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

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic Announces Plans to Retire... Again | FIGHTLAND

  • 15 days ago
  • 1 views

Photo via twitter/nobu_sakakibara Fresh off his triumph on New Year’s Eve—winning Rizin FF’s inaugural Openweight Grand Prix—K1 and Pride legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic told Croatian TV of his reti read news >>

UFC ditches plans for March 3 event in Las Vegas on eve of UFC 209

  • 10 days ago
  • 18 views

The UFC’s initial plan for a dual-event weekend in March has changed.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Fresh Off Tournament Win, Cro Cop Announces Retirement Plans | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 74 views

Just a few days removed from winning three fights in two days, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic has announced plans to retire. read news >>

Michael Bisping just threw a wrench in fellow UFC champ Tyron Woodley's plans

  • 12 days ago
  • 917 views

For the first time in his career, UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley is in high demand. All sorts of opponents are clamoring to fight him, and he’s determined to get the biggest matchup possible.Fi read news >>

After Helping Ronda Rousey Train, Raquel Pennington Sidelined by Surgery | MMAWeekly.com

  • 12 days ago
  • 25 views

Coming off of the biggest victory of her career, it will be a while before we see UFC bantamweight Raquel Pennington back in the Octagon. read news >>

Reminder: 'Countdown to UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn' debuts today on FS1

  • 11 days ago
  • 15 views

As a reminder, the UFC’s traditional pre-event show returns today with the debut of "UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn" on FS1. The 30-minute special previews the card’s headlining bout between read news >>

The best UFC photos from December, including Ronda Rousey's devastating loss to Nunes

  • 11 days ago
  • 82 views

Ahead of the start of the UFC’s 2017 calendar year, it’s time to take a look back at the best UFC photos from December and its five cardsFiled under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC champ Demetrious Johnson's next career step? At least 12 title defenses

  • 15 days ago
  • 22 views

UFC flyweight Demetrious Johnson remains unbooked for his next title defense, but his immediate career plan is set.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

'UFC 207: Thrill and Agony' video: Gut-wrenching reactions from Ronda Rousey's corner

  • 10 days ago
  • 633 views

The UFC’s “Thrill and Agony” videos take us up close and behind the scenes of pay-per-view events, and at UFC 207, it was all about the reactions from the fighters’ corners and their cageside familie read news >>