The Prelim Breakout Star is a once per event article that helps fans get to know those who will be entertaining them from the undercard. The intention of the article is not to bring attention the most talented guy on the preliminary card, but rather one that the common fan may have overlooked or underestimated.
It’s been a slow couple weeks in the UFC world. With the exception of a dozen or so fight announcements and a quick scare involving social security numbers, there has been little action in MMA’s number one organization. This weekend brings the end to the lull in action as the long awaited upset pick, Chris Weidman, finally gets his shot at middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva. But, before we get a chance to see the main card, let’s take a look at the opening entertainment.
Affiliation – Power MMA and Fitness
Nickname – The Polish Pistola
From – Honolulu, Hawaii
Height – 6’3”
Weight – 170 lbs (Welterweight)
Record – 17-7 (4-2 UFC)
What makes him impressive
Baczynski, who made his way into the UFC via the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter, began his stint as a middleweight. Although that was ultimately short lived, it’s made his drop back to his natural weight of 170 all the more obvious. Baczynski’s major advantage comes in his physical power. At 185 it was much harder for him to enforce his will on his opponents. Whereas, at welterweight, he was able to push around and finish fellow grinder and welterweight fringe contender, Matt Brown. Being Brown’s most recent loss before his current five-fight win streak, it is surprising that The Polish Pistola hasn’t earned more recognition.
To add to his physical prowess, Baczynski has a great fight IQ. Although another unmeasurable point, Seth has a great sense of when his opponent is in danger. This likely attributes to his 16 finishes in 17 wins. What makes these finishes even more impressive, is that they are fairly evenly split between knockouts and submissions.
Why he’s been overlooked
Baczynski is the type of fighter you can’t tie down with statistics. He doesn’t boast a bunch of belts or titles. He trains out of the modest Power MMA and Fitness, not one of the flashy super camps. Along with his grinding and his fight instinct, Seth is just one of those fighters you can’t ever count out. The intangibles are what makes him a fighter to follow, but also are a strong reason why hype doesn’t follow him. He is physically impressive and has great finishing, but those aren’t the types of things people hear about, which is even a stronger reason for seeing him for yourself on this weekend’s preliminary card.
What makes this a good matchup
As previously mentioned, Baczynski has an excellent fight sense. He uses the opportunities and knows where his strengths are. Going in with a seven-inch height advantage and a five-inch reach advantage, perhaps more if only arm length was measured, against his opponent, Brian Melancon, Baczynski will use every opportunity to exploit that. Also, Melancon has been known to gas and get tired due to his thick frame. Facing an equally, or even more, physically strong opponent, this will be exaggerated.
Daniel Vreeland is a writer (PrelimPicker) and teacher with an avid love for martial arts. He has practiced jiu jitsu and submission grappling under and next to many top names including Royce Gracie, Rousimar Palhares, Murilo Bustamante and Marco Alvan. He has placed in multiple NAGA grappling tournaments and currently trains under black belt Dave Roy in Amherst, MA.