Coming to grips with new-found fame

Krzysztof Soszynski will fight Brian Stann on April 18 in Montreal. (Marcel Cretan/SUN MEDIA)

Krzysztof Soszynski will fight Brian Stann on April 18 in Montreal. (Marcel Cretan/SUN MEDIA)

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

It's official: Krzysztof Soszynski is a local celebrity.

The UFC mixed martial artist is back in his hometown of Winnipeg for the first time since his appearance onThe Ultimate Fighter reality show last fall and his UFC debut in December. He's being recognized wherever he goes.

"I just went to the movies yesterday, and everybody's like, 'Oh my God, there's Krzysztof Soszynski from The Ultimate Fighter show, the UFC guy,'" the man himself said with a chuckle yesterday.

"It's pretty neat. It's overwhelming at times, but I've got a good head on my shoulders and I just take it in stride."

Soszynski will have a chance to increase his profile even more when he fights Brian Stann on the UFC 97 card at Montreal's Bell Centre on April 18. Soszynski said the bout is scheduled to be on the main card, which means it will be on the pay-per-view broadcast.

Soszynski won his first UFC fight in December, but it was against Shane Primm, a fellow Ultimate Fighter contestant.

"This will be my first real UFC fight, in front of 21,000 people in Montreal on the main card," Soszynski said. "It's going to be an incredible atmosphere. I can't wait. I get jittery just thinking about it all the time. It's going to be fantastic."

The former Maples football player resides in Temecula, Calif., where he works and trains with Team Quest. He is back in his hometown for a week to catch up with family and friends, and to hone his skills.

He plans to get some lessons from Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Rodrigo Munduruca at Team Canada MMA and trainer Curtis Brigham at Winnipeg Academy of MMA while in town. He's also working out at Professional Edge under his strength and conditioning coach, Jordan Cieciwa.

"The thing about this sport is the more people you train with, the better you're going to get," Soszynski said. "You're going to learn something from somebody, especially when they're better than you. There's a lot of good guys in both those gyms who can help me out and help me get better.

"... My game has improved so much over the last six months. You're going to see a new Krzysztof come April 18."


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