Pictured: Russian Federation President Oleg Taktarov with IMMAF President Kerrith Brown and CEO Densign White
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With its team set for the IMMAF European Open comprising almost entirely of debutants, Team Russia injects again an unknown element into the tournament. From the depth of talent the region has to offer, it is predictable that Russia has not yet demonstrated the real damage it is capable of and its athletes could well be the harbingers of some surprising results across IMMAF’s divisions.
Russia is long world renowned for its deep talent pool and Sambo heritage. The country boasts a solid professional circuit that features promotions such as Tech-KREP FC, Pro FC and Eurasia Fight Nights
Headed by veteran MMA competitor Oleg Taktarov (pictured), the MMA Federation of Russia joined IMMAF in May of this year and hurried to put a team forward for the 2016 World Championships in Las Vegas.
The MMAFR houses a wealth of talent as it comprises 54 regional federations and a membership totaling more than 5,000 athletes. Added to this the federation provides a competitive, developmental platform for its athletes: Between 2012 and 2015 the MMAFR conducted more than 150 regional tournaments, 34 national tournaments and 12 international tournaments.
It its IMMAF World Championship debut, competitors Eleonora Potorokina (Women’s Featherweight), Igramudin Ashuraliev (Light Heavyweight) and Aleksey Kharlamov (Welterweight), all fought in the early rounds. Of the original team only Kharlamov returns, who lost out to ultimate World Bronze medallist Hardeep Rai, and will be hoping to edge his previous success to scoop a medal this time around.
For the 2016 European Open, Team Russia intends to come out in greater force. At time of writing team registrants, subject to IMMAF clearance, are:
Svetlana Kotova – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
Artem Trunev – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Rashad Aliev – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Sergey Fedyukin – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Aleksey Kharlamov – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Tahir Abdullayev – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Viktor Chragyan Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
Tornik Nazaryan – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
For more about the IMMAF European Open Championships go to: http://www.immaf.org/championships/2016-immaf-european-open-championships/