- You have repeatedly stated that there are problems with the training of fighters in Russia.

Recently Yana Kunitskaya agreed with you


- There are many qualified specialists in our country in various fields: classical boxing school, freestyle wrestling, judo.

The staff itself is there, but there is no competent interaction, the ability to consolidate efforts in one direction.

There are few places in Russia where they try to gather training camps in which a fighter would be comfortable.

Where each coach would be responsible for a specific aspect, but coordinate with other mentors.

- Explain.

- A fighter should not think about what he has to do in the next few hours.

The action plan should be fully spelled out.

It is the responsibility of the head coach who sees the whole picture.

Other specialists deal with specific aspects: physical training, wrestling, striking technique and others.

In Russia, one person is often responsible for everything.

- Which of the fighters is an example of how the training process should be organized?

- Probably the most telling example is Georges Saint-Pierre.

He trained in boxing with Freddie Roach, grappling with John Danaher and Renzo Gracie.

Physical training and gymnastics - separately.

As a result, a whole coaching staff worked with the athlete.

This is very rare here.

- If there are problems with gyms in Russia, how are things going with training methods?

- If you look closely, many well-known American coaches use the developments of domestic specialists.

For example, Joel Jameson, mentor to former UFC flyweight champion Demetrius Johnson and author of an eight-week training program.

In one of the podcasts, he said that he took as a basis the methodology for training and testing cosmonauts, developed in the USSR about 70 years ago.

Phil Daru of American Top Team uses the work of Victor Seluyanov.

We have a huge amount of information in our country, an excellent foothold, but we need to work further.

Technology does not stand still.

For example, every month we receive about 100 thousand pages of the results of various chemical research.

If you don't keep your finger on the pulse, you won't keep up with the latest trends.

- If now the country has such problems with the training of athletes, it means that before they were even more serious.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of the

21st century, such stars of mixed martial arts as the brothers Emelianenko and Sergei Kharitonov appeared in Russia.

How can this be explained?

- At that time, their technical arsenal allowed them to perform at the highest level.

The same Fedor was an all-rounder - he possessed skills both in standing and in the stalls.

Besides, he is a “plowman”.

Therefore, he managed to achieve such success.

However, he performed in Japan, and there were slightly different conditions, including the quality of doping control tests and a host of other trifles.

This does not detract from his merits.

But if you look, the training of modern fighters and Emelianenko is heaven and earth.

- After three consecutive defeats in

Strikeforce, Emelianenko was actively criticized for “training with sambo boys” and lack of progress.

Was this what caused Fedor's failures?

- Of course, it affected his level.

Perhaps he was tired, “full”.

After all, Fedor had a great career, he achieved everything, but continued to fight.

He probably needed money at some point.

If he changed camp, worked with high-class sparring partners, everything could have turned out differently.

At the same time, I do not want to say anything bad about those coaches who led him from the very beginning.

- In August, Vadim Nemkov became the

Bellator light heavyweight champion.

Moreover, he trains only in Stary Oskol and does not go to American gyms.

How is this possible?

- Perhaps this indicates that in the case of Fedor, it was not in the gym itself, not in training conditions.

You can also prepare in the basement, while achieving success.

But if it is possible to optimize all these processes, then you need to do it.

Each athlete has certain financial capabilities and other conditions, depending on which he builds his training.

- Were you surprised by the outcome of the fight between Nemkov and Ryan Bader?

- Not.

The one who is better prepared for a particular day wins.

This is especially true for heavy categories, where any click can be decisive.

Perhaps the time has come for Nemkov.

- How do you assess Vadim's prospects?

- A very strong and interesting fighter.

For a light heavyweight, he is very agile, has an excellent technical arsenal.

Therefore, he has excellent prospects both in Bellator and in the UFC.

But in order to progress, you need to go to other gyms, gain experience.

- After winning the title fight, Nemkov called himself the best light heavyweight on the planet.

Do you agree?

- Of course not.

The best light heavyweight in the world is named John Jones.

93 kg is his category.

Throughout his career, he playfully beat his opponents.

And this despite the fact that two weeks before the fight he was having fun and having fun.

Unfortunately, he has not performed for a long time.

If we talk about Nemkov, at the moment he is the best in his division at Bellator.

But there is nothing unusual in his words.

All fighters say that.

I hope this is confidence, not star fever.

- In your opinion, is Nemkov one of the five best light heavyweights in the world?

- Certainly, the Bellator title holder deserves it.

As a last resort, he is definitely in the top 10 in his division.

There are a lot of talented guys.

- Returning to training ...

Are there Russians

in the

UFC who


exclusively at home?

- I can't remember.

The same Khabib Nurmagomedov trains at the American Kickboxing Academy, Petr Yan at the Tiger Muay Thai.

But even more about the need to develop MMA in the country is the fact that foreign fighters do not go to Russia to train.

Perhaps sparring with wrestlers in Dagestan.

At the same time, Russian athletes dream of going to the United States.

- In addition to a number of organizational issues, doping is considered one of the main problems of MMA in Russia.

Arman Tsarukyan said that in Russia 90-95% of fighters use illegal drugs.

Do you think this data is true?

- I do not know statistics, therefore I cannot comment on such statements.

At the same time, my fingers are enough to count those who did not use doping.

For domestic MMA this is a given.

It is even worse that these drugs do not help them, but only destroy them.

Personally, I hoped that young people would not make the mistakes of their predecessors, but they still infected them with diseases that came to us from the world of bodybuilding.

- What exactly are Russian fighters using?

- Various testosterone esters: boldenone, enanthate, oxandrolone, masteron.

Growth hormone has recently become popular.

A person can assure that he does not accept anything, but it is enough to look at him and that athlete who trains all his life, but without doping.

Compared to the latter, the "chemist" will look like the Hulk.

- What are the consequences for those who use illegal drugs?

- Heavy.

Hormonal disruptions have not yet been canceled.

We can confidently state that their sports career will be significantly reduced.

- What do the above drugs give to MMA fighters?

- First of all, the ability to dock: to plow a little less and less correctly, but at the same time get good results.

In general, doping helps the athlete's body recover in a shorter period of time, which increases his performance.

But if a person does not have problems with periodization, he does not need doping.

In the listed varieties, for sure.

Some drugs help to gain muscle mass, fill with water, others dry out, become more prominent.

But fighters are not pitching.

- What do you think should happen for the Russian promotions to decide to introduce doping control?

- In my opinion, nothing will change until the athletes themselves understand that they do not need it.

They will not see that there is another way, less harmful.

Don't think that there are no problems with illegal drugs abroad.

They also use doping and periodically come across it.

However, there are certain, more or less clear rules of the game.

There is no such thing in Russia yet.

- Don't you think that by refusing to introduce doping control, Russian promotions are keeping athletes from going abroad?

After all, there they will most likely be weeded out already at the initial stage.

- Not.

Recently, there has been a serious rise in interest in mixed martial arts in the country, as a result of which a huge number of young fighters have appeared.

At the same time, the number of promotions has decreased.

Plus a pandemic.

In the current conditions, no one runs after Conor McGregor, not to mention the others.

- Consequently, doping control is not introduced in Russian organizations solely for financial reasons?

- Yes.

This is very expensive.

- Probably one of the loudest scandals of 2019 was the signing of

Ivan Shtyrkov

in the


Many suspected something was wrong when the heavyweight decided to compete in the middle category and in a short time lost a lot of muscle mass.

Have you ever thought he was doping?

- When I hear such questions, I immediately think of Brock Lesnar.

Didn't the UFC suspect anything when they signed a contract with him in 2007 or bet on a fight with Mark Hunt in 2016?

It also says that he is doping.

As for Shtyrkov, I have a feeling that they made a switchman out of him.

- What do you have in mind?

- Many fighters take doping, but only this case caused a wide resonance.

I don't know Ivan personally, but sometimes I don't quite understand the reaction.

- Didn't Shtyrkov realize that everything would end in such a scandal?

- I think he was aware of himself.

But who will stop it if you are given a contract with the UFC?

No one will refuse it.

At his own peril and risk, he will sign an agreement and will fight, and then how it goes.

Some will be caught immediately, some will not.

- At one time, the legendary Anderson Silva was also disqualified for illegal drugs.

And then he said that the reason for this was the intake of funds for potency.

Do you believe it?

- Not.

Many people claim that doping got into their bodies from various food additives, dietary supplements.

But, in my opinion, these are excuses.

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- How badly does it hurt your reputation?

- I don’t think it’s essential.

At the mention of Silva, everyone remembers his gorgeous knockouts in fights with Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffin.

And the same Shtyrkov even became more popular after this story.

- At one time, Fedor Emelianenko was also suspected of using doping and said that it was for this reason that he did not sign a contract with the


Don't you think it could be true?

- I can neither affirm nor deny.

If everyone played by certain rules, it would be very strange that one single person was different.

But there is no confirmation.

Even if we assume that Fedor did indeed take doping, this will not change anything.

After all, the rivals also used it, but Emelianenko still won.

- Another star of Russian MMA, Khabib Nurmagomedov, did not have problems with doping, but there were certain difficulties with weighing.

The most famous episode happened before the "third" fight with Tony Ferguson, when the Russian was hospitalized, and the American came up with the famous joke about tiramisu.

What could have happened then?

- The whole story with tiramisu is simply absurd.

People who criticized Nurmagomedov for allegedly eating sweets before the fight with Ferguson understand nothing about the subject.

At that moment, I had the idea to demonstrate the fallacy of such judgments and let the fighter eat something like that before weighing in.

I decided to conduct the experiment with a representative of the Strela team, Giga Kukhalashvili.

- What was it?

- 18 days before weighing, I suggested that he add sweets to the diet.

He said, "I want honey cake and snickers."

I agreed, but only on the condition that Giga also eat tiramisu.

Then he sent me a video confirmation that he ate a huge box of sweets.

Among other things, he ate Adjarian khachapuri, but four days before the appointed time he was in the limit of his category.

By this I wanted to show that tiramisu or something similar is not able to prevent an athlete of such a level as Khabib from making weight.

The problem was different.

Perhaps the body simply malfunctioned.

In any case, there are new trimming techniques that need to be used.

- How do most fighters lose weight today?

- They use fractional meals, breaking their diet into five meals, creating a calorie deficit.

This all goes against human physiology.

- In what?


For example, I don't see the point in making jumps of insulin several times a day, even if they are minimal.

It is not necessary to eat five or more times a day, two or three meals are enough.

You also need to consider circadian rhythms.

There is a time interval when the body no longer digests food, even if it is an apple or cottage cheese.

Among other things, you need to look at the characteristics of the person himself, his psychological type.

The same famous nutritionist Mike Dolce literally lived with the fighters.

I watched what their relationship with the household was.

We try to do this.

- What's wrong with a calorie deficit?

- The problem is that it is almost impossible to count it in normal, non-laboratory conditions.

Yes, devices have recently appeared that perform such measurements, but they are not very accurate.

Moreover, the number of calories consumed can change from one phone call, any mood swings.

Personally, I advise fighters to live by the zero kilometer theory.

Eat the same food as our ancestors: meat, vegetables, plant foods.

- What foods should not be consumed in preparation for a fight?

- We advise you to give up "dead" food.

The one that does not give energy, but tires.

This includes non-living foods, all kinds of trans fats.

In general, we try to expand their diet, and not vice versa.

After all, it is generally rather poor among athletes.

In addition, we use the principles of intermittent fasting.

If you look at it, it is at the heart of any popular diet.

For example, the same keto diet.

Take it away and nothing else will be left.

- It is known that there are three important aspects in the training of a fighter: recovery, nutrition, training.

What's the most important?

- Recovery, of course.

If a person does not get enough sleep, then he will not be able to work normally in the gym.

In second place is nutrition.

And only if these conditions are met, it is possible to fully train.

- How much should a fighter sleep on average?

- Eight to nine hours.

He can also afford a siesta.

An additional effect can be provided by a Russian bath, massage or something similar.

- In your practice, there were cases when you had to correct the work of other nutritionists?

- Yes.

One fighter contacted me 18-20 days before the fight.

He did not have much excess weight - about eight or nine kilograms.

But the fact is that before that he sat exclusively on meat.

Nutritionists from St. Petersburg kept it on pure protein.

His body experienced tremendous stress, began to hurt.

Therefore, I had to do the cleaning of the athlete's body, which took time.

At one point he wrote to me: "I have a weakness, all my hands are white."

- What did you advise him?

- He said to squeeze out some pomegranate, dilute with water and drink.

Says: “My hands are red.

Energy flows through the body. "

And also there were nutritionists who advised to drink wine during the weight race.