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A History and Style Guide of Russian Sambo

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Goals of Russian Sambo

The goals of Russian Sambo tend to vary depending on the style. However, Sambo teaches practitioners how to end fights quickly. This is often done by taking an opponent to the ground and applying a fast submission hold or strikes (in the case of the more combat oriented styles).

Some Russian Sambo Practitioners That Have Done Well in MMA

  • Andrei Arlovski: Arlovski is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, well-known for his three fights against former champion Tim Sylvia (he lost two and won one). Arlovski was the Junior World Sambo Champion. In addition, he was a silver medalist in the World Sambo Championship and World Sambo Cup. That said, as an MMA fighter he is far better known for his striking skills and boxing pedigree.

  • Aleksander Emelianenko: Aleksander is a successful heavyweight MMA fighter and the younger brother of former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko. He was twice named the Russian national SAMBO champion and world SAMBO champion in the absolute divisions.
  • Fedor Emelianenko: Fedor is widely considered one of the greatest MMA fighters and Sambo practitioners of all-time. Along with this, he has taken home the PRIDE Heavyweight Championship (MMA), WAMMA Heavyweight Championship (MMA), World Combat Sambo Championship (four times), and Russian Combat Sambo Championships during his illustrious combat career.

  • Oleg Taktarov: Taktarov was the UFC 6 Tournament Champion, defeating David "Tank" Abbott in a now historic championship battle. Taktarov is known for his Sambo style takedowns and submissions, as well as his toughness and submission defense.
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