At the age of 34, Krzysztof Soszynski knows that time isn’t necessarily on his side. While he remains at a relatively young age by most standards, it’s a whole different ball game in MMA. We’ve seen some exceptions to the unstated rule like Randy Couture and Dan Henderson, though not everyone is cut from the same cloth and that’s okay with Soszynski. He knows what he was in for when he began this eight years ago. It was never about money, but for the love of the sport, and his passion has taken him on a long and arduous road.
Early on in his career, Krzysztof made a niche for himself in the comfortable surroundings of Team Quest out in Temecula, California. It was the perfect situation for Soszynski. He was afforded the opportunity to train with a legend in Henderson and a batch of great talent from around the world, but those same opportunities ran their course and eventually so did his time with the famed academy.
“Team Quest when I first came out there, was just completely packed with a lot of bigger 205-pounder, heavyweight guys, where I had the training partners”, said the UFC light heavyweight.
“Slowly, over time, we had a lot of European guys come out from Cyrille Diabate‘s team…we had a lot of guys from Australia and South Africa to come out and train with us. Slowly those guys had to go back home and eventually it was just myself, Dan, and Jesse Taylor. When Dan knocked out Michael Bisping (UFC 100, July 2009), he started going on this whirlwind tour all around the world doing seminars, autograph sessions, signings, and I was just by myself.”
The lack of an adequate support system would unfortunately carry over from that summer until mid-2010.
“For my first Stephan Bonnar fight in Australia and the Brandon Vera fight, it was just me and my Thai coach…Lew Polley was my only training partner at the time and I just needed more guys to come in and it didn’t happen. So, I basically needed to find a different place to go and train at where I could have the coaching and the training partners I needed.”
That different place became the alliance that exists now between Reign Training Center and Kings MMA, both schools working in unison with one another and housing some of the best guys in the world including Mark Munoz, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Fabricio Werdum, and former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua among others.
However, even with a more-than serviceable team behind him, limits still exist. His body, as he’s noticed, is beginning to fail him gradually. His ultimate goal had always been to achieve “Top 10″ and eventually vie a world title, but he also knows time may not be on his side.
“I just want to keep pushing forward”, said Soszynski. “I just want to keep building on my record. I want to see if I belong in the Top 10. I would love to fight somebody who’s just right there in (that group) – maybe ranked ninth, tenth, eleventh – just to see if I belong in there with those guys. Then maybe two fights from now fight somebody who’s in the Top 5 and you never know where that can take me to.”
“At 34 my body is kind of slowly falling apart with all the surgeries and all the injuries. It all depends on how far my body is allowing me to take this sport. If I can last another two to four years then that would be great. I’m just going to listen to my body and see where that takes me. I would like to make my mark, see if I do belong in that Top 10 and maybe hopefully one day fight for the world title like every other MMA fighter dreams of. We’ll see where (my plan) takes me and (until then) I’ll just listen to my body. If my body tells me it’s time to finish up my MMA career, then I will finish it up.”
Still, “The Polish Experiment” isn’t looking too far ahead – a lesson his experiences have taught him over the years.
“I kind of live my life one day at a time and see where it’s going to take me,” Soszynski concluded.
The 26-11-1 Canadian has finished twenty-two of the opponents he’s beaten including ten TKOs and eleven submissions. He holds wins in the UFC over Brian Stann, Stephan Bonnar, and most recently Mike Massenzio in June at UFC 131.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC