Lightweight is considered by many to be the UFC’s deepest and most dangerous division. If all goes as planned, former professional boxer Pawel Wolak will eventually be swimming with the sharks.

Wolak officially announced his intentions to transition to MMA on Wednesday night at the annual Boxing Writers Association of America dinner in New York, where he received “Fight of the Year” honors for his July 15, 2011 154-pound bout with Delvin Rodriguez -- a contest that ended in a draw after 10 back-and-forth rounds.

The Debica, Poland native lost a decision to Rodriguez in a rematch on Dec. 3 and announced his retirement from boxing four days later. Wolak, who will be managed by Monte Cox, began his MMA education shortly thereafter. Although his ultimate goal is to fight for the UFC, Wolak is prepared to take the necessary steps to reach the sport’s largest organization.

“My background was as a successful New Jersey state wrester and kickboxer, so I am going back to my roots,” Wolak told Sherdog.com. “Monte, [longtime advisor] Howard Horowitz and I will lay out the strategy. I will get to the UFC when I am ready to make a statement in the lightweight division. I am not going to jump in right away, but only when I know I can become champion. I have been training since December. Nobody will want to stand up with me, so I am working really hard on the ground game. I will visit camps with Monte and Howard as we get closer to making a run at this thing.”

In the meantime, Cox says Wolak has been honing his skills with various fighters near his New Jersey home, including current UFC veterans Jim Miller and Constantinos Philippou as well as former Strikeforce and Bellator competitor Igor Gracie.

“It isn’t often a guy comes along with the fighting credentials of Pawel Wolak. I’m thrilled to have the chance to help take him to the level in MMA that he reached in boxing. Without a doubt, he can be a UFC champion,” said Cox, who has managed seven former UFC title holders.

"Pawel is unique in that he is in the prime of his career,” Cox continued. “He can stay in boxing and make a great living, but he has always had a love for MMA and he wants to see how well he can do while he is at his best. It’s nothing like some of the other boxers switching over when their best days are behind them.”

The 30-year-old Wolak went 29-2-1 over the course of a professional career that began in 2004. He finished 19 of his opponents by knockout and was generally recognized as one of the Top 10 fighters in the world at his weight class. Known for an aggressive, pressuring style, Wolak’s signature victory came in March 2011, when he scored a sixth-round TKO victory over former junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

At the moment, the man known as “Raging Bull” seems to be at peace with the decision to change his place of business from the ring to a cage.

“Most people think that I am coming back to boxing. I have always said that if a champion wanted to fight me that door would always be open,” Wolak said. “But those champions wouldn’t fight me before, so why would they now? I fell into boxing many years ago while training for MMA and never had the opportunity to go into it because boxing just took off for me.”

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Like Brock Lesnar, The Rock Once Considered a UFC Career

  • 2 days ago
  • 36 views

What if Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, one of the biggest stars in WWE history, had made the move to the UFC? read news >>

Brock Lesnar Returns to UFC: The Defining Moments of His MMA Career to Date

  • 5 hours ago
  • 3 views

Brock Lesnar is a large man, in multiple ways. Granted, none of his other largenesses happen without his physical largeness, but even so he looms over both pro wrestling and MMA as a bona fide supers read news >>

Bryan Caraway%26#x2019;s career blossoming after upsetting Aljamain Sterling (Yahoo Sports)

  • 29 days ago
  • 3 views

From Yahoo Sports: Defeating the previously unbeaten No. 4-ranked bantamweight is nothing compared to the struggles Caraway has overcome in his personal life. read news >>

Bryan Caraway%26#x2019;s career blossoming after upsetting Aljamain Sterling (Yahoo Sports)

  • 29 days ago
  • 7 views

From Yahoo Sports: Defeating the previously unbeaten No. 4-ranked bantamweight is nothing compared to the struggles Caraway has overcome in his personal life. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 88 Results: Jeremy Stephens Spoils Renan Barao’s Featherweight Debut

  • 29 days ago
  • 7 views

Jeremy Stephens scored the biggest win of his career on Sunday night, spoiling former bantamweight champion Rena Barao's arrival at 145 pounds. read news >>

Underdog Bisping finally has title shot; plans to flip the script

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

Michael Bisping wasn't supposed to be the opponent for Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 on June 4 on Pay-Per-View. But "The Count" is used to going off script. Bisping plans to make history and flip that scr read news >>

Brock Lesnar: Latest News, Rumors and Speculation on Fighter's Potential Return

  • 23 days ago
  • 10 views

After he reignited his professional wrestling career, it looked as though Brock Lesnar's days in UFC were over, but the 38-year-old may be nearing a return to the Octagon. Continue for updates. Lesna read news >>

Rockhold vs. Bisping 2 Results: Winner and Reaction from UFC 199

  • 23 days ago
  • 43 views

For the first time in his career, Michael Bisping is a UFC champion. Thanks to a left hook followed with some more shots against the cage, Bisping knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round to beco read news >>

RFA Bantamweight Champion Leandro Higo to Carry Olympic Torch in Brazil

  • 21 days ago
  • 4 views

RFA bantamweight champion Leandro Higo is set to accomplish another career highlight just 45 days after capturing RFA gold. Higo will carry the Olympic Torch. read news >>

Brock Lesnar announces return at UFC 200

  • 22 days ago
  • 5 views

Former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar went on ESPN's SportsCenter to announce his return to the Octagon at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. read news >>