The Experiment a success; TV fame to follow?

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:02 AM ET

Some good news Friday afternoon made Krzysztof (The Experiment) Soszynski quite nervous Friday night.

The 30-year-old Winnipeg mixed martial artist found out six hours before he was to fight in the main event of Ultimate Cage Wars 11: Hell in the Cage that he was one of 50 finalists for an upcoming season of the hit TV reality show The Ultimate Fighter.

"It was a very scary situation we were in," Soszynski said. "We were smiling and so happy, but then we were like, 'This is a very tough fight to take like this.'"

Soszynski didn't let his opponent, Vancouver's Marcus Hicks, ruin his TV good looks. Fighting in his hometown for the first time in nearly three years, Soszynski needed just three minutes and 10 seconds to win the scrap in front of about 2,000 supporters at Winnipeg Convention Centre.

"It was huge," Soszynski said. "Maybe it wasn't the slugfest they wanted. I had to play it a little safe, but I got the job done, which is the most important factor."

Soszynski got Hicks in a Kimura, which is basically a shoulder lock, and the 27-year-old tapped out, but not before suffering what appeared to be a serious shoulder injury.

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"My favourite submission is the Kimura, so I go for that puppy all the time," Soszynski said. "As soon as I grabbed on to it I heard him go 'Ugh,' and I knew it was going to be over very soon. ... A Kimura just pops everything out in your shoulder. It kind of destroys it almost. It tears all the ligaments and stuff."

Soszynski emerged from the bout unscathed, which means he will be mentally and physically ready for the biggest week of his professional life.

He will travel to Las Vegas tomorrow for a four-day tryout camp that will determine the 16 fighters for The Ultimate Fighter. The show, which airs on Spike TV, pits fighter against fighter in the cage until one is left standing.

The winner earns a six-figure, six-fight contract from Ultimate Fighting Championship, widely regarded as the world's premier MMA promotion.

Soszynski, who was born in Poland and moved to Winnipeg with his family when he was 10, won the heavyweight title two years ago on the Canadian-based TKO circuit and competed last summer in the International Fight League, but his dream, like most fighters, is the UFC.

He's so close he can taste it.

"I'm healthy," he said, "and I'm ready to go."


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