What seemed like simply a publicity stunt
has evolved into a main event fight between Eric "Butterbean
" Esch and "World's Strongest Man" Mariusz Pudzianowski
at KSW 14
on Sept. 18 in Poland.
KSW announced Tuesday the headlining bout as well as the inclusion of UFC veteran Per Eklund
, undefeated newcomer Michal Mankiewicz, Sengoku 13 competitor Kazuki Tokudome and M-1 Challenger veteran Niko Puhakka into the promotion's upcoming lightweight tournament, joining the previously announced participants Artur Sowinski and Maciej Gorski.
As the follow-up to the Mooson pay-per-view in May, the Moosin group was working on Pudzianowski headlining once again, in a matchup against Kimbo Slice in October
. A day later, Moosin sent out a press release where Moosin exec Butterbean rips Pudzianowski, saying that "he punches like a girl" and should prove himself by "beating a good MMA fighter before he gets another big fight like a spot on the Oct. 9 [Moosin] show."
In an interview with MMAFighting.com last month, Butterbean was asked if the press release was a work to set up a fight between the two on the Moosin card.
"I'd love to fight him. But there's been nothing about that," Butterbean told Ben Fowlkes
. "I'd knock him out and I don't think they'd let me fight Pudzianowski. I've watched tape on him since we're promoting him, and standing there with him would be the least of my concerns. I'd knock him out. I don't know why Tim couldn't knock him out."
Now it appears it was indeed a promotional tactic, but for the Polish MMA event KSW instead.
Pudzianowki (2-1), a five-time World 's Strongest Man champion, won his first two MMA fights under the KSW banner and his most recent fight was a loss to Tim Sylvia at Moosin.