On August 2, UFC veteran Seth Baczynski makes his highly anticipated Lethwei debut. He will be taking on the undefeated “King of Lethwei” Dave Leduc for the vacant World Lethwei Championship (WLC) cruiserweight belt. This bout will headline WLC: King of Nine Limbs, which is taking place in Mandalay, Myanmar.
After his time with the UFC came to an end in 2015, Baczynski has bounced from promotion to promotion, picking up mixed results along the way. After his most recent defeat in April, he decided it was time to find a new challenge and began exploring the idea of competing in Lethwei.
The popularity of Lethwei has grown in the past year and now more fans than ever before are able to watch the sport following the WLC’s recent deal with UFC Fight Pass. One man who helped grow “The Art of Nine Limbs” is Dave Leduc.
In little time, Canadian Dave “The Nomad” Leduc successfully transitioned from Muay Thai to Lethwei, and not only did he become the first foreigner to capture the open-weight Golden Belt Championship, but won the hearts of the Myanmar people in the process.
Seth Baczynski is fully aware of how fierce and formidable of a competitor Leduc is, but he’s committed to looking at this challenge just as any other fight.
“I feel like I always do going into [a] fight,” Baczynski told The Body Lock. “At the end of the day, it’s a fight. [I am] anxious, excited, but also at peace and prepared.”
Baczynski joined WLC knowing that he has what it takes to defeat Leduc and become the WLC cruiserweight champion.
“I definitely plan on winning. I believe you have got to have that mindset in fighting and competing. As to what, I’ll do [if victorious], I’m not really sure. I haven’t put much thought into it [as] I’ve been spending all my energy and resources preparing for this fight.”
Although the UFC veteran has never stepped foot in a ring under Lethwei rules, he knows that if he plays to his strengths, such as using his height and size advantage, the fight becomes a level playing field.
“I’ve learned in fighting over the years that you can think one thing, [but] when you get out there when the bullets are flying it’s completely different. I’m just gonna go fight my fight and focus on things I do well. I’m not really worried about anything else.”
Baczynski’s two appearances on The Ultimate Fighter have forged a different type of resilience and perseverance for the former UFC fighter. Now with a total of 38 professional mixed martial arts bouts to his name, “Polish Pistola” plans to rely on these experiences when he enters the ring with Leduc.
“For sure being on The Ultimate Fighter twice [will help],” said Baczynski. “I’ve trained with guys from all over the world and it’s given me a bunch of different looks, perspectives, and techniques and ways to do things. So I would for sure say that experience is something that helps me in every fight, especially this one.
“Fighting gave me a reason to work hard and take care of myself. That’s something I never had before I started competing in MMA or martial arts in general. It’s all about challenging yourself because you never know what you’re made of until that bell rings.”
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.