If “World’s Strongest Man” Mariusz Pudzianowski had grown up on a wrestling mat, he might be on to something. Instead, the melon-biceped Pudzianowski is counting on some contrite striking and pick-up grappling to become a contender. And according to Pudzianowski himself on LowKick.com, a possible threat to Fedor Emelianenko.
"I love the idea of starting my United States experience from Tim Sylvia,” he said. “He is a serious opponent and I prepare to prove everyone that I am the real deal in mixed martial arts. In two years from now, I would love to fight Fedor Emelianenko. He will rip my head off if we fight today, but in two years it could be a different story.”
OK. Look. Pudzianowski is a ball of muscle fiber. You might not get him in an armbar. His cardiovascular conditioning is impressive in the strongman competitions, which resembles MMA in its interval bursts of all-out effort. Being a fantastic athlete can never hurt.
But there are miles and miles of separation between the muscles required to launch a beer keg in the air and the muscular memory that comes from wrestling, grappling, and striking for decades at a stretch. This may not come into play against a lumbering Sylvia, but if Pudzianowski decides to test himself against someone whose body is adapted to fighting, it’s not going to matter that he can drag a propeller plane behind him. Wrestling strong isn’t gym strong isn’t Strongman strong. If you’re playing any game but your own, you’ve got problems.