Showtime for Soszynski

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

Krzysztof (The Polish Experiment) Soszynski has been dreaming about this moment for years.

The fact that he gets to do it in his home country is just icing on the cake.

The 31-year-old Winnipeg native will step into the cage on Saturday night and fight in the third-last bout of the UFC 97 card at Montreal's Bell Centre.

HOME COUNTRY

"Fighting in your home country in front of thousands in attendance and millions of people around the world, it doesn't get any better than that," Soszynski said earlier this week from Temecula, Calif. "On top of that, I'm fighting on the main card, right before Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua, and then the main event is next. This is going to be one of the best feelings of my life. I'm going to really enjoy it."

And why wouldn't he? For Soszynski, a graduate of last year's Ultimate Fighter reality TV show, his light heavyweight fight against American Brian Stann will technically be his first UFC bout. Soszynski beat Shane Primm in December on the UFC's Ultimate Fighter finale show in Las Vegas, but Saturday he will be on the main card in front of 21,000 screaming spectators and millions more on pay-per-view.

"You'll see a big smile on my face as I'm walking down that aisle towards that cage, because it tells me that all the years of hard work, all the long training sessions and the sacrifices have just been well worth it," said Soszynski, a former Maples football player. "For me, this is what I've been dreaming of since I started in this sport, and I'm getting there. The one person standing in my way is Brian Stann. I'm not going to make it easy for him, that's for sure."

Stann is a former World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight champ who will be making his UFC debut. He is a former Marine who did two tours of duty in Iraq and earned a Silver Star, the U.S.'s third highest military honour. Stann is a hard puncher, so Soszynski, who also has no problem throwing the fists, has been focusing on his wrestling and jiu jitsu skills just in case he feels the need to take it to the canvas.

"I'll have an advantage in the clinch and with my wrestling, so if I can take him down I will," Soszynski said. "If I'm going to keep it standing I will. I'm going to dictate where the fight goes."

Cheering him on in the Bell Centre crowd will be his 12-year-old son Nicholas, wife Genevieve, dad Mieczyslaw and brother Mike.

"And all my friends from Winnipeg are coming out, so it's going to be huge," said Soszynski, who will have UFC veteran and fellow Team Quest fighter Dan Henderson in his corner. "It's going to be a fun night."


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