Make all the jokes you want about Tim Sylvia's ample build now. We know he's not a workout warrior, pulling trains and lifting Atlas stone. But he's still an experienced mixed martial arts fighter with 31 fights under his belt and a former UFC champion. Mariusz Pudzianowski, a five-time World's Strongest Man champ, is taking an awful big leap of faith in Friday night's fight at Moosin in Worcester, Massachusetts.
This is clearly a payday for Sylvia, who hasn't even been tempted to talk trash about the Polish strongman.
"I'm looking forward to getting some good lobster while I'm up here," said Sylvia, a native of Eastbrook, Maine. "Can't get that kind of stuff in Iowa."
During an interview last week with MMAWeekly, host Damon Martin could barely get a rise out of Sylvia. "The Maine-iac" quietly predicted a first-round knockout. He has little respect for the 2-0 Pudzianowki.
"I think it’s a dumb move," Sylvia said. "He doesn’t have any fight experience at all."
Pudzianowski picked up that second win last week over Yasute Kawaguchi. He mostly looked awful during the unanimous decision win in Poland. He was clumsy when standing and was out of energy three minutes into the fight.
The 6-foot-8, 300-pound Sylvia has knockout power and a pretty composed striking game has a right to be confident. Of course, he was also this confident for his fight against 48-year-old retired boxer Ray Mercer and got knocked out in eight seconds. There isn't much risk of being caught by the 6-1, 300-pound Pudzianowski but he does have to be wary of the big man's power in the clinch. Bettors don't seem too concerned about who looks better at the beach as they've bet Sylvia from minus-180 to minus-310.