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Web rumors, nothing official. I personally don't like that fight. I'm not sure why yet, but my initial reaction to the idea of this isn't excitement.
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Carlos Condit: It's an interesting match-up. Their styles are really different. I think Nick can pose some problems to Georges but ultimately I think Georges will come out on top.
Dana White: It both the conflict of styles and personality. You can't emulate Diaz's stand-up no matter who you bring in. Georges St. Pierre is great with his wrestling and Diaz is great on the ground too. GSP wanted this fight for a while and that's why this fight is happening first.
Georges St. Pierre: It's not the first time that a guy that I'm fighting tried to get in my head. He disrespected me. For me, it's another fight. I trained hard. I focus on things I can control, not the things people are saying about myself.
Nick Diaz: I think he's out of line a little bit. I just demanded his attention and I just think that we're both martial artists and I like to be considered who I am. I come from a background of important MMA fighters. It's not just a joke. People like to talk about my skill-level. I have to make do with what I worked for with what I got started. I think he knows I'm the right guy to be in this position right now and that's why I'm here. I think he knows it and he respects that and that's pretty much what comes into my head.
I don't get a lot of recognition in awards and magazines. I'm coming here to whoop this guy's ass and before you know it, this fight happens and no one knows who I am as far as mainstream magazines and all your big stuff. I'm outside of that. I just think I should get the credit I deserve and that Georges St. Pierre gets the opponent he deserves. That makes me pretty angry. When I come off on video, I come off angry. People talk about disrespect and how I'm so disrespectful. I'm only disrespectful because I'd like the acknowledgement that I've got the last few weeks from Georges St. Pierre. He said I deserve this and that's a very important reason. That's where a lot of my attitude comes from. All said and done, he's ready to fight me and recognize me as the rightful opponent. I don't got no problem. I don't know how the fans feel about that. I'm not over here trying to make friends. I think it's disrespectful that people try to act like I'm not important. Georges knows who I am and if I were in his position, I would know especially who I am. That's all I gotta say about that I guess.
Georges St. Pierre: I never tweet once in my life. I have people doing it for me. I'm not into social media at all unfortunately.
Nick Diaz: I think he should just be himself and do his thing. I don't understand it. I don't care. I'm not told about how they're gonna portray me or him. They don't give me ideas or plans or build-up or primetime. I'm not planning how I'll act or come off. Talk this **** or that ****. I just do what I gotta do. I don't know what he's going to do with where he comes from. I know where the **** I come from. I don't have to dredge up some bull**** to get everybody excited or whatever. You've got to do what you've got to do. If you want to tell you're exciting or not exciting, important or not important. You're wondering what the ****'s going on in the media circle. You've got to wonder how you're coming off if you're not paying attention on the internet. I'm ready to do my job and fight. I'll keep it real.
Georges St. Pierre: Firas used to be one of my training partners before and he has always been a very technical guy. He's always been more cerebral so to speak than everyone else in the gym. He had teaching skills so at one point I didn't have trainers who were competent in all areas so I asked him to be my number one coach and we've been doing very well.
Georges St. Pierre: Firas is a good friend of mine and we have a good relationship together. He knows what goes on in my mind and my life and it makes it easier for my career.
Georges St. Pierre: I don't care about Anderson Silva at all. I'm not looking past Nick Diaz. I respect my opponent. People believe I want that fight but the big fight for me right now is Nick Diaz. I don't care about what's coming next for me in my life. March 16 will be the next chapter of my career and that's all I'm focusing on next.
Nick Diaz: I'd like to think that I've been training a little bit smarter. I think I do that for every fight and every year but I'm always on that looking towards the future. Me and Georges St. Pierre are a lot different with the way we go about. I look past every opponent. I'm not just looking at one obstacle. I think it's easier when I realize I'm not gonna get out of this. It's not just one fight. I look past every opponent to get to the number one spot in the welterweight division and then I look past that further beyond that. If it were up to me, I would take that fight with Anderson Silva. I would say yeah of course. I'm looking forward to the next best thing always. The next best thing has always been the next closer fight to the number one fight. That's what I've been working towards this whole time. I always have that mindset. When it come sto my training, I have that mindset and it helps me deal with the day to day.
Nick Diaz: I'd have to take a long hard look, but if I had that option available to me, I'd be honored to be in that position and I'd be gratefully accepting that position or fight if you will with the 185 pound champion or the 155 pound champion. I would take either fight and I think I could beat either guy. I'd like to be the guy to win the title at both weights. I'd like to be a runner up in the pound for pound rankings and that's the number one goal aside from number one in the welterweight division.
Georges St. Pierre: The way he beat B.J. Penn solidified his position as the number one guy and his fight with Carlos Condit was a very close decision that he lost. I believe he solidified his position and I believe that yeah, I would like to fight him because of that of course.
Nick Diaz: I like it just fine. I just like to know about it. I got the heads up here. I checked my messages last night and I got messages about this call today. Luckily I was running a bit late or I wouldn't have known that I had a call. A couple weeks before a fight I'm pretty focused on what I've got to do. I've got cameras following me around. I don't care if there's a crew sitting in the backseat of my car. I don't like what I'm not ready for. You've got Georges and someone' spowerding his nose and sending him off for a photo shoot. Someone's doing twitter for him. I don't know how it works out. I'm not in his shoes. I have a little moderate assumption I can make from time to time. I would just liketo keep it real and be me. Everyone knows who I am. It's embarrassing not being in control of looking the way you look or coming off the way you want to come off. I'm happy for it when I'm ready for it. My life's a mess. I'm not afraid to admit it. I work hard regardless through this ****. I don't have people handing me water bottles left and right. I have to do that **** on my own and every day I know that I'm doing it on my own and that's why I know I've got to do it that much harder. I don't have people taking care of my money and my financial obligations what have you. All that stuff that people say is important, **** that. I'm too busy fighting your fights. This new martial arts works for them when it comes to everybody wantitng to be like GSP and want to be strong and have that fitness and be more explosive and quicker. It's really not what martial arts is about. This is mixed martial arts and that' swhat fans want to see. I've lost a **** load of fights but I'm still here. People want to see real boxing, real traditional jiu-jitsu mixed up. They don't want to see five minutes of holding. I think people should be point deducted for it or running away. You should have to punch me out to beat me. People should be able to see that a little better. Maybe one day.
I hope so, if I had that much money I'd be pampered the **** up. There's be people showing up every hour to pamper me the **** out. Mother ****er I'm not stupid. I can tell what's what.
Georges St. Pierre: Uneducated fool. Listen to me. You sound pretty smart right now. I'm not always been like this. I've not always been rich. I started form the bottom. I worked really hard to be where I am right now. I know you don't believe this because you didn't succeed yet and maybe you didn't succeed I your life because I don't think you're smart enough to understand to reach this point. When you talk about people doing things for me, you need people to work for you to get the money rolling.
Nick Diaz: That sounds nice georges. If I wore tight shorts and got a haircut and had people telling me what to do. You don't' know where I come from. Nobody wants to come out here. Nobody gives a ****. You got your **** right.
Georges St. Pierre: You're not the only guy that's tried to take fro me.
Nick Diaz: I'm not jealous. You did the right **** you got to do. You had your fight and you won that fight. I was coming right behind you. I don't mean to be disrespectful. I don't have anything against you when it comes to what your'e doing. I think you're doing a wonderful job for who you are and what you do. I don't have anything against that. I hope so mother ****er because this is some ****ed up ****. If I had the money and the right people on my side and mother ****ers dropping dime on this guy and that guy I'd for sure be doing that. Try that **** from when you're 21 to when your 32 and it's a bitch.
Georges St. Pierre: If you are where you are right now and I am where I am, it's not my fault that you didn't succeed.
Nick Diaz: I was never putting any blame and pointing fingers at you that it's your fault. Your'e the one rapping about being pampered or not. You don't what it means.
Georges St. Pierre: I speak English better than you man.
Nick Diaz: You're out of line straight up. You understand that righ? Your'e rapping that bull**** and you're out of line. I didn't say ****.
Nick Diaz: I deserve to get beat down, that's what you said right? Honestly, I don't think you deserve to get beat down. I don't' want anybody to get beat down. I'd like to win the fight. You know me real well. You know I deserve to get beat down.
Georges St. Pierre: Do you seriously believe I'm afraid of you, man?
Nick Diaz: I believe you believed what you said to the cameras that I deserved to get beat down. You're making those statements to the whole world that I'm a piece of **** that deserves to get beat down and you let Dana say I'm the most disrespectful person you've ever met. I pulled up to a stoplight yesterday and some soccer mom sticks her head out the window and says "I hope GSP beats your ass" I live in a small town full of people that hate me over here. I'm trying to work my way up into a fight. When you say something, everyone believes it. Everyone wants to know what Georges thinks, forget jiu-jitsu, forget boxing, throw a super man punch like Georges. Whatever. That's disrespectful right there. If you want disrespect, that's disrespect right there. That's all I get. That's all I do.
Georges St. Pierre: Listen to yourself Nick.
Nick Diaz: I'm this crazy mother ****er. You know where I'm coming from. You're not stupid. You understand every word I'm saying right now. Drop it. I don't deserve to be beat down. You think you're gonna ******* win for whatever ******* reason and that's that. You're number one, you're the best right? I'm the most mother ******* piece of **** out there. That's not the reason why you're fighting. Maybe that's the reason the fans want this fight. I'm the right guy.
Georges St. Pierre: Yes you are, you're the right guy.
Nick Diaz: A wrestling match, no one wants to see that.
Georges St. Pierre: The fact that there's a lot of animosity is good for the fight. I don't wish you a bad life. We both want to win, we both want that number one spot. There can only be one guy. It's a dangerous sport we're doing and that's why there's a lot of tension.
Nick Diaz: I guess I like to think that I'm just talking in my defense. You never know how things are going ot com eoff on video or whatever. I already come off a certain way to people, to the world. You go down that road, there's no going back. As far as what's going ot be written down on paper. I'd like to be known as someone that kept it real. I just don't like that I'm made out to be this evil person that needs to be shot down an dneeds to be conquered. What the ****? IF anything I'm the superhero that's anti-bull****. Are you going ot stick to the bull**** forever? This is mixed martial arts and this is some boring ass **** we're watching. I appreciate that Georges St. Pierre does whatever he can to win. People hate me for saying for that, especially a strong wrestler. One day I think the rest of the people are goin got see martial arts for what it is and what it used to be. The scoring, the judging system is crap. I think they should take the elbow out too. It nullifies the action. They're gonna look back and say that thi smother ****er was saying that the whole time.
Johny Hendricks: It doesn't bother me. If you watch my fights, I have wrestling but when do I take people down. I have knockout power. Just because I don't go out there and use it all, you don't have to use it all to win fights. The most important thing is to win fights. It doesn't matter how you do. If you gotta win like Georges does, you get your hand raised and the fans like that. It is what it is. He's got his opinion and I've got mine. Everybody wants to be on top but there can only be one who gets there.
Johny Hendricks: I've got to constantly be adapting. I wanted to fight GSP but he chose someone else. I had Jake Ellenberger and I trained very hard for him and now it's Carlos Condit. I train day by day and nothing else matters but Carlos Condit at this point. I've got to go out there and get Carlos Condit.
Georges St. Pierre: When I had my surgery on my ACL, it was eight or nine months. After six months I could move but it took nine months to be back.
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Mark Hunt (9-7 MMA, 4-1 UFC) had an opportunity to replace injured Alistair Overeem (36-12 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and fight Junior dos Santos (15-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) but turned it down, according to UFC President Dana White.
Overeem bowed out of the UFC 160 bout on Wednesday due to a thigh injury, and as MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) reported earlier today, White later said his fight with former heavyweight champ dos Santos will be rebooked for the summer.
But Hunt? White said he wasn't interested.
"Hey dummy Mark Hunt turned down the fight with JDS as of last night so STFU when u don't know what ur talkin about," White tweeted in response to one of his followers.
He then suggested a big fight could be in order for the New Zealand kickboxer, who recently demolished Stefan Struve in this past week's UFC on FUEL TV 8 co-headliner in Japan. It marked Hunt's fourth straight win and continued a recent career resurgence.
"With his win last week he broke into the top 10," White tweeted. "He will get a top 10 fight but as of last nite he turned down JDS."
On Wednesday Hunt told MMAFighting.com he was open to the May 25 fight with Dos Santos if offered. However, he declined comment today.
With Overeem's injury expected to sideline him weeks instead of months, his fight with Dos Santos likely will be rerouted to one of the UFC's big summer pay-per-view cards.
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Dana White @danawhite
Mark Hunt and I just got off the phone and had a GREAT conversation!!
Apparently, Dana was initially given false info regarding Mark Hunt.
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I think JDS is much too quick for Mark Hunt. I've read many times that JDS has questionable defense boxing and it isn't the hardest thing in the world to find his chin. Mark Hunt is probably one of thee heaviest punchers in the HW division, so in theory, the combination of those two elements favors Hunt, however, I just have a hard time seeing Hunt beating JDS. I don't know if they are the same caliber of fighter at this point in their careers.
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Next Saturday Nick Diaz challenges for the UFC's welterweight title. But in the future, he wouldn't mind moving up to compete at middleweight – or even down a division to challenge for the 155-pound title.
"If I had that option available to me, I would be honored to be in that position, and I would be gratefully accepting of that position or fight, if you will, with the 185-pound champion or the 155-pound champion," Diaz said. "I would take either fight, and I think I could beat either guy to win a title at both weights.
"I'd like to be runner-up in the pound-for-pound rankings. That's the No. 1 goal, aside from the No. 1 ranking in the welterweight division."
While Diaz has often talked about a potential move up to 185 pounds, especially if it involved a potential bout with top pound-for-pound fighter and the long-reigning middleweight champ Anderson Silva. However, today call was the first time he mentioned a possible drop to lightweight to challenge for that title, as well.
The move wouldn't be entirely unprecedented. In the past, Diaz competed for the now-defunct PRIDE and EliteXC organizations. However, those promotions set the lightweight limit at 161 and 160 pounds, respectively. The UFC's lightweight limit is 155 pounds.
Still, Diaz said he's interested in fighting the very best fighters in the world, regardless of weight class.
Of course, he'll have exactly that in front of him at next week's "UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz" event, where Diaz (26-8 MMA, 7-5 UFC) meets UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre (23-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC), widely considered one of the sport's top three fighters. St-Pierre has held the UFC's welterweight title since 2008, and he currently boasts six straight title defenses, more than any welterweight champion in UFC history.
In short, St-Pierre is not the type of opponent to look past. But Diaz said that's simply the way he approaches his career. Sure, he's focused on the task at hand, but there are other challenges ahead. Such is the way of a top martial artist.
"Me and Georges St-Pierre, we're a lot different," Diaz said. "For me, I look past every opponent because I'm not looking at just one obstacle. I think for me, it's easier to deal with when I accept the fact that I'm never going to get out of this. It's not just a fight, it's fighters.
"I look past every opponent to get to the No. 1 spot of the welterweight division, and I look further beyond that. If it were up to me, I would take that fight with Anderson Silva. I would say, 'Yeah, of course.' I'm looking for the next best thing, and the next best thing is always the closer fight to the No. 1 fight, and that's what I've been working toward this whole time."
"UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz" takes place March 18 at Montreal's Bell Centre. The evening's main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Faceboo
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The UFC has officially released the list of contestants for The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 2, which debuts on March 17th on Globo in Brazil. The show is expected to be offered in streamed format for North American viewers, then will run on Fuel at a later date. The cast consists of 28 welterweights, to be coached by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum. The TUF Brazil 2 Finale (or UFC on Fuel 10) will take place on June 8th in Fortaleza. Here's a look at the list of contestants:
Bruno Jacare" Dias (11-3-1)
Cleiton "Foguete" Duarte (12-1)
Daniel "Gelo" Oliveira de Azeredo (4-1)
David Vieira (4-0)
Felipe Olivieri (11-4)
Gil Freitas (14-5)
Henrique "Sucuri" Batista (4-0)
Juliano "Ninja" Wandalen (7-3)
Leandro "Buscape" Silva (5-0)
Leonardo Santos (11-3)
Luciano Contini (8-1)
Luiz Jorge "Besouro" Dutra Jr. (11-2-1)
Marcio "Pedra" Santos (4-0)
Neilson Gomes (14-2)
Pedro Irie (9-5-0)
Roberto Barros "Corvo" Martins Amorim (6-1)
Robson "Negao" Ferreira (4-0)
Ronaldo "Rony Silva" Oliveira Silva (3-0)
Santiago "El Rasta" Ponzinibbio (18-1)
Thiago "Bel" Silva (9-3-1)
Thiago "Marreta" de Lima Santos (8-1)
Thiago "Jambo" Goncalves (15-3)
Tiago "Unstoppable" Alves (3-0)
Viscardi Andrade (13-5)
Wande Lopes Santana (6-0)
Weguimar "Big Big" de Lucena Xavier (17-5-1)
William "Patolino" Macario (6-0)
Yan Cabral (10-0)
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Are the bragging rights exaggerated due to the weight of the BJJ legacy these two guys bring? I'd even love to watch a straight Jits match between Big Nog and Werdum.
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USSR National Sambo Team 1973 - Wiki Commons
On this day 96 years ago, massive food shortages forced the populace of Russia to revolt against their monarch. The "February Revolution" would cause shock waves around the world, that are still being felt to this day. There is almost nothing in the modern world that hasn't been affected in some way by this tumultuous moment in history and MMA is no exception. So to mark the anniversary, T.P. Grant examines how this revolution has impacted the growth of Mixed Martial Arts.
This series started out by tracking the migrations of Japanese Judo and European Catch Wrestling to create the original cradles of Mixed Martial Arts in Brazil and Japan. Eventually influences from both of these spread to the United States creating the early MMA scene in the 1990s, but there is one other MMA breeding ground that has not been addressed: Russia. While it was largely isolated from the rise of Vale Tudo and shootfighting in Japan, Russia had developed a fighting system on a par with any martial art in the world.
The late 1800s to early 1900s were not a stable time for Russia. In Europe at the time, nations were racing each other into the future in terms of technology, infrastructure, and social structure. That race for better technology combined with a growing sense of nationalism created an arms race for the best military technology that left the land of the Tsars was woefully behind, but Russia was busting with potential power. The sheer size of its natural resources and population made it a powerhouse in the making, but its political, economic, and social systems were downright medieval.
As nations began to feel more threatened, webs of alliances crisscrossed Europe, becoming so intertwined that the smallest event could set off a huge conflict. This, of course, happened on June 28, 1914 with the assassination of the Archduke of Austria Franz Ferdinand, plunging Europe into what would become known as World War I.
Russia was one of the first nations pulled into the war by an alliance and they quickly found themselves in a brutal conflict with Germany. Early battles in the war were blood baths as military leaders failed to grasp how recent technological advances, like machine guns and modern artillery, impacted military tactics. As a result most militaries soon adopted the conservative approach of creating fortified trench lines to account for the huge increases in firepower possessed by soldiers.Russian soldiers manning a trench in the forests of Sarikamish via Wiki Commons
The resulting style of warfare consisted of the attackers leaving their trenches and closing the distance to the enemy's trenches, enduring artillery, machine gun, and other small arms fire. Casualties would be huge for the attacking force and the survivors of crossing "no-man's land" would then engage the defenders of the enemy trench in hand-to-hand combat until one side broke and ran.
It was an extremely bloody and horrible method of fighting, and combat in the trenches was savage. Due to these violent conditions any soldier that survived on the front lines quickly became a seasoned close combat fighter. John Nash did a piece looking at hand-to-hand combat in World War I and I highly recommend you check it out if you have not seen it.
As the war dragged on, the magnitude of the conflict put huge strains on the economies of nations. The pressure of this conflict proved too much for the outdated social, political and economic structures of the Russian Tsardom and the still to be fully realized strength of Russia was unleashed upon its own government.
The Russian people, starving and tired of war, held huge rallies that eventually forced the Russian Tsar to abdicate the throne on March 8, 1917. A period of violence and turmoil followed as factions fought for power but eventually it was the Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, that took power.Russians flee a demonstration in July of 1917 as troops fire machine guns into the crowd via Wiki Commons
As things began to settle, the new government of Russia looked to cement its power by firmly establishing its new military. Considering the role close combat had played in the trench centered battles of WWI, an important aspect of creating a new military was also creating a new hand-to-hand program. This program would be developed through a process that involved primarily three men who would combine two different philosophies of fighting to create something uniquely Russian.
One of the men was Viktor Spiridonov, a World War I combat veteran who had no use of his left arm due to a bayonet wound suffered in the war. With his background in international wrestling styles, both Greco-Roman and Freestyle, and Russian Steppe folk style wrestling traditions, Spiridonov focused on techniques he could perform in his physically limited state. He also used techniques from Japanese Jujutsu, which had traveled to Europe in some forms at this point in history.
The result was a self-defense centered style that Spiridonov called Samoz, which was adopted by the special intelligence squads, known as Spetsnaz. Samoz' influences can still be seen in the Russian military as many still train in his softer style of unarmed combat.
Here is an example of the Samoz soft style of self-defense developed by Spiridonov.
It was in 1918 Lenin officially created the Vsevobuch, general military training, and Spiridonov was among the panel of experts called upon to help create the new hand-to-hand program. Another man was also brought in to work in conjunction with Spiridonov, Vasili Oshchepkov. While the two men would be working towards the same goal they seldom actually worked together, instead operating independently and only occasionally crossing paths.
Oshchepkov had moved to Japan as a teenager and had been admitted to Jigoro Kano's Kodokan Academy, where Kano taught his own personal variation of the Japanese art of Jujutsu, which would become known the world over as Judo. Oshchepkov trained with Kano for years, becoming the first Russian to earn a black belt in the art. He earned his second degree from Kano in 1917, the very same year that another student of the Kodokan, Mitsuyo Maeda, began instructing a rebellious Brazilian teenager named Carlos Gracie. Oshchepkov also traveled to China where he studied the art of Wushu commonly referred to in the West as "Kung Fu."
Oshchepkov brought his knowledge of Kano's Kodokan Judo, as well as his training in Wushu in China, back to Russia and during the 1920s and 1930s would teach many students. He instilled a love for Judo in the Russian culture that is still very strong today. Oshchepkov also helped in the development of the Red Army's new combat system which was officially dubbed Samooborona Bez Oruzhiya, which literally translates as "self-defense without weapons." It was shortened to the acronym Sambo.
Here is a fantastic video showing Oshchepkov (white gi) and several of his students demonstrating their skills, both with sparring and demonstrations of drills similar to those in Samoz. It is then followed by a video of Steppe folk wrestling which also heavily influenced Sambo and then the grappling aspect of Sambo.
Oshchepkov, like Kano, believed competition was a key to learning and growing a martial art, and the timing and improvisation learned through resistance training was invaluable to a student. So through the 1920s and 1930s, while the Gracies experimented and tweaked the Judo they had learned from Maeda at their new academy in Brazil, Oshchepkov did much the same, adapting what he had learned to fit the needs of the military and of the sport he wished to create.
During this time, Joseph Stalin was the head of the Soviet Union, and his paranoia caused an endless hunt for spies in the country. In 1937, Oshchepkov's close ties to Japan caused him to fall under suspicion as tensions between Russia and Japan increased. Oshchepkov was taken to a Siberian Gulag and later shot for his ties to Imperial Japan.
The Soviet bureaucracy would have eliminated Sambo, seeing its Japanese roots as a poisonous influence on Russian culture, but Anatoly Kharlampiyev, a student of Oshchepkov, did a clever job of political maneuvering to save the art by recasting its history. Kharlampiyev integrated the teachings of Oshchepkov with the Samoz style of Spiridonov and leveraged the purely Russian background of Samoz to save Oshchepkov's Sambo. He also brought a striking background to Sambo, having boxed during his time as a physical education trainer.
In 1938, thanks to the efforts of Kharlampiyev, the All-USSR State Sport Committee adopted Sambo as the Martial Art of the Motherland, and making it the nation's official combat sport.
There were two branches of Sambo at this point: the program used in the military, known as Combat Sambo, which made use of striking and grappling in addition to weapon disarms, and the sport grappling style of Sambo.
Sport Sambo competitors wear modified judo gis, with shorts and wrestling shoes, and while there is not a belt rank in Sport Sambo there is a ranking system governed by competition results and technical demonstration tests. The rule set in Sport Sambo is similar to competitive Judo's but less restrictive when dealing with grips, throwing techniques, and submissions.
Sambo also allows the use of leg locks, something illegal in Judo competitions. However, after World War II chokes were outlawed in Sport Sambo, over the strong protests of some of the coaches, to help create a greater difference between Sambo and Judo. This has since created a breakaway branch called Freestyle Sambo, which has fewer restrictions on grappling and submissions.
Sambo remained contained within the USSR through the 1950s and 1960s during the early decades of the Cold War. This was the same time when Brazilian Vale Tudo became the battlefield for a host of grudge matches, the most heated of which was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs. Luta Livre.
Then in the 1970s, at the same time Karl Gotch brought his personal brand of Catch Wrestling to Japan, the Soviet Union opened the flood gates allowing their Sambo fighters to participate in International Judo competitions and hosting the World Sport Sambo Championships in 1973. And at the 1980 Summer Olympics Sambo was featured as a demonstration sport.
Here is some archive footage from the 1980s highlighting Sport Sambo techniques; in this case the video is focused on throws. (Thanks to Mr. Nash for this video)
While Sport Sambo grew by leaps and bounds, Combat Sambo remained the exclusive province of the military. It featured a combination of strikes, throws, grappling, and submissions to defeat enemies. But in the mid-1980s, when Shootfighting began in Japan and the Gracies were accepting challenges in California, Combat Sambo was adopted as a sport.
The sport of Combat Sambo would feature fighters wearing the same gi tops and shorts of Sport Sambo, but they would also wear open fingered gloves and in some cases headgear and shin pads. Combat Sambo features dynamic matches that allow striking standing, in the clinch and on the ground and also contains submission grappling. Fights can be won by knockout, submission, judge's decision or won via points that are awarded for throws and pins.
Combat Sambo fighters compete in a sport where athletes need to be armed with the ability to strike, grapple in the clinch, take opponents down, and submit them. It is a homegrown Russian version of Mixed Martial Arts.
Between Sport Sambo, a grappling art with relatively few restrictions, and Combat Sambo, which is essentially Mixed Martial Arts in a gi, Russia was emerging as a breeding ground for mixed martial arts talent. It did not take long for some of that talent to cross over. In 1995, Oleg Taktarov a Russian black belt in Judo and a Sport Sambo competitor won the tournament at UFC 6.
Taktarov winning a UFC title was just the first of many Russian MMA fighters to find success with a Sambo background. To close, the History Channel program Human Weapon did a fairly good, compact tour of Sambo training in Russia and nicely summarizes an art as vast and diverse as its nation of origin.
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Who would you pick to win when they fight? It's hard for me to judge. Big Nog is a bit hot & cold these days, and I've only really followed Werdum's big fights (Fedor, Overeem), so I'm not too intimate with his fighting potential these days.
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A transgender called in on the SRN's Beatdown podcast and was not in favor of the transgender fighter, fighting women in MMA. He sounded very sincere and intelligent, as oppose to a troll call. It's on the latest Beatdown if you care to hear. It was an interesting conversation. He/She basically brought up all the potential anatomical/physiological advantages of having a male body that I had questions about in an earlier post.
NSCA - CSCS