Marcin Prachnio Learned Patience During Time Off, Hopes to Show it at UFC Vegas 7

Marcin Prachnio has not had the start to his UFC career that he was no doubt hoping for. The light heavyweight, who was a standout in ONE Championship, lost his first two fights in the octagon, both in 2018.

He sat out the entirety of the following year, dealing with multiple injuries. Finally, the Polish fighter returns this weekend at UFC Vegas 7, where he faces Mike Rodriguez in an effort to get his hand raised in the promotion for the first time.

“You win or you learn,” the light heavyweight told Cageside Press when asked about the stumbles he’s had out of the gate in the UFC. Speaking at the UFC Vegas 7 media day earlier this week, he explained that his last two fights “gave me a lot of knowledge on what I had to do in the future to be a better fighter. And I hope I can show it in this fight.”

With Rodriguez, he’ll need to look out for “his kicks, his knees. I watched his fights, he’s a dangerous stand-up fighter. He’s a southpaw that’s also unorthodox.”

A first win in the UFC is “something I was waiting for for a long time,” Prachnio explained. And maybe putting pressure on himself to get it has hampered his performances. “I did well in ONE Championship, everything was good. When I came to the UFC, I wanted to show up in a good way. Maybe that’s why it went wrong.”

“It is what it is. I hope for it, I train for it, I sweat for it, to make it all better now,” he continued. “Let’s see what it’s going to be on Saturday evening.”

The last year, sitting out and coping with repeated injuries while trying to continue training, has been hard on the fighter. “I did everything to get better and better. It was a really tough year for me. I learned a lot from that,” he said. “For sure I learned patience, I hope I show it in this fight.”

While Prachnio has struggled, Polish MMA as a whole has continued to grow. Jan Blachowicz has emerged as a legitimate contender in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Joanna Jedrzejczyk had a fantastic fight with Weili Zhang back in March. Krzysztof Jotko has put together a three-fight win streak.

“It’s good to be in that kind of group. I’m happy when my colleagues do well,” Prachnio said when asked about the state of the sport in Poland. “This is good for Polish MMA of course, and it’s getting bigger and bigger. Then [they’re] going to hear about it in the news, and people are going to know what MMA is.”

“It’s getting really popular. People want to do MMA, [they’re] grappling a lot, MMA is getting common,” he added. “People don’t want to go to the gym only to do fitness, they want to do something else. Get some new skills. I think it’s important.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 7 virtual media day press scrum with Marcin Prachnio above. The event takes place Saturday, August 22 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.