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M-1 Exclusive: Igor Vovchanchyn – Life after PRIDE

Undoubtedly, one of the legends of Pride and MMA in general, devastating ukrainian retired from sport in 2005 after having amassed incredible professional record of 47 wins to 9 losses. In this exsclusive interview to of www.m-1global.com Igor answered multiple questions from his fans from the mixedmartialarts.com forum.

Michael Mazur: What is the story of you coming to Pride?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Nothing special. After I had won the “Diamond night” in , I got the invitation.

Michael Mazur: What is the most essential martial art in MMA, according to you?
Igor Vovchanchyn: It’s got to be boxing, although wrestling plays significant role, too. You’ve got to be as well-rounded as possible. Whatever you are able to do, be it side-jumping, you’ve got to be able to apply it successfully.

Michael Mazur: What was your favorite fight in Pride, if any?
Igor Vovchanchyn: I don’t like the fights where I came, saw and conquered my opponent by knockout leaving him no chances. Actually the fights I like more are those where my adversary fights back. I like to rumble, to feel my opponent, just like that old dog figt.

Michael Mazur: Would be victorious against you back in 2000, had he not not been exhausted after that 1,5 Igor Vovchanchyn: hour battle with ?
I don’t think so. He had no chances, no.

Michael Mazur: Is that true that the inhabitants of the village you had lived in, used to clang a bell once Igor got angry.
Igor Vovchanchyn: (Laughs) No, this is just a joke. There was a bell though.

Michael Mazur: How does your breakfast look like?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Well, it may consist of cottage cheese with honey, pancakes, sandwiches.

Michael Mazur: What advice would you give to an up-and-coming athlete? How does you training regimen look like as of now?
Igor Vovchanchyn: The main thing is to stick to healthy way of living. As for me, it’s almost safe to say there is no constant regimen. Of course, I always do morning excersices.

Michael Mazur: Do you follow today’s MMA or other sports?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Yeah, I watch boxing especially lightweights.

Michael Mazur: Rumor says you retired because of multiple . Could you elaborate on that please?
Igor Vovchanchyn: My right hand is injured and this is pretty bad. I need to undergo an operation since I can’t bend it normally.

Michael Mazur: Lots of fans ask themselves whether the Pride 34 poster depicting you against Wanderlei Silva was true?
Igor Vovchanchyn: No, I’ve never heard of the possibility of us fighting each other.

Michael Mazur: What victory was the most valueable for you personally?
Igor Vovchanchyn: I guess it was my first Kiev tournament “Diamond night” I mentioned previously. To tell you the truth even I was pretty shocked by that event. Further on, both fights against Mark Kerr who was an animal and in his prime back then – these were some of the more memorable wars for me.

Michael Mazur: Do you plan to come to the USA to meet your fans over there?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Well, If I were invited I’d definitely like to come.

Michael Mazur: Is it possible to purchase a poster with your autograph on it anywhere?
Igor Vovchanchyn: We don’t distribute posters or cards anymore, we used to…

Michael Mazur: Did you fight bare-knuckle or with gloves on under Unified Rueles? Is there any chance of you coming back to the ring or are the injuries so severe?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Undoubtedly it’s better to operate bare-knuckle as it lets you achieve the desirable result much faster. The injury is too serious. I don’t think I’ll return to active fighting again. The most important after the operation will be rehabbing period but I’ll keep training myself and my students, that’s for sure.

Michael Mazur: How is your restaurant business doing? Any intentions to expand? Do you still bake those cookies?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Of course i do. Catering is very profitable and always in demand.

Michael Mazur: Imagine you are about to fight Fedor. How would that process go?
Igor Vovchanchyn: It’s hard to say…you always have to be prepared. It all depends on who was better prepared and to what degree. Your moral abilities play a significant role as well.

Michael Mazur: Who’s the most exciting fighter to watch?
Igor Vovchanchyn: I always admired Sakuraba, he was unique.

Michael Mazur: Who was your most difficult opponent?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Regarding the bouts I won – the hardest one was, no, were both fights against Mark Kerr. Concering the bouts I lost – it’s got to be . I believe lack of preparation played its role. Watching the tape afterwrds, you know, I spot lots of my own mistakes. Preparing for the upcoming fight and implementing all the things you had up your sleeve doesn’t work as planned. Also the Heath Herring fight – it was pretty close.

Michael Mazur: Do you agree with the statement that Fedor copied your style of punching? What potential fights have never taken place and why?
Igor Vovchanchyn: That’s true but only to some extent. More people were trying to imitate it, including japanese. They called it “Igor Vovchanchyn” punching. I can remember myself entering a gym there and seeing everyone practicing my style of punching. As for past potential fights – every single potential fight did take place.

Michael Mazur: Do you still ride a motorcycle?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Not, not anymore.

Michael Mazur: Do people recognize you in your homecountry?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Well, I hope they do.

Michael Mazur: Do you realize how many fans worldwide you have?
Igor Vovchanchyn: I guess there are quite some of them.

Michael Mazur: Did Pride treat you well like paying enough, accomodation and stuff?
Igor Vovchanchyn: I have no complaints, it was great. I don’t think there ever will be another organization like that.

Michael Mazur: Could you compete against the world’s elite heavyweights today, assuming you are 100% injury-free?
Igor Vovchanchyn: I think I could. No injuries and decent shape…why not.

Michael Mazur: We have never seen you spar with other top fighters back in the days? Why is that?
Igor Vovchanchyn: Why would I like to copy their stile? I think one has to play hiw own game if you know what I mean.

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