There’s a place in the heart of just about every fight fan for a good freak show fight: fights between hulking, musclebound leviathans, and smaller, but generally more skilled opponents.
These fights are typically relegated to the Asian mixed martial arts circuit, where sanctioning bodies are a little less rigid. We saw dozens of these fights under the Pride banner. Generally, they would pit giants like Hong Man Choi, Eric “Butterbean” Esch, Zuluzinho and Bob Sapp against known giant killers like Fedor Emelianenko, Kazushi Sakuraba and Ikuhisa Minowa, and generally, these giant killers would come out on top. Yes, in clashes of mammoth size and genuine skill, the latter typically comes out on top.
This was the case in 2010, when the 238-pound Englishman Mark Potter stepped onto the canvas with 383-pound Polish behemoth Tomasz Czerwinski under the UCMMA banner. In advance of this fight, Czerwinski was referred to by UCMMA commentators as “the heaviest MMA fighter in history.” Whether this claim was true or not, Czerwinski’s near 150-pound weight advantage didn’t seem to matter at all.
Moments into the first round, Potter sent his lumbering foe careening to the canvas with a rather insignificant looking left hand. He then calmly walked over to his dazed foe, knelt by his side on the canvas, and hammered him with ground-and-pound until the referee was forced to intervene. The Englishman’s TKO occurred just 21 seconds into the first round. Watch the fight in full at the top of this post.
In the years after this win, Potter sandwiched a submission loss to Oli Thompson between knockout defeats of Mark Walker and Larry Watts. He retired in 2012 with a 5-2 record. Czerwinski, meanwhile, continues to fight to this day, though he is looking more and more like a heavy bag. The Polish hulk is now 8-14 in sum, with all 14 of his losses coming via first-round stoppage.
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