On March 5th the MMA VIP 4 gala will take place, the boss of which has been recently announced as Andrzej Zielinski a.k.a. Słowik (eng. Nightingale) – one of the most dangerous Polish gangsters in the past. The wave of criticism resulted in the venue of the gala being changed for the third time. After Kielce and Wieluń it was time for Warsaw. Will Rafał Trzaskowski react?
Freak fights – fights between celebrities – have recently gained popularity. In the cage, YouTubers, influencers, representatives of other sports or people commonly known for their controversies are fighting against each other. The sports level of such fights, usually in the MMA formula, can be passed over in silence. It’s mainly about attracting viewers – the end product, the pay-per-view for the gala, is sold mainly with the help of controversy. Before the galas, press conferences are held where “athletes” hurl vulgarities at each other, insult each other, and sometimes even push each other around.
Marcin Najman followed the current trends. He is a specialist in freak fights: in the past, he lost to, among others, bodybuilder Robert Burneika or a cab driver known as “Taxi Złotówa”. In the fight with Kasjusz Życiński “Don Kasjo”, Najman forgot that he was fighting in boxing and started kicking and flipping his rival.
It ended in a disqualification, scandal, and expulsion from the Fame MMA federation. Then Najman started his organization.
The gangster as the “boss” of MMA VIP
MMA VIP had a hard time competing against the powerful competition. In addition, the aforementioned Życiński founded another organization, which meant an even more difficult market. Before MMA VIP 4 Marcin Najman went all the way: he announced Andrzej Zielinski aka Słowik as the “boss” of the event. He used to be a dangerous criminal, one of the Pruszków mafia leaders, who at the turn of the century was on the police top list of the most dangerous Polish gangsters.
Zielinski was pardoned by President Lech Walesa for a 1987 conviction when he was sentenced to six years in prison for theft and robbery. There was a lot of controversies connected with this case. The gangster himself stated that he had paid for the pardon.
“I was offered to use the right of an act of grace of the former President of Poland Lech Wałęsa. And I took advantage of that offer, to be more precise, I just redeemed myself. I paid the requested money and received the appropriate document. (…) I took advantage of human greed and simply bought an act of grace,” “Słowik” recalled in his book “Skarżyłem się grobowi” (eng. “I complained to the grave”).
“Słowik” disappeared and had been wanted by the police for many years. He was captured in Spain in 2001. His detention proved to be a definite end to the largest criminal group operating in Poland, involved in such crimes as truck robberies, extortion, drug trafficking, kidnapping and contract killings.
In 2004, the bandit was sentenced to 6 years in prison for founding an armed criminal group and leading that group. He was also accused of inciting the murder of General Marek Papała, but the court acquitted him of the charge. Despite the passage of years, the name of “Słowik” from time to time recurs in various criminal cases: most recently in the famous case of a criminal group operating in… custody.
Will the gala take place in Warsaw after all?
The Słowik’s episode in show business caused a stir. Many public figures, led by journalist Krzysztof Stanowski, have condemned the promotion of the gangster at such events. The gala was supposed to take place in Kielce, but the city quickly gave up on this idea. Later Najman announced that he was moving the gala to Wieluń – even the mayor, who is in favour of Najman, had to resign from the event under the pressure of criticism. It became clear that hosting a gala signed by the character of “Słowik” is a disgrace and a marketing shot in the foot.
Although Najman has just announced a new location for the gala – it will be in Warsaw. As the former fighter and now MMA competitor at Celebrity Fights assures, “that’s not going to change anymore,” and ticket sales will begin soon.
The question is – what do the authorities of Warsaw, headed by Rafał Trzaskowski, think about it? The mayor of Warsaw has been heavily criticized by Najman in the past, who even asked the residents of the capital in a recording, “Who did you elect as the mayor of your city?” Even if the event will take place in a private arena, it is still a gala of a federation whose “boss” is “Słowik”, and Najman himself will face another former gangster – “Misiek z Nadarzyna”. Is the capital city the right place for that?