Is the World's Strongest Man the Next Brock Lesnar?
Now wait a minute, I know exactly what you’re thinking: “How can you compare Brock Lesnar and Mariusz Pudzianowski after a single fight?”
Obviously, I recognize that the two do not completely mirror each other, but the similarities between the them are uncanny.
Both men rose to the top of their previous careers before making mixed martial arts debuts considerably later than most. Brock Lesnar rose to stardom as a Division I NCAA wrestling champion before going on to conquer the professional wrestling world.
Pudzianowski became famous through the popular strongman competitions, holding the record with five world championships.
He is considered to be the “World’s Strongest Man” and, like Lesnar, used his previous success to gain hype and stardom in mixed martial arts before ever fighting.
Their mixed martial arts debuts are so similar it is eerie.
Lesnar made his debut against Korean born Judoka Min-Soo Kim and dispatched of him with ease in 69 seconds.
Similarly, Pudzianowski took on fellow MMA newcomer Marcin Najman and was victorious in 43 seconds. Ironically, both victories were submissions due to strikes.
Their previous success in other sports made them such major mixed martial arts draws before ever putting on a pair of gloves that they were given opponents who were essentially put in there to lose.
Perhaps this is where the similarities end—but then again, maybe not.
Brock Lesnar was signed by the UFC following his defeat of Kim, and despite an initial loss to Frank Mir, has gone 3-0 on his way to becoming the UFC’s biggest (figuratively and literally) star and heavyweight champion.
What’s next for Pudzianowski remains a mystery at this point. Odds are that he will not sign with the UFC or any other major promotion until he can put together a string of victories, due to his popularity being more so in Europe than North America.
In an ironic twist, the same thing that brought Pudzianowski to the dance might be the same thing that holds him back. At 320 pounds, he will have to lose much of his muscle mass to make the 265-pound heavyweight maximum.
So the question remains: is Mariusz Pudzianowski the next Brock Lesnar?
When trying to find an answer, it also should be mentioned that Pudzianowski is a fourth Kyu green belt in Kyokushin karate, as well as a trained amateur boxer.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make it to the top of the mixed martial arts world. Hype and potential can only get you so far. Pudzianowski will not get by facing inferior talent for his entire career.
Like Brock Lesnar, he will have to step up at some point, and that is when we will learn just how far he can go in the ever-evolving sport of mixed martial arts.
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