PJ Sweda – Lion Fight 29 Interview

PJ Sweda Tells A Uniquely Humorous Life Story
By PDG Staff


It’s clear he has a great ability to weave a tale, but he also is very confident that fans will appreciate his abilities in the ring when he makes a return to the Lion Fight ring on Friday, May 27th at Foxwoods Resort & Casino.

Sweda (1-0) will lock horns with hard-edged banger Brian Del Rosario (4-2) in a welterweight bout that will launch the AXS TV Fights main card of Lion Fight 29. The punching’ Pennsylvanian took some time out from training for a Q&A session that brought some insight to his approach to fighting as well as off-beat explanations of his own life.
Q: For starters, how about some background on you?

A: I was born and raised in a super small town in Pennsylvania called Mount Carmel. When I try to explain how small and secluded the town is, I use this example: if I broke my arm at 9 a.m., the whole town would know by 9:30 a.m. with ten different stories on how it happened. But I left that behind me a few years ago and moved to Philly where I drive tractor trailer for a living. For awhile, I was super-intimidated by the city, but I’m finally starting to warm up to it though. My biggest fan and what gives me more drive than anything else is this world is my five-year-old son Colby. My little man will be turning six in July and is slowing gaining interest in combat sports. His mother is going to hate me for that (haha). He’s the cockiest yet most lovable little human being.

Q: What is your background in Muay Thai?

A: I started grappling in 2008 and by 2009 I joined my first real combative sports gym, Bloomsburg Mixed Martial Arts. My main focus was grappling, but I did start kickboxing and fighting in mixed martial arts while I was there. Bloomsburg MMA became my second home and Joel Nott, the owner, became a huge positive influence in my life. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today. I still train and teach there when I visit ‘home.’ I then moved to Philadelphia a few years ago and stumbled upon Stay Fly Muay Thai. I took a few classes and fell in love with the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’, Muay Thai.

Q: Can you offer your take on your Lion Fight debut and getting your first pro win?

A: My previous fight was back in September at Lion Fight 24. I was making my debut on the big stage versus Danny Millet of New York. I was super, super nervous leading up to that bout. I was over-training, my intensity was too high in the gym, and I was stressing myself out all because of who I was fighting for and against. Danny had a ton more Muay Thai experience than me. So I went in there knowing I had to push the pace and make it a fight. I ending up cutting him with an elbow in the second round and the doctor stopped the bout.

Q: What are your strengths and advantages in a fight, and what do you think will be your edge against Del Rosario at LF 29?

A: I would say my biggest advantage over Brian is that I can eat way more donuts then him. Whether it’s some fancy or plain donuts, I know I have him beat. My constant craved obsession for them is my biggest strength. I think that will play a huge part in this fight. On May 27th, we will find out!

Q: Perhaps a chocolate-covered goes to the winner. Anyway, Del Rosario seems to be a bit of a brawler and likes to make it a crazy fight. Does that play into your hands in terms of your approach?

A: He did seem to be a little bit of a brawler in his older bouts, but he seems like he’s become more of a technical fighter lately. I can’t say it does or doesn’t play into my hands. I’m preparing myself to be ready for everything whether it’s a brawl or a technical battle. I’m sure we’re both going in there with the same mindset. We want to showcase our skills, put on an exciting show for the fans, and bring home a ‘W.’ That’s all I’m certain about.

Q: What might be something that not a lot of people know about you?

A: I eventually want to apply to police academy. I’ve always wanted to be a police officer. Plus I love donuts. It’s a perfect match! Not many people know about that. Also, I was very, very active as a kid. I played soccer, baseball, football, ran track, raced BMX, and lifted weights competitively. Not to brag, but I was good at them all – a natural athlete as they say, I guess. That’s pretty cocky, ain’t it? (haha) Oh well, it’s true. After all that, I gained a lot of unhealthy weight. Before I started training in 2008, I was weighing in at a sloppy 229 pounds at 19 years old. I remember that number specifically because I didn’t want to reach the 230 mark. I knew I had to do something. I was a chubber.

And looks where he is now, on the same Lion Fight card with super welterweight champ “Smokin” Jo Nattawut, former Lion Fight lightweight champion Ognjen Topic, and Thai superstars Armin Pumpanmuang and Dechsakda Sitsongpeenong.

The main card will air live on AXS TV Fights with a special start time of 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. with commentary from renowned duo “The Voice” Michael Schiavello and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich.