Several years ago, Mariusz Zastawny was looking for a new way to channel his competitive drive, and after diving into martial arts training, the former body builder knew he had found what he was looking for. Since beginning that new chapter in 2008, Zastawny has gone on to compete in four professional MMA bouts, and is busy preparing for his next challenge at King of the Cage Canada’s “Stand and Deliver” card.
“I got started back in 08,” Zastawny said while recalling the first steps he made into mixed-martial-arts. “Before that I was involved in competitive bodybuilding, which I found very political. I really enjoyed training, and being at the gym; I really loved the competition aspect, but I wanted to do something that was a little more black-and-white in terms of end results and judging.”
When Zastawny decided to enter the MMA world, the Poland born fighter didn’t anticipate to be making his pro debut not long after. In March, 2009, Zastawny launched his MMA career by recording a first round, TKO win over Cody Zatorski at KOTC Canada’s “Turbulence” card.
“It definitely started as just a hobby,” said the 36 year-old, Edmonton resident, who wrestled in high school. “I just wanted to see if I could do something with my wrestling. I was really intrigued with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the submission game. It just kind of took off on its own.”
After winning his pro debut, Zastawny dropped his next two bouts, before returning to the win column last March at KOTC Canada’s “Brawl in the Mall 4” card. On that night Zastawny scored another first round win by stopping Jason Rorick.
“I think so far, I’ve been a pretty straightforward what you would expect from a wrestler,” said Zastawny, while discussing what he brings to the cage. “I can exchange with the best of them and as soon as I have that opening to take a guy down and grind out a win, is normally my go to move. This time around, however, I’m fighting a guy with the same amount of experience, probably more experience in the wrestling game, so it should be a really good challenge for me.”
Zastawny is referring to fellow KOTC vet Mike Froese, who he will fight at the promotion’s upcoming November 16th, “Stand and Deliver” event at Edmonton’s Mirage Banquet.
“I’ve actually been to the gym he trains out of and I trained with him a couple of times a couple of years ago,” Zastawny said about Froese, who is coming off a submission loss to KOTC Canadian Middleweight Champion Elmer Waterhen in March. “He’s had a lot of success, more fights, and more time to train than I have.”
“Previously we were in different weight categories,” Zastawny added. “This is the second time the fight’s been offered to me, so I basically see it as a sign. It’s meant to happen. It keeps getting thrown on the table. I don’t know if its the organization, or if it’s him personally wanting this fight. It’s been offered twice now so I took it.”
The November 16th bout will be contested at a catchweight of 200 pounds.
“I’ve had a hard time making 205 before,” Zastawny said. “This time around, however, I’ve had a long layoff due to work and other things in my life, so I’m actually coming into this fight a little bit lighter. So I’m hoping to make a new weight of 200...this will be my first time cutting down that low, so it’s all about the experience and whether or not it works for me.”
And what kind of fight does Zastawny expect fans will witness at “Stand and Deliver”?
“This is going to be a pretty quick fight,” said Zastawny, who in particular, credited Edmonton vet Cody Krahn for helping him prepare for Froese. “It’s just going to be a matter of who gets the takedown first. You’re looking at two guys, with the same style of fighting, and same type of aggression just wanting to impose their will. It’s a matter of who pulls the trigger first.”
Tickets for “Stand and Deliver” can be purchased by heading to ClubZone.com or at the Wild West Shooting Centre.