Mariusz Pudzianowski (above) will take on James Thompson at KSW 16. | Tomasz Marciniak/Sherdog.com
Polish promotion Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki announced Friday that five-time “World’s Strongest Man” Mariusz Pudzianowski will make his return to the ring against well-traveled Englishman James Thompson at KSW 16.
The heavyweight tilt is likely to headline or co-headline the card, which takes place at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland, on May 21 -- exactly one year after Pudzianowski was handed his first defeat by former UFC champion Tim Sylvia. Also expected to participate at KSW 16 is middleweight standout Mamed Khalidov.
Since losing to Sylvia, “Pudzian” has competed only once, forcing Eric “Butterbean” Esch to submit to punches in 76 seconds at September’s KSW 14. The muscle-bound 34-year-old has gone 3-1 since turning to MMA in late 2009, having bested then-Deep Megaton champion Yusuke Kawaguchi and former boxer Marcin Najman before running into Sylvia.
Thompson, 32, will enter the match on a three-fight losing skid. The London Shootfighters representative has won just one of his last nine outings, with six of those defeats coming by way of knockout. Best known for his CBS-televised EliteXC brawl with Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson in May 2008, Thompson’s only win since that time came last January, when he halted Tengiz Tedoradze on second-round punches.