A Fight in Russia Proves You Need More Than Muscles to win an MMA Bout

When people talk about the UFC, they may think that it’s just a violent sport where the men with the biggest muscles win. However, the UFC, and MMA in general, is much more than that. A recent fight in Russia between a bodybuilder and a 40-year-old MMA blogger is proof of that.

What happened in the fight

Like a lot of amateur or backyard fights, the fight was between two people who wanted to see who was the better fighter. Kirill Tereshin, the so-called bodybuilder, is a veteran of the Russian military who decided to take a new course in his life. Tereshin started injecting his arms with synthol, and this made his biceps appear massive. Tereshin is now a popular Instagram influencer.

Tereshin’s opponent was a man who was twice his age, Oleg Mongol. Mongol is a blogger and Instagram influencer who trains in MMA, but he’s not a professional fighter by any means. The two men fought in a gym with a referee presiding over the fight. However, this fight was a squash match.

In just three minutes, Mongol took Tereshin to the ground and submitted him. This fight is the latest example in the lesson of MMA. Muscles don’t matter as much as skill, training, and hard work.  

How MMA fighters train

While very few people actively compete in the MMA world, many people can train in the sport. MMA training is grueling, too, as it covers many bases that other sports don’t. That’s simply the nature of the sport, as its goal is to mix and match the best martial arts from around the world.

For instance, everyone who trains in MMA must learn the three basic fighting styles

Striking teaches fighters how to effectively knock someone out. It also teaches people how to avoid getting knocked out. 

Wrestling, the most powerful tool in MMA, teaches fighters how to take their opponent down to the ground. There, they’ll have the option of either beating them up, submitting them, or just keeping them pinned to the floor. 

Finally, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches fighters how to submit others. It can involve choking people, breaking their arms, or even tearing their knee.  

Not only that, but MMA fighters typically do the same strength and conditioning exercises that other athletes do. That builds up the muscles of an MMA fighter, but not to a ridiculous degree. The endurance exercises also allow fighters to keep fighting for a long time.

The worst MMA fighters are still great fighters

Sarah Moras (left), Tara LaRosa (right) and most UFC fighters rely on skill instead of bulk to win fights, which a Russian MMA fighter learned the hard way.
Tara LaRose (right) is a UFC veteran who quickly submitted an MMA novice. |Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Because of how intense and grueling a basic MMA fighter’s routine is, even the worst MMA fighters, whether or not they compete in the UFC, are still great fighters. Someone who knows how to box won’t know what to do when an MMA fighter tries to take them down and choke them out. A bodybuilder with massive muscles won’t be able to hit a guy who knows how to dodge a punch. 

Fights between massive men and smaller foes have happened before in professional MMA organizations, too. In the Japanese MMA organization PRIDE FC, matches between bodybuilders and sumo wrestlers against regular-sized men weren’t uncommon. The results were mixed, but usually, the smaller MMA fighters won.

That applies to women, too. In 2018, an internet troll claimed that any man can beat any woman, even MMA fighters. Tara LaRosa, who’s a professional MMA fighter, challenged him to a fight, which he accepted. LaRosa easily submitted him after a few minutes. 

Fights like those prove that having big muscles isn’t the only thing that matters in the sport.