), Ben Rothwell and Jason Lambert. He believes that, if the Polish strongman and his team agreed to fight him this early in Mariusz’ MMA career, they must feel that he is over-the-hill in the cage.

Why fight Sylvia in only his third pro MMA fight? “First of all,” the 33-year-old Mariusz answered, “I’m not getting any younger. On a more serious note, though, I need to know as soon as possible what my strengths and weaknesses are fighting an established named fighter like Sylvia. My latest fight (last Saturday night in Poland) versus (Yusuke) Kawaguchi was worth every penny as a part of my MMA education (Mariusz won a 2-round decision against an opponent who was 11-1 going into the fight). Sylvia is the next logical step on my way to a world championship. I believe in learning by doing things.

“Sylvia brings experience, which I obviously don’t have, and he can punch. He is tall and has a long reach. I would like to use his strengths as his weaknesses, but I don’t want to talk too much about this. No extra tips from me, no way. I am somebody who will never quit. He has to knock me out cold to win. There’s no other way. I will fight a more disciplined fight than my last one, for sure, but I will still be fun to watch. I’m fighting for fans in order to give them good entertainment for their money.

“Fighting on in the United States and on pay-per-view is very significant. The USA is the birthplace of the real MMA, where the whole craziness started and now, in the age of the Internet and satellite TV, everything is global. I have a lot of fans in the U.S., not only Polish fans who always show-up to support their countrymen. It’s a global exposure and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to fight Tim – to gain recognition.”

“God of Martial Arts” is being presented by Moosin, the South Korea-based promotional company, which has promoted MMA shows in South Korea and the United States. Moosin, in conjunction with the International Taekwon-Do Federation, plans expansion into to China, Poland and Australia.

Pudzianowski has the rare combination of power, evident as a 5-time World’s Strongest Man, as well as the footwork and dexterity of a ballroom dancer. “MMA and ballroom dancing are both hard,” Mariusz added. “Both need dedication, depending on what you like, and I got tired training for dancing. But it wasn’t for me in the long run. The whole ‘Dancing With The Stars’ competition was a nice distraction, but, I prefer more manly endeavors.

“I never attempt any competition, dancing included, not thinking that I will win. It’s not in my nature. My fight with Sylvia will not be an exception. Losing to him is not even an option for me. This time the judges will not be needed.”

In the co-main event, Korean heavyweight Mu Bae “The Heavy Tank of Busan” Choi (9-4-0) faces veteran Travis “Diesel” Wiuff (59-14-0). Brazilian middleweight Rafael “Sapo” Natal (11-2-0) meets The Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis “The Serial Killer” Lutter (10-5-0), while Bahamian lightweight Yves “The Texas Gunslinger” Edwards (37-15-1) tangles with rising New England star Mike Campbell (7-2-0).

A special female attraction features two of the premier women MMA fighters in the U.S., Tara LaRosa (18-1-0) and Roxy Modafferi (13-4-0), at a 130-pound catch-weight.

“God of Martial Arts” is being distributed by Integrated Sports Media at 9:00PM ET/6:00PM PT in North America on cable and satellite Pay-Per-View via iN Demand, DIRECTV, TVN and DISH Network, as well as Viewer’s Choice, Bell TV and Shaw PPV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95 (also available in HD). It is also available on www.GoFightLive.TV outside of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Poland.

The show has worldwide appeal but also features several local favorites on the undercard: Korean light heavyweight Chang Seob Lee (2-4-0) vs. Lukasz “Juras” Jurkowski (5-6-0), Clinton’s Matt Lee (11-8-1) vs. Bridgewater’s Brett Oteri (5-0-0) in a match-up of Massachusetts lightweights, unbeaten Worcester (Mass.) welterweight Ralph Johnson vs. NAAFS champion Forrest “The Meat Clever” Petz (23-7-0 undefeated Rockland (Mass.) heavyweight Paul Barry (3-0-0) vs. Stipe Miocic (1-0-0), Stoughton (Mass.) middleweight Fred “French Foot Fighter” Belleton (6-2-0) vs. Anthony “The Recipe” Lapsley (14-5-0).

Also, fan favorite Eric “Butterbean” Esch (98-18-5, all-fighting) squares-off against former Boston Bruins enforcer and popular WAAF sports personality, Lyndon “LB” Byers, in a charity fundraiser. All fights and fighters are subject to change.