Soszynski 'in UFC for good'

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

Fresh off his first defeat as a UFC fighter, Winnipeg's Krzysztof Soszynski is vowing to bounce back better than ever.

Soszynski's record fell to 3-1 on the world's premier mixed martial arts circuit on Saturday night in Portland. He lost a three-round, unanimous decision (all judges scored it 30-27) to American Brandon Vera on the UFC 102 card at the Rose Garden.

"I fought an A-level fighter," Soszynski said yesterday from the Oregon city. "We went the distance, and he didn't dominate me. I'll come back a lot stronger from this fight the next time around."

Soszynski, 32, took the Vera fight on five weeks notice after Matt Hamill suffered a knee injury. It was Soszynski's second consecutive scrap in which he wasn't the intended opponent.

He said president Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva praised him for stepping up to tangle with the experienced and tough Vera when others would not. In other words, he's not about to lose his dream job despite suffering his first loss.

"I talked to Joe Silva after the fight and he said, 'You're good, don't worry about it.' I'm in the UFC for good," Soszynski said.

"I don't think I have anything to worry about -- unless I go on a three-fight losing streak. But I don't see that happening."

Soszynski, a former Maples football player, said the light heavyweight bout against Vera, who improved to 7-3 in the UFC, went according to plan. There was, however, one rather significant problem that led to his demise.

"I don't know how to explain it, but I just felt flat," he said. "It wasn't my day. When my head told my body to go, it just wouldn't respond."

He shrugged off the notion that he was fatigued, even though it was his third match in four months.

Soszynski believes he simply had an off day against a skilled opponent.

"Brandon Vera is very good, and he's very tough," said Soszynski, who lives and trains in Temecula, Calif. "He's the toughest and most skilled fighter I've ever fought.

"But I learned I belong in the UFC and that I'm here to stay. I know where the A level is, and I know how close I am to it. I'll get there. I know I will."

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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