Mariusz Pudzianowski is known worldwide as arguably the most decorated strongman competitor in history, and it may surprise some how he maintains his body.
Ahead of his main event clash with Michal Materla at KSW 70 this Saturday in Lodz, Poland, the famed heavyweight revealed on The MMA Hour that his diet isn’t as strict as one might think.
“I don’t have any kind of particular diet,” Pudzianowski said with assistance from a Polish translator. “I eat everything. I can eat 30 bars of chocolate, drink two cartons of milk, then eat five pounds of ice cream in bed.
“I eat whatever I want, whenever I want and I always have these beautiful muscles on my body.”
Pudzianowski, 45, assured host Ariel Helwani his physique is first and foremost the result of a systematic training regimen he’s maintained for decades. But he made it clear there is no limit as to what he can eat.
How Pudzianowski processes that fuel has changed dramatically over the last decade as he transformed himself from multiple-time World’s Strongest Man competitor to full-time MMA fighter. In his second MMA fight, a two-round affair, Pudzianowski recalled struggling to go the distance against the more experienced Yusuke Kawaguchi, and that was a strong motivator for him to turn his training upside down.
“MMA is a different sport than strongman,” Pudzianowski said. “I must change everything. I had to train eight years to drastically change my body in the kind of way that my body is functioning because I couldn’t stand five minutes or 10 minutes. So for eight years of my training I wasn’t capable of doing the whole 10 minutes, like two rounds in MMA. So it’s totally different, weightlifting and MMA is like two worlds.
“Even the strength in MMA and in weightlifting is totally different. It’s not like you can lift 300 kilograms in strongman, it doesn’t mean that the strength will be as good in MMA because it’s a different kind of strength.”
Now that he’s an MMA veteran, Pudzianowski can look back on his humble beginnings as a fighter with a sense of humor. He followed the Kawaguchi bout with a loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, a mismatch of a bout that was never part of the Polish star’s plans to begin with.
“Later, I go to U.S.A., fight with Sylvia,” Puzianowski said. “Oh, I am crazy. Sylvia showed me first time what MMA is. After this fight with Sylvia, when I’m back in Poland, I talked to my fans. ‘Never beat me, next guy.’ And go to hard training.
“Slowly, slowly, step by step, slowly, slowly, and go to heavy training. And now I am 13 years in MMA. Before, [I thought it would be] ‘Two fights. Finish.’”