2024 is already off to a rough start in the combat sports arena, and that extends way further than you may think. It’s not just in boxing and major league MMA that we’re seeing some odd or just plain bad stuff. Sometimes, the rot is laid bare in the smaller orgs. And today’s example stems from a Russian outfit that decided to have some fun in a rather depressing manner.
The concept of “battle between two Russian fighters in an openweight contest” sounds tantalizing and intriguing. Yet when the fight is advertised as “crackhead vs dealer”? Things take a nosedive from there. At a recent Epic Fighting event, we got a wily spectacle that probably shouldn’t have been agreed to by any party.
Is that my man Oleg over there?
Remember Oleg Perekhozhev? He’s the Russian blogger most notable for a fight against the ex-Russian military dude that had his arms all pumped up full of synthol. Despite being ~20 years older than the Russian Popeye, Oleg beat the brakes off him that time around. He then had another bizarre fight on a rooftop against an obese fellow blogger that probably wasn’t a good idea, either.
Well, now Oleg is back facing another corpulent opponent in an event that looks like it’s set in the Saints Row universe. Not only that, but Oleg’s opponent was dressed up to resemble Wilson Fisk, except he didn’t fight like him at all. Maybe that was some kind of accident, we can’t really tell. I don’t know who the big dude is, and frankly, none of us should care. You’ve never seen him before, and you probably won’t see him again.
Дэвид против Голиафа
On to the fight itself. the big man didn’t have much to offer on offense, but he tried. Boy howdy, did he try. This comes courtesy of Twitter user Mikey Thomas.
I don’t personally feel fully confident in adhering to the “crackhead vs dealer” title here, mostly because my Russian is very minimal at best. But clearly one guy was dressed as an actual fighter while the other was decked out with a coat he might have stolen from the late Luther Vandross. Just look at the man as he gets popped in the mouth.
Maybe something got lost in translation? Russian hooligan fighter vs mob boss? Also, despite the “MMA” title, not a single kick is thrown in the 24 second video. Oleg spends very little time feeling things out and scores a knockdown.
He immediately goes in for a followup on the ground only to be pulled off by the ref for the fight to be restarted on the feet. Again, what was the ruleset? Not sure.
So perhaps this was more of a boxing match in a cage with small gloves. And that’s fine. What isn’t fine is the very clearly skill disparity. Big man clearly didn’t train with Dillon Danis or whatever Russian equivalent there may be of him, but he was probably better served staying home for this one.
Yeah, it ended ugly
But he didn’t, so he got some free dental work for his trouble. I can’t even tell if he had a mouthguard in or not. Big man gets dropped despite showing some willingness to keep going, and the ref and everyone else in attendance has seen enough. Because in Russia, fight stops you.
Russian MMA still has a high bar for talent and some of the most extraordinary prospects on the planet. That doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. This clearly wasn’t meant to be a seriously competitive bout and merely an exhibition. It’s all for show, but man, was that a really sad show.
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