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Rolles Gracie is 'thrilled' to face Mariusz Pudzianowski in Poland

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With a bout against the Strongest Man in The World approaching, Rolles Gracie Jr. claims to be calm and excited for the challenge ahead. The jiu-jitsu blackbelt says all the pressure goes to his opponent, Mariusz Pudzianowski, for fighting in his home country.

Rolles Gracie
Rolles Gracie
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Maybe facing a five-time Strongest Man in The World competition winner could make some men tremble just by thinking about it, but not Rolles Gracie Jr.  In fact, the jiu-jitsu blackbelt says he is thrilled to meet Mariusz Pudzianowski at KSW 31 on May 23.

"It will be a challenge. He is, for sure, the strongest guy I will ever face, even though I also fought Bob Sapp, who is a big and heavy guy" He told Combate. "I can't compete with Marius when it comes to pure strength, but that's not all that matters in an MMA fight. Of course it helps, it's always good, but I'm still thrilled. It's tricky to fight someone like this, any mistakes could cost me the fight. I must be technically sharp and in good shape"

Rolles is only starting his camp in New York with cousin Renzo. He still hasn't developed a gameplan for a fighter he considers very dangerous, but emphasized footwork will be key.

"Footwork is very important, I can't just try to beat him where he is strongest. He punches like he could rip a man's head right off. He's big, so it won't be easy to take him down. I wouldn't say he is a world class athlete, though, but he has enough technique and pure physical strength to make him very dangerous".

Even though the fight will take place in Poland, Pudzianowski's home country, Rolles claims that doesn't bother him at all, as he has been there before.

"Georges St-Pierre used to say he didn't like to fight in Canada, because of the pressure from the fans. The pressure certainly is on his side, because I'm pretty calm. We're in 2015, I have fought in Poland before and I was very well received. He's a legend in his country and it will be cool to fight him there".

On fight day, Rolles Gracie will look to snap a two fight losing skid and snatch his first win since an arm-triangle choke over Yusuke Kawaguchi in 2012.  Pudzianowski, in the other hand, comes in on a three fight winning streak, all at KSW.