Elkhan Veliyev. There is no effective form of martial arts - there are effective fighters. Interview.
President of the European Federation of Combat Sambo, President of the International League of Mixed Martial Arts GEFC
- Elkhan Nazimovich Veliev.
Interview on the follow-up to the year 2013.
- Elkhan Nazimovich, what can you say about the past year? Has all planned been completed?
- Quite a lot has been done in 2013. The level and number of participants of our competitions have increased. This is the evidence of not only the increasing popularity of combat Sambo, but of the development of the most dynamic and promising sport. We have always sought to ensure the development of combat Sambo, manifesting victories in major international championships and the most well-known tournaments. And now, all members of our organization, developing it over the years, feel joy and deep satisfaction with the level to which this form of martial arts has risen throughout Europe.
- What events of the year 2013 are remarkable? Was it successful for the European Federation of Combat Sambo?
- The past year was very successful. We held a series of tournaments of which any European structure of a like nature could be proud. If we talk about the European Combat Sambo Federation, the main thing I would note is the significant tournament standard of fighters. It is much harder to become a champion of Europe or the European Cup in Combat Sambo than it was 2-3 years ago. Very strong athletes gather for the European championships in combat Sambo, many of which would be a crowning glory to any organization in contact martial arts. In 2013, we successfully managed to hold, at a high organizational level, the European championship of combat Sambo in Odessa and the European Cup in combat Sambo in Yalta. At the European Championship in Odessa there were 210 athletes from 15 European countries, that cannot but satisfy.
- Will you tell the readers about the rising stars of the Federation?
- I wouldn't like to mention any names. After all if I name the names, I may offend someone –there are too many very promising fighters in the European Combat Sambo Federation. Let me just say that there are more promising fighters and their skill level grows up from year to year.
- What is the reason for such a success of Combat Sambo? Can we call it the most effective form of contact martial arts?
- I think it does not matter what kind of martial arts is represented by the fighter – more important is what he can achieve on the wrestling mats, in the ring or octagon; whether the athlete works with the maximum efficiency, whether he is capable of supereffort in relation to himself. If so, he could become a master in contact fighting, whatever type of martial arts is represented by the athlete. There is no effective form of martial arts - there are effective fighters. Moreover, I consider its versatility one of the main reasons for the growing popularity of combat Sambo: a number of the fighters performing in our versions at the world championships (WCSF) and the European championships (ECSF) in combat Sambo, now master in top-class sports of MMA in America. These are already known fighters to the whole world, Habib Nurmagomedov, Rustam Habilov, Magomedrasul Hasbulayev, and others…
- Which countries – Federation members are leading in the activity and skill level of the athletes?
- Of course, the national team of the Russian Federation and, literally walking on its heels the national team of Ukraine are the best in the European Federation of combat Sambo. They always take the first prizes in the European championships. Although I would like to note one tendency which became apparent last year. At the European championship of 2013 in Odessa the national team of Ukraine for the first time in the history of the European federation of fighting sambo won the first team placing. At the world Championship 2013 in Moscow, the Ukrainian national team - also for the first time in the history of combat Sambo- became a leader in gold medals among all the teams in the championship, having won three gold medals. As we can see, the competition among national teams has stirred. National teams of France, Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Poland, Armenia, Moldova, take on at traditionally high level. Their fighters demonstrate the level, which recently seemed to be almost out of reach for them. Now they offer worthy competition to the teams of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
- Tell us about the plans of the European Federation of Combat Sambo for 2014
- Some more international tournaments will be added to the routine schedule of tournaments (European Cup in Combat Sambo, European Championship in Combat Sambo) next year, which we are negotiating with national organizations. We are currently developing a project European Club Cup in combat sambo. Many countries are interested in the revival of this Championship, which was held by the European Federation of Combat Sambo in the early days of its development.
- I think it would be unfair to ignore the success of the International League of Mixed Martial Arts GEFC, based on the European Federation of combat Sambo…
- Indeed, the European Federation of combat Sambo is the founder of the International Mixed Martial Arts League - Grand European Fighting Championship (GEFC ММА), and these two international organizations are closely connected. The International League of Mixed Martial Arts GEFC was founded in February 2012. The GEFC International League unites 19 European countries. These are the countries, which are the members of the European Federation of Combat Sambo. In 2013, we held a great series of tournaments in different countries, including Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine and France. For the first time, last year, on March, 2, 2013 in Krasnodar (Russia), there was the title fight held for the GEFC champion's belt and the title of champion of Europe in ММА among professionals in the weight category of up to 84 kg – the well-known European fighter - Rafael Silva (Portugal) won it.
March 2, 2013, Moscow, Russia.
From left to right: Elkhan Veliyev, Fernando Loio, Rafael Silva, Tamerlan Tmenov.
The GEFC International League of Mixed Martial Arts carries out shortlisting and selection of athletes at their tournaments. During the period from 2012 to 2013, the European Federation of Combat Sambo and the GEFC Mixed Martial Arts League held 45 professional tournaments in Mixed Martial Arts (ММА). We were very pleased with the Ukrainian series of professional tournaments in mixed martial arts held at the end of the last year and organized at a very high level: on November, 29, in Simferopol, on December, 8, in Kiev and December, 21, in Uzhgorod.
- Tell us about the last tournaments of the GEFC International League in Ukraine.
The GEFC tournaments in Ukraine were held at a very high level, top-class world and European fighters took part in these tournaments. In particular, in Kiev, we have witnessed the big-name showdown of the magnificent world-class fighters - Jabar Askerov (Russia) and Yoshihiro Sato (Japan). Well-known fighters of the CIS and Europe, representatives of the Ukraine showed good fights and high-level training at series of the GEFC tournaments in Ukraine. Pavel Kusch,Sergey Churilov, Dmitriy Poberezhets, Sergey Adamchuk, Jaroslav Amosov, Vladimir Opanasenko, Alexander Voitenko, Ruslan Belikov. International tournament in Kiev was broadcast to the Russia-2, Fighting club TV channels and many other foreign TV channels. International tournaments of GEFC in Ukraine demonstrated high television ratings. It is very praiseworthy and it is good for sports promoting as a whole in Ukraine.
It should be noted that this series of tournaments in Ukraine became possible, primarily thanks to the partners and patrons of the international tournaments in Ukraine, to the Union of Armenians of Ukraine represented by Vilhen Shatvoryan, to the union of orthodox forces represented by Yury Tsikalenko and to the Head of the Zakarpatye regional public administration Alexander Ledida.
On behalf of the management of the International League of the GEFC Mixed Martial Arts and on my own behalf I would like to express the gratitude to Vilen Shatvoryan, Alexander Ledida, and Yury Tsikalenko for a weighty personal contribution to development and promoting of the Mixed Martial Arts in Ukraine.
- Was there any successful promotion of fighters in 2013?
- The most successful last year event is the promotion of a Polish fighter Daniel Omelyanchik to American UFC. We had a contract with Daniel Omelyanchik who successfully supported us in the League. In 2013, he signed the contract with the main world promotion of UFC. Daniel has already had a debut fight in America in the UFC, finished with a victorious knockout. Next year we will intensify our work with the leading MMA organizations in America to promote our promising fighters. After all, we have so many top-level athletes who are already well known in Europe. They need to grow up and move forward. And if the athletes themselves wish this promotion, we will gladly help them.
- Which countries are leading in the GEFC International League of Mixed Martial Arts?
- Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, and France are especially active and strong. They set the tone for the entire organization.
- Is there the next year's tournament schedule?
- We plan to hold the first tournament at the end of February – the beginning of March. Bimonthly tournaments will be held in various European countries, including Ukraine.
- How difficult or easy is it for GEFC to compete with other similar organizations on the rather thick European market?
- The GEFC International League does not experience difficulties, which other European MMA organizations face, thanks to close connection and cooperation with the European Federation of Combat Sambo. The European Combat Sambo Federation is able to solve all technical issues related to the planning of high-level tournaments in mixed martial arts in Europe. Therefore, our opportunities in Europe are very broad and grow from year to year.
And all this is largely due to the hard daily work of national organizations, which management and members, patrons and partners, I would like to congratulate on the New Year and Christmas.
May Your families live in peace and prosperity,may good luck and success wait upon you!
Interviewed by - Dmitry Sinyak