Mariusz Pudzianowski (left) file photo: Peter Lockley | Sherdog.com
Five-time World’s Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski will lock horns with Eric “Butterbean” Esch in the KSW 14 “Judgment Day” main event on Sept. 18 at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland. The Poland-based promotion on Tuesday announced the matchup.
Pudzianowski has not competed under the KSW banner since he earned a unanimous decision against Deep megaton champion Yusuki Kawaguchi on May 7. The 33-year-old made an unsuccessful United States debut two weeks later, as he succumbed to second-round strikes from two-time UFC heavyweight titleholder Tim Sylvia at a Moosin MMA show in Worcester, Mass.
The portly 5-foot-11, 350-pound Esch has gone the distance just once in 20 professional mixed martial arts matches. Wins against Wesley “Cabbage” Correira, James Thompson and Wagner da Conceicao Martins highlight his resume, which includes seven victories by submission and five more by knockout or technical knockout. The 44-year-old Bay City, Mich., native submitted to first-round punches from Jeffrey Kugel at an Xtreme Cagefighting Championship event in March. Esch owns a 77-8-4 professional boxing record, with 58 knockouts.
KSW officials also unveiled six of the eight participants in the promotion’s lightweight tournament: Per Eklund, Niko Puhakka, Kazuki Tokudome, Michal Mankiewicz, Artur Sowinski and Maciej Gorski. Eklund has not competed since he succumbed to first-round punches from the unbeaten and world-ranked Evan Dunham at UFC 95 in February 2009.