Russians and Mixed Martial Arts

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Russians and Mixed Martial Arts Too many times by now I have been asked the same question: Why are there so few Russian fighters in MMA? And every time I had to answer that it’s a very long conversation and that it would take me a while to explain so that my opponent would get a clear picture of the situation. And indeed this is a long story and I feel that the time has come when I finally should reveal the whole misterious foggy spirit around this topic, since nobody yet has done it before me. We all know that MMA is realatively new sport. It had gained a huge popularity in Japan, USA and finally in Europe. As we may easily notice it was successfull mostly in well-developed countries. But what about non-developed or poorly-developed ones? Have you ever seen an MMA fighter

from Bulgaria? Romania? Uzbekistan? Iraq? Well, maybe, but they are so few that we can not even remember their names. The reason why there is no MMA fighters from non-developed countries is well known and needs no explanation: a poor standard of living. When it is hard to feed yourself you wont even think about participating in any fighting event. Unfortuanately this issue also refers to almost all of the ex-Soviet group. Popularity is what makes any sport survive. One of the main reasons MMA didn’t get the same popularity in Soviet block as in the other countries is definitely a lack of media coverage. Media cannot broadcast something that is unknown to the mass. Or at least they could do it only if there was a potential to raise up the popularity and make money out of it.

Something that Russian media never does. As far as it is not practiced, that may only mean that there is no point for them to introduce this kind of sport to the Russian mass since it won’t be profitable enough. This fact by itself means a lot - people in Russia are not yet ready for this. This may also take some time. On the other hand martial arts always existed in Russia, even in Soviet socialism period. And the final summary? People there deal with much more important things. To explain that, we should refer to Maslow (a well-known American economist) and his „Needs“. As we know people all over the world (not only Russians) at first satisfy their Basic Needs (that would be food, place to stay, basic clothes, safety, etc) and only after succeeding in that they move

futher to Social needs (and that would be mostly communication and dealing with other people and entertainment). After these Social Needs follow another 3 categories which we are less of concern to us. Focusing back on our issue one might ask what is MMA? Namely it is a show and as far as it is considered as entertaiment it is definitely in the Social Needs part. We may easily guess that as fast as people cannot satisfy their Basic Needs they can not move to Social ones. This is what happening in Russia and all of the other non-developed or poorly-developed economically countries. As I mentioned before, the living standards in ex-Soviet countries are lower than in European countries. Therefore, people think about increasing their budget rather than participating in any Martial

Art event and I am not even referring to MMA, which is well-known but yet not popular at all. The other very interesting factor that should be mentioned is a wrong or misconcieved translation. Usually a phrase „Mixed Martial Arts“ is translated to Russian as „No Rules Fighting“. And as we all know Russia (and the other republics of the USSR off course) had suffered a very long period of time under a Socialism system which itself is a very conservative system. Full of strict rules, illogical and totally useless laws which sometimes were harmful to the people. From the very beginning of your life you had not just to follow those silly rules but even had to contribute somehow to the development of the Soviet Socialism Disaster. That’s how peope lived and continue to live