Now This Is What Combat Sambo Is All About
June 20, 2011
Special thanks to Eric Nicholl
On April 3, 2008, in his M-1 Challenge debut Yuri Ivlev lost his bout to Japan’s Daisuke Nakamura by very close decision.
Then on June 27 of that year, Yuri ‘Cable Guy’ Ivlev came out like a reinvented thrashing machine whilst always on the attack against Carlos Valeri at M-1 Challenge IV, and started the match with a spinning high-kick. Yuri continued his aggressive strategy, unloading a mixed bag of looping fists, high kicks, low kicks and knees to the body. Ivlev’s southpaw stance and unrelenting firepower unsettled the Spaniard and sent his game plan out the ring and into the Neva River. When the conflict moved to close quarters, Yuri effortlessly flung Carlos to the ground with a sambo throw.
The ref stood Valeri up and Ivlev closed the gap, forcing Valeri into the ropes with powerful blows. Carlos attempted a Thai clinch; however Yuri instantly slipped his right arm under his opponent’s left arm and hip-threw him to the canvas before slapping on an arm bar, causing Carlos to tap.
This was classic Combat Sambo, with Yuri transitioning from striking to takedown to submission in one fluid movement.
Yuri Ivlev has since continued to grow rapidly as a well-rounded MMA competitor, chalking up an impressive 17-7 record and becoming one of M-1 Global’s most popular combatants.
Ivlev graciously chatted with Knucklepit after his impressive victory over Artiom Damkovsky at the M-1 Ukraine European Battle on June 4.
Yuri, was Rostov-on-don your birthplace?
No, I was born and I still live in Taganrog.
What was the first fighting art you took up and how old were you at the time?
The two first fighting arts I took were judo and Sambo; I was 8 years old back then.
What originally lured you into fighting?
I’d say the intention was for self-improvement in athletics.
Could you give a background into your Sambo training, please, Yuri?
There is nothing new to say about it – training is always training. We have a saying coming from the Soviet Union that summarizes how we train and what we aim to achieve – faster, higher, stronger – that’s about it.
Why the nickname 'Cable Guy'?
First time I heard it I laughed. The M-1 executive told me I looked like a tradesman who you would expect to show up at your home to repair your TV and ‘Cable Guy’ stuck.
Do you like the team concept of Team Russia Legion?
I like the atmosphere there and the camaraderie amongst the teammates; it’s really nice and motivating!
After your outstanding victory over Carlos Valeri at M-1 Challenge IV, except for Akhmed Sultanov, you and the other members of Team Russia Legion were replaced. Why was that?
That was because of me – I couldn’t continue fighting due to family matters.
What is your current ranking in judo?
I hold what we call ‘master of sport’.
Have you ever met Prime Minister Vladimir Putin through your judo training?
No unfortunately, but it would be an honor!
Your thoughts on representing Russia at judo in the Olympics, please, Yuri?
I am a true patriot to my country. I’m ready to represent my country on any level and would consider it an honor!
You appeared to go from being a submission specialist to delivering brutal KOs and g'n'p when you knocked out RustamTashuev in 2007. Now you have as many victories by KO and TKO as you do via submission. How did you develop that punching power?
I believe that you have to continue improving your skills as a fighter all the time. I couldn’t just stay on the same level so I kept improving my striking techniques.
Who did you train with and what were their specific roles for your bout?
Against Artiom Damkovsky? I was training with my coach Islam Karimov and the main part of training was cardiovascular endurance and developing a game plan for takedowns and fighting on the ground.
Could you give a brief rundown of that match, please, Yuri?
Artiom is a good fighter, a good opponent and a really nice person; I’d just say that I had luck on my side!
How did you celebrate afterwards?
Well, it turned out I broke my hand and arm in the first round of fighting so my celebration started at the hospital and has turned into a long healing process.
Do you know when you'll be fighting next and who your opponent may be?
No, not yet.
When will your fans see you fighting for the M-1 belt?
I’ll do it as soon as I get a chance to.
Yuri, is there anything you'd like to add?
I would just like to extend my wish for good health and no injuries to all fighters!
Thank you very much for your time, Yuri, and I wish you all the best for the future.
Thanks a lot!
For more on Yuri Ivlev: www.m-1global.com.