Russia’s best fighters try on Golden Belts
This year, the Men's Best Athlete of the Year award was given to 20-year-old world super-bantam-weight and featherweight kickboxing sensation, Yury Trogiyanov.
With the young fighter saying the ceremony was more nerve racking than getting into the ring.
“It was a tough experience to have to get up on stage in front of so many distinguished guests,” Trogiyanov told RT. “It’s easier to get in the ring than up there. Despite my young age and small frame, I think the Union simply looked at how successful I was this past year.”
And the Women's Best Athlete of the Year was awarded to Svetlana Galyant, an eight-time Sambo world champion.
“It was a big surprise for me to win this award,” she said. “Not only that the Union picked me, but also that I was able to achieve it. I’ve always given everything towards improving the awareness of sport so that it grows and continues to be an important part of our country.”
Meanwhile, the prize for the most impressive win of the year went to kickboxing super-champ, Batu Khasikov, for breaking the jaw of “Iron” Mike Zambidis back in November 2011.
The Golden Belt awards are annually handed out by the Russian Martial Arts Union.