When Krzysztof Soszynski was informed he was without an opponent last Monday, he told the UFC 'get me anybody.' Matchmaker Joe Silva did and Soszynski made the necessary gameplan adjustments. He showed good takedown defense and used his size to overpower Mike Massenzio in a unanimous decision victory, 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26, at UFC 131 in Vancouver.
"Cardio was the key for me. I fought a wrestler for the first time in three years. Training with guys like Mark Munoz and the boys at Reign (gym) paid off. I hadn't planned on fighting a wrestler, but the improvements I've made in my sprawl and getting back to my feet really paid off. I appreciate him stepping up and taking this fight," said Soszynski.
Soszynski, a UFC veteran of seven fights, found out on Monday that Igor Pokrajac, a striker, had to bail from the fight. Massenzio, a former college wrestler, would present an entirely different challenge. Massenzio is also a true middleweight, so when he did land some takedowns in the first round, Soszynski was able to get to his feet quickly. Massenzio's constant work for takedown tired him out by the middle of the second round.
Soszynski (26-11-1, 6-2 UFC) landed some big shots on the feet at the end of the round and set the tone for the final stanza. "The Polish Experiment" thwarted a takedown attempt in the third and used what was probably a 20-pound weight advantage to sit down on Massenzio, who was on his knees. Working for a kimura, Soszynski was incredibly active while. He landed 20-25 brutal knees to the side, shoulder and leg of Massenzio. The smaller fighter grimaced in pain and couldn't get back to his feet until there was just 1:02 left in the fight.
"I took that fight on two days notice. I'm a middleweight and have never fought at 205, but this was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Massenzio said. "I tried to strike with him and keep him off balance. He's a world-class fighter. I just came up a little short tonight."