Krzysztof Soszynski got what he wanted out of appearing on The Ultimate Fighter 8 reality TV show, and that was a UFC contract.
Now the Winnipeg mixed martial artist needs to win every time he steps into the octagon to prevent UFC president Dana White from ripping it up.
Soszynski will battle Shane Primm on the undercard of next Saturday's UFC show in Las Vegas. The card will determine the two champions of The Ultimate Fighter 8.
"Next Saturday night's probably the biggest night of my life," Soszynski said yesterday from California, where he trains with the Team Quest MMA squad.
Soszynski lost a light heavyweight semifinal to Vinny Magalhaes during an episode on Wednesday, which means he won't get the chance to fight for a six-figure UFC deal like the finalists.
He will, however, get a chance to take the longer road to stardom just for making it into The Ultimate Fighter house.
"Even though I didn't make it to the final, which is very disappointing, I still get the opportunity to fight for the UFC and showcase my skills," Soszynski said. "And if everything works out I'll be with the UFC for a long time, which has been a very long dream of mine.
SHOULD BE FAVOURED
"There's another Manitoban in the big show. I'm very happy to follow in Joe Doerksen's footsteps."
Soszynski should be favoured next Saturday night at The Palms in Las Vegas, since Primm was the second light heavyweight eliminated from the show.
"As long as you perform you will stay with the UFC," Soszynski said. "If you don't perform you will be out of the UFC. So every fight now from now on is a must-win situation."
Soszynski said he has become well-known by appearing on the show, perhaps because he was essentially the primary prankster. His favourite stunt was the one he pulled on Jules Bruchez, placing a stuffed body bag and a R.I.P. headstone on his bed.
"It didn't hurt anybody," Soszynski said. "I really enjoyed that one."
He will also have a non-speaking role in a CSI episode scheduled to air Jan. 29.
"There's an underground MMA promotion, we're fighting in it, and these CSI guys come in and try to arrest one of the fighters who's in the back," he said. "It's pretty cool."
In other words, everything is coming up roses for the former Maples Marauders football player.
"It's been a 51/2 years in the making," he said. "I started out in a little gym in Winnipeg and it led me all the way to Team Quest in Temeculah, Calif., where I live now. And I'm happy. So life is really good."