Krzysztof Soszyński – The Polish Experiment in Germany
By Dave Carpinello
UFC Light Heavyweight contender and The Ultimate Fighter Alum, Krzysztof “The Polish Experiment” Soszyński recently talked with PDG about UFC 121, his upcoming fight in Germany against Goran Reljic, fighting and traveling for international UFC events, The Ultimate Fighter and the rest of the UFC 122 card.
PDG: Let’s start with UFC 121, what did you think of Cain Velasquez’s first round victory over Brock Lesnar last weekend?
Krzysztof Soszyński: I watched the event with my wife and some friends including Mark Munoz and it was a night of very enjoyable fights. I wasn’t surprised by the outcome of the main event but I didn’t think it would end that fast. Velasquez has hands of steel and a chin of granite so I was not at all surprised by the result. I don’t think that Brock could have done anything differently to beat Velasquez that night and you could tell that Brock was nervous from the outset of the fight. He rushed in at the beginning of the fight looking to secure takedowns and you could tell that after Velasquez got right back up after the first two attempts that the tide in the fight had turned.
PDG: What are your thoughts on Jake Shields UFC debut?
Krzysztof Soszyński: I heard he had real tough weight cut and it played a part in his fight. Personally, I thought that Martin Kampmann won that fight because he used his hands more but I think it hurt him in the scoring when he attempted that D’arce choke and he got swept. I don’t think Kampmann got hurt the whole fight and if he was able to stay on top to end the third round he would have gotten the decision. That being said I still he won the fight. Shields did have good control on the ground and he is definitely a good submission grappler and your first fight in the UFC is always a tough one but I am sure he will perform a lot better in his second fight.
PDG: Your next fight is coming up at UFC 122 in Germany against Goran Reljic; what do you think of your opponent?
Krzysztof Soszyński: Goran is a tough guy and his last two fights didn’t go his way, it is not like he got destroyed or anything, he got outpointed and lost both fights by decision to two really tough fighters (Kendall Grove and C.B. Dollaway). Goran is also making the move back to 205lbs where he started his career, so he is probably going to be more comfortable going into the fight. So I am getting ready, working really hard on my conditioning and making sure I am well prepared because he is going to be desperate coming off those two losses considering the UFC usually cuts fighters who lose three fights in a row. So he is going to be desperate, come out aggressive and throw everything at me to get the win. I need to be ready for it all and I am working very hard in training.
PDG: When do you leave for Germany?
Krzysztof Soszyński: We leave on Monday the 8th, so I will have about five or six days to get accustomed to the time change. Since my fight will be taking place in the morning (Los Angeles time), I have been practicing a lot more in mornings to get prepared and so maybe the time change won’t affect me as much.
PDG: How excited are you to be fighting in Germany, next door to where you were born and do you plan on spending some extra time in Europe after your fight?
Krzysztof Soszyński: Absolutely, I am very excited and my wife and I are planning on sticking around for a couple of weeks after the fight, traveling around Poland, doing some seminars and being able to see some of my family that I haven’t seen in about five years. It is an exciting time for both of us to be able to see some old friends and family and get us some good Polish food on the way. Every time I get the chance to travel the world and fight outside of U.S. (like my fight in Australia), I really enjoy it. We stayed in Australia for about a month after my fight there and traveled the country doing seminars and doing lots of sight seeing.
PDG: Did you make any changes to your training and preparation after your loss to Stephan Bonner at UFC 116?
Krzysztof Soszyński: I have been training with Munoz, Ryan Parsons, Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, ‘King Mo’ Lawal and those guys at the Reign Training Center in Lake Forrest, California and I have also been putting in time at Rafael Cordeiro’s place in Huntington Beach. I have really been working on my striking and Muay Thai since my last fight and it has been a great camp. I haven’t really changed a lot with my training but I believe the key to my fight against Goran is going to be conditioning and like I said he is a good all-around fighter and he will be desperate. If I can push Goran throughout the whole 15 minutes, I think that I will be able to break him. So conditioning will play a big part in this fight and I am getting better everyday and the guys I train with are awesome.
PDG: Being a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter, do you still watch and keep up with the show?
Krzysztof Soszyński: Definitely, first and foremost I am a fan of the sport. So anyway I can bring attention to the sport, such as supporting it by watching the episodes, I absolutely do. I am watching the current season and I haven’t missed any of the previous seasons, it is where I got my UFC start and it is a lot of fun watching the progress of the fighters on the show. It is also nice to be a fan first and fighter second.
PDG: What do you think about the contrasting coaching styles this season when you compare Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck?
Krzysztof Soszyński: Most coaches have their own style and with GSP, he seems like the more technical coach and he is bringing in coaches that fit that philosophy to help his team. He is focusing on the skill of the fighter and Koscheck seems to be using more of the hard-nosed, focused on intensity coaching style. I have trained under both styles in my career, GSP’s skill training and Koscheck’s way of training and they both work. It is all about how the students react to the teaching style.
PDG: How do you prefer to spend your time away from fighting and do you play any video games?
Krzysztof Soszyński: I am not really big into the video games; I do play the Nintendo Wii occasionally as I am more of a Mario Brothers guy than anything else. I prefer to sit on the couch, relax and watch some TV or head down to beach to walk around. There are also a lot of local fights out here that we go to and then the normal stuff like catching a movie. I have been so busy with my current training camp and teaching students at the gym though that lately I haven’t had a lot of free time. I am training around 20-25 hours a week, Monday through Friday. Right now I am doing fighting related stuff until about six o’clock at night and then I am in bed by ten o’clock, so I only have a small window each night to relax and let my body heal.
Here is a typical day in my training and teaching schedule:
9:00 – 10:00 AM – Teaching Class
10:00 – 12:30 – 1st Training Session @ Reign
2:00 – 4:30 PM – 2nd Training Session @ Rafael Cordeiro’s Place
PDG: Are they any other fights on the UFC 122 card that you are looking forward to seeing?
Krzysztof Soszyński: Definitely, the Nate Marquardt and Yushin Okami fight is going to be sick, my training partner Mark Munoz just lost to Okami via decision. So I am really looking forward to seeing how Okami does and how he progresses in this fight and where he will end up in the division if he beats Marquardt. Seth Petruzelli is also fighting on the card and I want to see that fight as well. The card is also stacked with a lot of European talent which only makes sense since the event is in Germany and I am definitely looking forward to seeing a lot of red and white Polish flags flying in the arena. It’s going to be an exciting night and I will be ready to fight.
PDG: Cool, is there anything else that you wanted to add?
Krzysztof Soszyński: I want to give a big shout out to all the fans out there and tell them to get ready for another exciting fight as I always give 110% inside the cage and November 13th won’t be any different.
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