Stoyan Madanzhiev WSOP 2020

LAS VEGAS – In a stunning announcement, 2020 WSOP Online Main Event Champion Stoyan Madanzhiev has challenged the eventual winner of this year’s WSOP Main Event to a title unification bout. The Bulgarian has pledged to defeat whoever becomes the latter champion in a UFC-style mixed martial arts battle for both championships.

“I’m calling you out, whoever you are,” Madanzhiev said, sporting a black eye from training. “We’re going to settle who the true World Champion is… believe that.”

The disputed and/or ignored World Champion is said to have grown frustrated by the WSOP’s recent announcement of a new, separate 2020 Main Event. In its official communication, the WSOP blithely failed to mention the 29-year-old poker professional’s historic win in September 2020.

The new Main Event (formerly known as “not an event at all because we already played the Main Event”) itself ends with a unification match – the winner of the GGPoker Main Event will play heads-up against the winner of the Main Event. Madanzhiev explained this as justification for his unification bout challenge, “If there are not one, or two, but THREE Main Events – with three different winners – how can one be crowned after just one unification bout?!”

At this point, Madanzhiev’s fighting experience is as little known as his status as World Champion or the correct pronunciation of his name. He is reportedly receiving intensive training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in training for the bout.

Obviously, as most fighting fans know, the few months of training are unlikely to generate anything more than roughly 10 seconds of composure. The rest of the fight is likely to be wild swinging and heavy breathing.


Nevertheless, the bold announcement has sent shockwaves through both the poker and fighting communities. A quick sampling of their thoughts reveals vastly divergent opinions:

“Outrageous,” said poker legend Erik Seidel. “A fight won’t solve anything, least of all who the actual world champion is.”

“Man, I’m not sure about this,” remarked UFC veteran Anthony Pettis. “How long can the average poker player last in the cage? Thirty seconds? Twenty?”

“I want to be clear,” commented Phil Hellmuth. “No matter who wins, it still only counts as a single bracelet. I still have 15 of them.”

Resistance from the WSOP

For their parts, both the Nevada Athletic Commission and the WSOP have refused to sanction any kind of mixed martial arts match to settle a poker tournament. The two organizations issued a joint statement decrying the use of violence as a means to settle a card game dispute.

However, Madanzhiev has brushed off the official remarks, saying “Oh, NOW they know who I am, huh? It was all fun and games until I pledged to beat the brakes off their fake December champion.

Madanzhiev had hoped to get his bout onto the undercard of the upcoming Mike Tyson – Roy Jones Jr. exhibition match. However, the incredibly confusing schedule for the WSOP Main Event appears to have confounded those plans, along with most of the laws of time and space.

Madanzhiev remains upbeat about the bout, sanctioning be damned. He is said to be mulling over his fighter’s nickname, however, and has narrowed it down to three options:

  • Stoyan “The Destroyan” Madanzhiev
  • Stoyan “The Madman” Madanzhiev
  • Stoyan “The Guy Who Won The 2020 Main Event” Madanzhiev

He has also said that he plans to melt his bracelet and the bracelet of his defeated foe together to form a massive “Frankenbracelet.” He is also commissioning a large championship belt that he will wear whenever he plays poker.

ALSO READ:  WSOP Quietly Burns Banner Of Stoyan Madanzhiev


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