By Jorden Curran | Alexander Iazykov
The Russian Ministry of Sports has recognized MMA as an official sports discipline for women. The was announcement was made by President of the Russian MMA Union, Radmir Gabdullin.
Russian women engaged in MMA will now be officially selected and better supported within the Russian amateur national team, now on an equal basis with men and will have an opportunity to accomplish “Master of Sport” titles in MMA.
The President of the Russian MMA Union described the recognition of women’s MMA in the country as a long-awaited event. Gabdullin stated: “I want to congratulate all involved with this long-awaited event, which became a milestone and an important result of the hard and painstaking work. A special thanks to the Ministry of Sports for the support of our sport and the opportunity to develop at the official level,
“This sport is practiced in many other countries and of course it’s more difficult for our teams to compete at the world level. It does not mean that our girls are weak, but there are countries with many years of amateur female competition experience. In the “test” mode female athletes have already participated in the championship of Russia in 2019 and we took them to the [IMMAF] European and World Championships. We are lagging behind in this regard, but all in good time. I think that this year we will have the highest level of selection and we will form the women’s MMA team for the [IMMAF] world and continental championships.”
The first women’s national championships of the Russia MMA Union took place in 2019 with highly impressive champions such as Viktoriya Dudakova (pictured above) advancing to join the national team, and who went on to win the gold medal at the 2019 IMMAF European Open in Rome, furthering the footsteps of Svetlana Kotova and Polina Kobzeva, who both represented Russia and earned medals at the IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships in 2018.
Now with equal support and the benefits of funding as athletes within Russia’s national team, the number of female participants in amateur MMA is expected to increase across the nation and give a significant boost to the already prominent national team, who lead the way as the no.2 ranked nation in the senior (age 18+) IMMAF world rankings and occupy first place within the junior world rankings (under 21s).