("I got your Atlas Stones right here, bitch." Props: YouTube)
For Tim Sylvia the best case scenario at “Moosin: God of Martial Arts” was simply, don’t screw this up. The worst case scenario? You lose to shit-talking sideshow Mariusz Pudzianowski and your career is over. Basically, it was a no-win situation for the former UFC heavyweight champion in Massachusetts on Friday night, but that’s the harsh reality when you fuck around and get knocked out by Ray Mercer. Fortunately for Sylvia, he managed to stave off the angels of (professional) death for at least another day, dropping the professional strong man with an uppercut and finishing him with strikes on the ground one minute, 40 seconds into the second round.
Though it seemed academic once they got in the cage, victory wasn’t a foregone conclusion after Sylvia weighed- in at 305-pounds earlier this week. The Maineiac’s cardio was understandably in question, but it quickly proved to be much higher than that of Pudzianowski. It took only a few minutes for the Polish carnival barker to turn the shade of deep purple usually reserved for a Hulk Hogan tan job or the latter stages of a Mark Coleman fight. Maybe that tune-up bout in Poland just two weeks ago wasn’t such a great idea after all, eh Pudzi? After the jump, all the gory details …
Pudzianowski looked game early, landing a couple of his trademark heavy leg kicks and even dumping Sylvia to the canvas inside the first minute. He couldn’t keep him down, however, and as soon as Sylvia lumbered back to his feet, the multi-time World’s Strongest Man winner began to wane. Sylvia controlled the rest of the first, landing a few knees and some of his trademark step-step-jab punches. When the fight went back to the mat in the late stages of the round, Pudzianowski actually threw up his legs for an apparent arm bar attempt, but that just allowed Sylvia to whip through his guard and almost stop him with punches. Already clearly exhausted, Pudzianowski was saved by the bell.
“I thought, ‘That’s cool, he’s trying,’ ” exclaimed color commentator Bas Rutten when the PPV broadcast showed a replay of Pudzianowski’s submission try.
The biggest surprise of the night was that the Bay State crowd appeared solidly behind Pudzianowski, at least until it became clear he had no business being in the ring with Sylvia. Maybe the strong man circuit is big in that part of the country, I wouldn’t know.
For those of you curious what happened to the actual fighters on the card, the complete results are as follows:
Tim Sylvia def. Mariusz Pudzianowski via submission (strikes)
Travis Wiuff def. Josh Barnes via TKO, Rd. 1
Rafael Natal def. Travis Lutter via TKO, Rd. 1
Mike Campbell def. Yves Edwards via unanimous decision
Roxanne Modafferi def. Tara LaRosa via split decision
Lukasz Jurkowski def. Ho Jin Kim via TKO, Rd. 1
Forrest Petz def. Ralph Johnson via unanimous decision
Matt Lee def. Brett Oteri via TKO, Rd. 2
Stipe Miocic def. Paul Barry via TKO, Rd. 2