The Russian MMA promotion Strelka has become hugely popular online by marketing itself as “MMA without rules.” Presumably, this means that the fights are basically street-fights with four-ounce gloves to ensure that no one breaks their hands. Strelka bouts are contested in a makeshift sand-filled ring, often on the sites on volleyball pitches and in front of a raucous Russian crowd. Despite their similarity to street fights, the bouts are regulated by the Russian MMA Union.
Unlike the backyard bouts contested in the west, these fights feature combatants that are generally highly skilled fighters. Russia has an incredibly rich history of combat sports, with world champion wrestlers, boxers, and mixed martial artists, all hailing from the former Soviet state. In this video, we see Russian MMA fighter Denis Lobidov take on a challenge from an ostensibly untrained truck driver.
Lobidov is in the black rashguard while the truck driver wears the yellow t-shirt. The truck driver has a clear size advantage on Lobidov and uses this to his advantage, pressuring forward early. Both men remain tentative in the early stages. The two cautiously circle around each other before the truck driver completes a single-leg takedown and secures top position. Lobidov displays his skills from the bottom, negating much of the larger man’s ground and pound.
The end of the first of the two-minute rounds came with the truck driver on top, but neither man had absorbed much damage. The following round saw truck driver start far more aggressively. Throwing a multitude of feints with his lead hand to mask the colossal right straight which immediately downed Lobidov. The speed and power of the piston-like right hand are incredible, suggesting that the truck driver could make a career change in the near future.
The truck driver immediately follows up with a barrage of ground and pound, obliterating the overmatched fighter. The man then gives a victory speech which we don’t understand at all, and the two opponents begin hugging it out, a good sign of mutual respect.