Soszynski chalks up big win

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

Krzysztof (The Polish Experiment) Soszynski is a happy man.

He's really, really, really happy.

Apparently that's what happens when you win your first official UFC fight in your home country and it just so happens to be on the main card in front of a record North American MMA crowd of 21,451 fans that includes your son, wife and father.

Soszynski, a 31-year-old Winnipeg product, used a kimura to beat American Brian Stann 3:53 into their UFC 97 light heavyweight bout on Saturday night at Montreal's Bell Centre.

All in all, it was a night to remember for the former Maples Collegiate football player.

"The only thing that surpasses this moment is watching my son being born and getting married," Soszynski said yesterday from Montreal. "It was just an incredible feeling, one of the best feelings I've ever had in my life. All this hard work for six years is finally paying off.

"... It was by far one of the biggest shows ever in the history of MMA, and I was part of it, and I was able to achieve something that a lot of people said probably wouldn't be able to be done. I proved a lot of people wrong."

Even though he fought -- and won -- on the UFC's Ultimate Fighter finale card in December, Soszynski considered Saturday's fight his first official UFC bout.

He sized up Stann, a former U.S. Marine, for a couple minutes before executing a side mount that eventually led to the kimura. Soszynski has won his last three fights via the kimura, which is a painful shoulder lock.

"For me, the kimura just works with my body type," he said. "I've got pretty strong shoulders, and I've got a pretty strong grip. It's going to be hard for someone to get out of it."

Even though Stann is a former World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight champ, Soszynski figured his opponent was at a disadvantage before stepping into the cage.

"When you fight somebody who's only one-dimensional, a striker like Brian Stann, you want to basically take it to the ground," said Soszynski, who also earned a $70,000 bonus for the night's best submission.

"It's a nice chunk of change, and I can finally pay off some bills and not to have to worry about money for the next little while," he said.

Soszynski said his next mission is to help fellow Team Quest fighter Dan Henderson train for his UFC 100 battle against Michael Bisping in July.

"As for me," Soszynski said, "I'm just going to wait for the phone call and see what (UFC president) Dana White and Joe Silva, the matchmaker, have in store for me."


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