Back in May James Thompson defeated former ‘World’s Strongest Man’ Mariusz Pudzianowski by submission at KSW16 in Poland, and tonight he faced him for a second time in a fight that would end with an extremely controversial decision.
The heavyweight headline bout was scheduled to go only two rounds with the option of ‘extra time’ and Thompson controlled the first comfortably after taking Pudzianowski down early and wearing him down on the mat.
In the second Thompson was rocked by a punch almost immediately, but managed to regain his composure quickly and in a scramble shortly after ended up on top and worked his way to full mount. From there he spent around a minute throwing some rather labored ground and pound before attempting to transition to the Polish fighters back, but failing which allowed Pudzianowski to spin around and end up in top control.
It was a short-lived moment of success however as Thompson managed to sweep back on top just seconds later and got back to working ground and pound from in his half-guard.
With a minute left of the round the two were stood back up and a very tired looking Thompson sloppily lunged in for a takedown which Pudzianowski stuffed. Thompson again went for a takedown, this time a hip toss, but he was exhausted and didn’t execute it properly, falling to his knees and allowing Pudzianowski to take his back up against the ropes and took a flurry of punches to the face as he attempted to fight his way back to his feet.
In the final 10 seconds Pudzianowski dropped down looking for a rear-naked choke, but again sloppy technique cost him and Thompson was able to twist around and end the round on top.
And so it went to the scorecards with most observers expecting that this was heading into overtime after each man appeared to have a round apiece, but apparently the judges saw it differently and awarded Pudzianowski a majority decision victory.
Ridiculous stuff really, there’s no possible way that the Pole won the first round, and the second was competitive and nowhere close to a 10-8 round. Pudzianowski is a superstar in Poland however and is KSW’s cash-cow so it’s no great mystery as to how this result came to pass.
Thompson certainly agreed with that assessment and he grabbed the mic while the camera’s were still rolling live on Polish national TV and proceeded to launch into a foul-mouthed rant calling KSW “a f*cking joke” and confronting the promoter, telling him that “KSW are going down the f*cking toilet.”
Remarkable scenes, and luckily someone recorded the rant so you can check it out for yourselves below.