Combat Sambo in MMA

Sambo is truely one of the most effecient, “straight to the point” fighting styles. The effectiveness of the style is demonstrated time and time again in MMA competition. Fedor Emelianenko; the top ranked mma heavyweight fighter in the world, is an accomplished sambo fighter. Actually, saying Fedor is an accomplished Sambo fighter is like saying Tiger Woods is an accomplished golfer or Michael Jordan was an accomplished basketball player. While it’s true, it’s also an under-statement.

Fedor Emelianenko is the current world combat sambo champion and has been for years. Sometimes his opponents don’t even bother showing up to face him. In MMA competition, he is widely praised for having “no weaknesses”. That says a lot about completeness of the combat sambo fighting style. Standup technique, Judo-like throws and a complete ground game make combat sambo the well rounded fighting style is has become.

Plenty of other MMA fighters have also found success using the combat sambo fighting style. Aleksander Emelianenko (Fedor’s brother) is a very successful heavyweight MMA fighter in his own right. Then there’s former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski. Andrei Arlovski captured a world junior combat sambo title and if you’ve watched him fight, you know he’s one of those fighters that can heel hook you into submission just as easily as he can deliver a devistating knockout. Again, simply another testimate to how well rounded the combat sambo fighting style really is. There are also plenty of other fighters that have successfully implemented combat sambo into MMA.

The shared similarity amongst these fighters, aside from their MMA success, is that they all hail from the same region. Just as Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, Sambo is the national sport of Russia. Sambo, which translated, means “self defence without weapons”, was originally developed in the early-to-mid 1900’s as a self defence system for the soviet armed forces.

There are various different styles of sambo. There are sport versions that disallow strikes and resemble Judo/Wrestling competition. Leg-locks are allowed in sport sambo while chokeholds are not. Then there’s self defence versions. These versions of combat sambo were developed and utilized by the military and include joint locks, grappling techniques, striking and weapons practice (both aggressive and defensive). Combat sambo competition closely resembles MMA competition.