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Cageside Seats Interview: Krzysztof Soszynski (The Outtakes)


Cageside Seats reporter Jonathan Snowden is gearing up for a live UFC weekend and recently had a chance to talk with rising star Krzysztof Soszynski.  The Team Quest star talks about:

His mentor Bad News Allen:

"I met him after he had two hip replacement surgeries. He was still on the floor in his fifties, still grappling with the kids he was teaching. I could definitely imagine how tough he was back then and how well he would have done if the sport had been around," Soszynski said. "He traveled extensively to Japan as well, learning Aikido and Jiu Jitsu. I had the privilege of meeting him during one of my circuits across Canada. He invited me out for a two-week camp at his place in Calgary and that’s where he showed me a Kimura and an armbar. I was hooked. Immediately after that two week training camp, I came back to Winnipeg, quit wrestling, and took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Six months later I had my first fight. So, he was very instrumental to me turning into a mixed martial arts fighter. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be doing something else."


About his time on The Ultimate Fighter:


"It was definitely really hard. Six weeks basically with no life outside of a house and 15 other fighters and coaches. You’re cooped up and there are no outlets. There’s no stress releasers. You have to find your own way to release that stress. Some find it with alcohol. Some find it, like myself, by pulling stupid tricks and pranks


And about whether he is ready for Brandon Vera.

"Right now I’m really comfortable fighting anybody in the 205 division in the UFC. Aside from Machida, I matchup well with the other fighters. I think Machida is on another level," Soszynski said. "But as far as looking at the other guys in the top 10, and just outside the top 10, I think I matchup well with most of them. The guys I’m training with, I’m learning so much every day. I’m mentally and physically so focused right now. At 32 years-of-age, my body is just peaking right now. It’s the perfect time for me to start fighting these guys and moving up that ladder."

But there's more than could fit in the article at Inside Fights.  More Soszynski after the break.

On how the UFC is like WWE:

"They try to promote their brand, just like WWE has done. The UFC brand and the WWE brand.  They are trying to build their name up so they can sell all that merchandise to, all the videos, and all the games, all that stuff.  But entertainment and sport are two different things."

On how wrestling has helped him:

"Just being in front of the crowd is a pretty big thing.  Look at these young guys coming into the UFC.  They're shell shocked just by what's going on at the weigh ins. The you walk out and you have 15-20,000 people watching you fight.  I had a chance to wrestle in large halls, big arenas, and big venues. I learned a lot from that.  The people in the stands, you can kind of block them out and just do what you have to do."

On how he ended up in the IFL:

"It was all through Shawn Tompkins. I used to promote mixed martial arts shows in Winnipeg and I had Shawn and three of his students come fight for me.  We got along really well and he invited me out to London. Ontario to train with him.  To be trained under him.  To be trained by him.  We flew down for the K-1 trials in 2005 and I did really well.  That's when I had a chance to meet Bas Rutten.  We found out that Bas was putting together an IFL team and I became the heavyweight for the IFL team the Anacondas."

On fighting with short notice:

"Back to back.  Right after my fight at UFC 97 in Montreal, I fought just weeks later at 98.  I only had three weeks to get ready for the fight. This time I got a call just five weeks out to get ready for this one.  It's something different, but I think they saw after my win against Andre Guzmao that I was in shape and ready and I did really well, even with only three weeks notice.  I only take a week off between fights and then I'm right back into the gym.  I'm always just a couple of weeks away from being ready for a fight anyway." 

On the benefits of training at Team Quest:

One of my very first instructors was Joe Doerkson back in Winnipeg.  I didn't know any striking whatsoever.  Or any wrestling at all until I came out here to Team Quest.  The focus of my fighting became the standup game as I tried to learn to strike with these guys.  I became a bit of a brawler, a stand-and-trade kind of guy who didn't take it to the ground that much.  But once you evolve, you've go to come up with a gameplan.  You're fighting some of the best fighters in the world.  You can't just go in there swinging away and hope you get a knockout or a TKO.  You need that gameplan.  Slowly the more time I spent at Team Quest, with the coaches I have, everything is progressing really well and I'm coming into my own right now."

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