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17 Jun, 2010 11:50

Moscow hosts major pankration event

There are many different martial arts practiced all over the world, but there is one which many consider to be based on the first-ever fighting system.

Among many ways to settle scores between two men, this is one of the most brutal, and probably the oldest.

The martial art of pankration translates from the Greek word meaning "all powers", and it may be considered the first fighting system in history.

It allows fighters to use not only their hands, legs, elbows and knees but even their heads.

Over 2,000 years ago, it was introduced at the ancient Olympics and it has now been revived.

One of the first professional pankration competitions in Russia – the Golden Fist tournament – was held in Moscow last week. It saw representatives from many different martial arts all on the same mat. Some of them were making their debut in the sport, and it turned out to be a hard test of their skills and spirit.

All mixed martial arts originally come from Pankration, and it remains the toughest of them all. Besides, its modern rules aim to make the sport as eye-catching as possible.

“The amount of time fighters can spend on the ground is strictly limited to no longer than a minute. Also, if the fighters are not active while wrestling on the ground, the referee can make them get up and return to the stand-up position. In this respect, pankration competitions differ from mix-fight events and are more exciting for the spectators,” explains Dmitry Zarschikov, Vice President of the Moscow Pankration Federation.

All the bouts on the night took the crowd's breath away but there was one which was the most anticipated. In the under-84 kilo category, one Russian fighter had to face a much more experienced opponent from Portugal.

Apart from being a clash between Beslan Isaev's energy and Silva's experience, it was a confrontation of different styles.

26-year-old Isaev is known as one of Russia's top hand-to-hand fighters, while the Portuguese jiu-jitsu wrestling master was looking to win the fight via submission.

However, it was the Russian who dominated. At the end of the first round, Isaev was very close to knocking Silva out, but the courageous Portuguese held on.

The fight continued on the same course and Isaev claimed victory by the unanimous decision of the judges, and his own supporters as well.