Mariusz Zbigniew Pudzianowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈmarjuʂ pudʑaˈnɔfskʲi]; born 7 February 1977), known in Poland as "Pudzian" and "Dominator" is a Polish former strongman competitor and current mixed martial artist. He is widely considered one of the greatest strongmen in the history of the sport. During his career as a strongman, Pudzianowski won five World's Strongest Man titles, the most in history. He also won two runner-up titles in 2006 and 2009. In 2009, Pudzianowski debuted as a mixed martial artist.
Early years[change | change source]
Mariusz Pudzianowski was born in Biała Rawska, Poland. His father, Wojciech, was a weightlifter. Pudzianowski quickly became interested in sports. Since the age of 11, he has been training the Kyokushin style of karate. His current grade is 4th kyu green belt. He began strength training at the age of thirteen. When he was fifteen, Pudzianowski also started training boxing, quitting after seven years. Pudzianowski debuted in professional sports at the age of sixteen, taking part in Polish Weightlifting Championship, in the bench press event.
Strongman career[change | change source]
On 1 May 1999 Pudzianowski entered his first Strongman competition, held in Płock, Poland. He achieved his first major success at the international level at the 2000 World's Strongest Man contest where he finished fourth in his first WSM competition. Due to his prison sentence, he did not return for the 2001 competition.
In the 2006 World's Strongest Man contest, he came second to Phil Pfister. Pudzianowski regained his title in 2007, winning with one event to spare (which he had also done in 2003 and 2005). He joined Jon Pall Sigmarsson and Magnus Ver Magnusson as the only men to win the competition four times.
He competed in the 2009 World's Strongest Man competition, which took place in Malta, placing second after Žydrūnas Savickas. In an interview, Pudzianowski said he will not continue participating in strongman events, because of his career in Mixed Martial Arts, which requires a totally different training to strongman.