I am on my way back from my recent trip to Russia. Another great European experience. This way my first time back to Moscow since the early 90’s in my wrestling days. It is basically an entirely different country. In my opinion for the better, the airports are new, people smile and you are hard pressed to see a Lada still on the road. It really is like night and day from the early days when the country had the cold and rough Soviet Union feel.
Some things just don’t change, some good sportsmen are revered and honored, the food is incredible and we always dine rather than just eat. Some not so great like smoking in public everywhere in restaurants while dinning and in airports. The other thing that hasn’t changed with all the modern up grades, is I still can’t figure out why they have not discovered that toilet paper needs to be flushed.
I brought two of my fighters Fabiano Scherner and Tarrence Williams here to fight 4 hours from Moscow in the city of Bryansk. The show was like a Russian version of the old Japanese “Pride Fighting Championship” with a live band, fun entrances and broadcasting to 20 million people on the number 1 sports channel in Russia. Tarrance looked great in his second professional fight against a very tough Russian fighter. He landed a couple big shots on his feet and followed with a big takedown slam. His opponent stood up and Tarrence threw him in a huge suplex and proceeded to finish by passing guard into full mount and with a vicious ground and pound assault for the KO.
Fabiano faced the top Russian HW Vitaly Minakov, the Russians are calling him the new Fedor. Vitaly came out stong and fast landing some big shots that hurt Fabiano. Fabiano weathered the early assault and recovered well, and started landing shots of his own then clinched and threw some hard knees to the body. Vitaly broke from the clinch and shot a takedown that finished outside the ring into the crowd. Both men returned to the ring and swung hard for each other, the Russian snuck in a nice uppercut that dropped Fabiano and the referee jumped in a little early and called a halt to the bout. Fabiano showed he has the heart and desire to compete with the young top prospect.
I was honored here in Russia everywhere we went as a master of sport. I was even asked to teach a masters class for sambo and wrestlers in Bryansk for the celebration of their city and recieved a warm reception.
Short trip and a short post as I need to board a flight home, so I can get back to Team Quest and finish preparations for Pat Healy’s Strikeforce title fight against Gilbert Melendez next week.
Expect Victory – Coach Matt Lindland
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