The last time we saw Pawel Wolak fight inside a boxing ring, he lost a unanimous decision to Delvin Rodriguez. After their first fight in July 2011 ended in controversy in what turned out to be the "Fight of the Year," they went at each other again, with Rodriguez getting the win in December. Days later, Wolak announced his retirement from the sport with a 29-2-1 record. At 30-years-old, many felt that they wouldn't see him competing again, but his recent announcement has changed that. He will venture into the sport of mixed martial arts with the eventual goal of reaching the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Wolak's Twitter account description says, "The Raging Bull! From Boxing straight to MMA!!!!." Wolak says he will be going back to his roots by entering MMA after wrestling and kickboxing prior to his boxing career.
He will compete in the lightweight division and after only training since December, knows he needs to work at his game more before the UFC would even look at him. He will be managed by Monte Cox, who Wolak has stated has helped him advance his game. Coming from such a solid background in combat sports, Wolak might have an edge over other fighters coming into MMA without any prior experience, but it won't be easy.
Thinking about his skill set, I can already compare Wolak to one UFC veteran who hasn't been able to get over the hump as of yet. Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard is known as one of the scariest strikers in the UFC, but his inability to get off his back is as big of a handicap that anyone in the sport has today. Guillard trains in a great camp, but has still struggled to improve, making me wonder if Wolak will be able to improve as he works with Jim Miller, Igor Gracie and other New Jersey-based fighters.
It will be interesting to see whether the Raging Bull will be able to be as successful l in MMA as he was in boxing, but someone with hands like his will definitely have a punchers chance.
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Hobson Lopes has been a lifelong fan of boxing and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes .
- Sports & Recreation
- Pawel Wolak
- Delvin Rodriguez