By Caoilte de Barra
Kazakhstan’s Daniil Gubin has been a great example of an athlete graduating through the IMMAF ranks. After medalling at the Youth World Championships in 2019, he joined the junior setup and has been unstoppable in IMMAF competition so far.
His first competition saw him win European Championships gold in 2021, and after two big performances, he secured a podium position at the 2022 Asian Championships.
Before competing in MMA, Gubin wrestled in his early years before his coach introduced him to the sport when he was in his teens.
“I started playing sports in early childhood, I always liked sports, and at the age of six, I went to freestyle wrestling and practiced there until I was eleven. At the age of twelve, I already started MMA. I came to MMA thanks to my personal trainer Yermolayev Dmitry Sergeevich. We lived next to each other in the same village, and he started training the guys, and I was attracted by it. We started training in the steppe, then in the school gym. A couple of years later, he made his own gym in the basement, where we train now.”
Looking back on his experience at the 2019 Youth Championships, he spoke highly of the competition and how it allowed him to improve as an athlete.
“In 2019, I took part in the World Championships in the 16-17 years category. This experience was great and memorable for me. I was a young 16-year-old guy who came to the World Championships to show my skills on the World Stage. Yes, I became a bronze medalist, but this gave me the incentive to become stronger, work on my mistakes and improve my technique.
“I won’t say that I made it easier [to transition to Junior], but after all, I already had experience, and this is a big plus. Going out to fight is always like the first time with new feelings and emotions.”
“When I won gold, it gave me a lot of confidence and an even greater desire to conquer new peaks, but emotions cannot be described in words! The team and I prepared very hard for the Championships. A lot of effort and work was invested in it. I was 100% ready despite the injuries I received during preparation.”
Gubin has been competing on the IMMAF stage for three years and plans to spend a couple more years testing himself at the highest level an amateur can before heading to the pro ranks.
“My plans are, of course, to get into a good professional promotion and show myself in professional sports. I plan to perform in IMMAF for a couple more years to hone my skills so that I can only climb the ranks. Right now, I would like to win the Asian Championship, then the World Championships.”
Gubin is currently lined up to face Uzbekistan’s Shakhriyorbek Mamatkulov in the semi-finals of the 2022 Asian Championships, a win that would see him extend his undefeated record and move one step closer to a second IMMAF gold medal.