Battle of Champions: which martial art is best?
The debate has existed for as long as martial arts have been around. And Russia is well-qualified to settle the argument, as its fighters from various combat backgrounds have won 202 gold medals in international competitions this year alone.
The Battle of Champions in Moscow saw 16 fighting styles pitted against one another.
The culmination of the battle was a WBL title muthai fight between world champion Artur Gasanov, 20, and triple U.S. champion Seon Hinds, 33.
Gasanov attempted to outpsyche the American veteran before the contest even started, performing a ritual simulating archery and grenade attacks. Hinds, 33, however, was too experienced to fall for such tricks.
The Russian tried to dominate from the opening round, flooring Hinds at one point, but overall it was an even fight. The American fighter had the better of the final rounds but it was a bit late and Gasanov won the bout on points.
“I wasn’t alone in winning this fight. This victory belongs to the entire club of the Rostov region and the Russian national team,” said Gasanov. “You can't even imagine how hard I trained for this. Everyone did their part including my coach, my promoter and my family. I’m now twice the champion I was before. This trophy and this belt are now ours.”