Erko Jun will take on one of Poland’s most famous athletes, Mariusz Pudzianowski, in the main event of KSW 51.
Erko Jun is an unbeaten MMA fighter who has been readying himself for the former World’s Strongest Man, Mariusz Pudzianowski at KSW 51. The event goes down at Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia on Saturday, November 9. Jun has a well-documented bodybuilding background before crossing over into mixed martial arts. So this fight very much elicits awe when you put their imposing physical frames on a poster. It’s one of multiple intriguing heavyweight fights on what is a stacked event all around.
Jun saw a live KSW fight in person, and it inspired him to begin an MMA run. He has a lengthy history in martial arts prior to that though. “I’ve been doing martial arts before my bodybuilding career. I was doing kickboxing and taekwondo for a while,” Jun told Cageside Press recently.
In Erko Jun’s debut fight, he got rocked, but rallied back to win in emphatic fashion. Jun said, “I think that fight should have happened like that. I’m glad it happened like that and that I felt how it feels when you go down. I was really blank for like one second I think. I felt like ‘are you here to give up or are you here to fight back?’ I just stood up, took some distance, recovered a little bit, and fought back. Not everyone is capable of doing that.”
Jun has reflected on his journey as a martial artist so far but is also quite rooted in the present. “My debut was a lot of pressure,” he stated. “So much pressure on your shoulders. People expecting you to get beaten up in the cage. Fighting in front of such an audience, also a lot of pressure. It’s not only to be just a fighter. Now I’m fighting the main event against the king of Poland. He’s really the biggest legend. You just don’t get that fight that easily.”
This is not the first high profile bout for Jun by any means. He has a noticeable level of celebrity from his bodybuilding and modeling background. Erko Jun has over a million instagram followers and has been under the microscope for years. His fight with Popek Monster, a hugely successful rapper in Poland, was another bout that drew a lot of attention.
“When I was fighting Popek, I was also like ‘wow this is a huge name,’ recalled Jun. He took the fight “when they told me. I had a small injury on my knee but I just wanted to fight him because he’s a big name.”
His daughter gives him a tremendous amount of strength and perspective when he goes through the ups and downs of MMA life. “She’s an inspiration for sure and a motivation for life in general,” he said. “Of course, it’s a little bit difficult in training camp when I’m really focused. I’m not home during the week…. but I still come back to see her. There’s just some things in life you need to sacrifice if you want to accomplish some big goals in your life.”
Erko Jun also draws inspiration from those in his fan base. He has had great interactions with a fan turned friend named Sladjo. A fiercely loyal supporter who is always physically there for Jun despite having a rare medical condition. Jun stated, “I was working in Switzerland before. I was doing club hosting. Working at meet and greets. I met him there. I actually visited his home. People were talking about how he was a big fan of me. I was like ‘yeah let’s meet him.’ The poor kid has a medical condition. He cannot really walk and stuff.”
Jun continued, “So I went to his home. We talked about everything. We talked about training. I told him I will hook you up with a good training plan. I brought him some supplements and we stayed in contact since then. Every time I came back to Switzerland, I just called him and said ‘come with me’. He went to clubs partying. Things he never did in his life. I just took him with me and shared everything with him.”
He concluded, “If you can help someone, just do it. If you can make someone happy with such small things, just do it. The strange part is when I switched to MMA professionally, he was the first guy that came to watch my fight. He surprised me. All my three fights, he was there. Such a loyal person. It’s unbelievable. I have people I’ve known my whole life, they can’t even pay a pay per view to watch a fight. You need to be good to everyone. You never know what you’ll get back from that.” Sladjo will be there for the Pudz fight too.
This has been a fight that Jun has wanted for years. He seems to feel confident and excited ahead of his tilt. “The fight was confirmed like two months ago. I feel great, man. Preparation is going really well,” said Jun. Erko Jun respects Pudz a lot, but is also confident in what he brings to the cage.
On his opponent, Jun stated, “He’s just a beast. Really strong. He has some heavy punches you have to watch out for. Some kicks; he knows how to get people on the ground. To be honest, I think I’m more of a technical fighter. I’m just going to be more explosive. I don’t underestimate him for sure. He’s a legend for sure. He has a lot of experience. He never got knocked out that’s the most interesting part. I would like to be the first guy that knocks him out.”
Erko Jun is just trying to enjoy the present, embrace the moment ahead of him, and reflect on his intriguing life path so far. Jun added “Eventually in life, you never know what your destiny is. I’ve been doing bodybuilding like eight years in my life professionally. Then in one switch I go to MMA and start a professional career. You never know what’s going on. When sometimes it’s going bad in your life, just know there’s going to come good times as well. The most important is to keep moving forward and to keep fighting in life.”
KSW 51 takes place at the Arena Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia this Saturday, November 9. The event card be ordered live via KSWTV.