Undefeated and now one win away from competing on MMA’s biggest stage.
Canada’s Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz (8-0) will battle Brazil’s Mario Sousa (11-1) in a middleweight main event on Week Nine of Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) in Las Vegas, Nev. on Tuesday night.
When it comes to DWCS, securing a win by finishing the fight goes a long way in increasing a fighter’s chances of leaving with a UFC contract, while impressive and dominant decision victories are also often rewarded.
Ksiazkiewicz, 31, said he’s familiar with the criteria Dana White and the rest of the UFC brass are looking for in a new addition to their roster, and he believes he’s exactly the type of fighter they will want to sign.
“I think my style fits the mould perfectly. I’m always looking for the finish, and that’s what they want. You get a finish and your odds are higher in getting that contract,” said Ksiazkiewicz in an interview with MMA Empire.
“The way I fight is perfect for what they’re looking for just because I’m good at creating openings for a finish. With my style already, the finish is going to be there. I just have to fight normally, fight confidently, and I’ll create that opening and get that finish.”
Given each fighter competing on the card has UFC potential in the eyes of White and his matchmakers, being awarded the main event slot is no small feat for Ksiazkiewicz.
He said having the opportunity to compete in a DWCS main event for the chance at a UFC contract is a position he’s earned and deserved.
“I feel like it’s a reward of working so hard for the last 15 years. But other than that, it doesn’t change my mentality towards the fight. I just feel like that’s what I deserve,” said Ksiazkiewicz.
“I’ve been working so hard for this moment and now I finally have the opportunity. They’re going to see what they’ve been missing for the last few years.”
Ksiazkiewicz’s confidence continues to grow
Ksiazkiewicz’s last time out was a dominant first round submission victory of Guilherme Miranda at Teofista: Fight For The Troops in Nov. 2019.
While that fight was a quick night at the office for Ksiazkiewicz, he said being able to submit an opponent like Miranda gave him more confidence in his ground game, and his overall ability to compete with the best in the world.
“Finishing Miranda was quite the accomplishment in itself because he’d never been submitted before. He was an extremely high-level jiu-jitsu guy and I was the first one to submit him,” said Ksiazkiewicz.
“Just doing that definitely built my confidence in my jiu-jitsu, and I know I can hang with the top guys in the sport just from finishing Miranda.”
Although no one is guaranteed a contract on any given DWCS episode, each fighter is still in the same situation of potentially being one win away from fulfilling their dream or goal of fighting in the UFC.
Ksiazkiewicz said this is the opportunity he’s been working towards since he was a teenager, and said he won’t be letting it slip through his fingers.
“It means everything. I started training jiu-jitsu at the Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) in 2006; I’ve been working for this moment for almost 15 years,” said Ksiazkiewicz.
“It’s definitely means everything because this was always the goal. This has been a long time coming, and I’m excited to capitalize on this moment.”
“I’d like to thank all my sponsors (Snap Fitness St Vital South, Capitol Steel, LIUNA 1258, VapeUp Co, Polsat Center, Gorilla Jack, Baltic Brothers, Vo2 Master, Lactigo, Beetit Canada, Golden Hand Jewelry, Keenan Films, WAMMA, United Boxing Club) and my coaches (Cole Vincent, Lindsey Hawkes, Curtis Brigham, Vitaliy Romankov). Follow Ksiazkiewicz on social media: INSTAGRAM