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Soszynski interview: Brawling mentality takes smarts and a certain mindset

Shane Carwin's insertion into the main event at UFC 131 guarantees one thing, Junior dos Santos' opponent won't be running away if he gets drilled with some hard punches. That was a still a big question surrounding Brock Lesnar in his first fight back after the vicious loss against Cain Velasquez (Lesnar withdrew from the main event last month due to complications with diverticulitis).

It's tough to make a living in MMA without being able to take a punch. Krzysztof Soszynski, a grinding brawler in the UFC's light heavyweight division, knows that better than anyone.

Soszynski's a well-rounded fighter, but he isn't supremely talented. He often gets by on taking some shots and deliver more punishment back.

"I don't think anyone wants to get hit in the face. I just cover up really well. It's a mindset. I don't know how it is or how it happens. I have fun with it. If someone hits me, I want to hit them back even harder," Soszynski said (6:26 mark). "It's something that you're born with, not something you just learn."

On Monday, Soszynski's will was tested outside the cage. He got a call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva that his opponent Igor Pokrajac was dropping out the fight. Soszynski wasn't happy.{ysp:more}

"[After] a 15-week training camp, I just wanted to fight. I asked Joe Silva when he called on Monday, please get me a fight. I'll fight anybody, it doesn't matter who," said Soszynski.

Soszysnki was originally slated to face Aussie jiu-jitsu ace Anthony Perosh, then Pokrajac, a striker. Silva was able to lineup Mike Massenzio, but he comes from a wrestling background. Soszynski didn't hesitate for one second.

"I've been in the sport a long time. It doesn't matter if I'm fighting a wrestler, a jiu-jitsu guy or a striker. I'm looking forward to just going in there and having a great time," said Soszynski said.

The Canadian trains with all types of fighters at Reign Training Center in Southern California. Mark Munoz, a former NCAA All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State, is his main training partner and he also works with another good wrestling MMA fighter in Emmanuel Newton. Jason Miller was around to work his jiu-jitsu and a partnership with King's MMA doesn't hurt either. That camp is loaded with Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts.

This is a big fight for Soszynski (26-11, 5-2 UFC). He's facing a smallish 205-pounder in Massenzio, who took the fight on short notice. Though the fight is a bit perilous.

Soszynski hasn't fought since November. With the down time, he had both knees scoped and surgery on his nose, to alleviate a breathing issue. Massenzio (12-4, 1-2, UFC) is a tough style matchup. If he can get Soszynski to the ground, that'll eat away time from the clock and nullify the Canadian's power on the feet. Soszynski is a minus-240 favorite on the Las Vegas boards.

You can watch UFC 131 right here on Yahoo! Sports

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