Sambo is all the rage. Last week, the Russian Sambo Cup took place and the sport returned to action in it’s home country after having many events canceled due to the pandemic. At the Russian Sambo Cup, Anton Mamonov took home gold in the 88 kilogram of combat sambo. Mamonov spoke with us about his win and what the future holds for him.
Mamonov started his career in sambo at a young age. He was not really a problem child, but some structure would do him so good. At school, a sambo coach invited his class to begin in the sport. Sambo did good for Anton Mamonov and provided the outlet he needed.
“Grew up as an active child, cocky, it was necessary to give to some kind of sport and the coach just came to school, invited everyone. I immediately asked to go there. I liked to somersault, to fight. You had to be able to stand up for yourself physically in childhood, and sambo is exactly the sport that gives such an opportunity.”
Mamonov didn’t know how long he would do sambo for. In the end, he was stuck and was destined to practice sambo and become great at it.
“When I grew up to adulthood, I already had thoughts of simply trying myself in combat sambo, which I myself am capable of. I decided to speak just for the sake of interest, I did not think that I would continue. In the end, it turned out a little, as they say, it dragged on and stayed here.”
Anton Mamonov Happy in Sambo
Being a successful in combat sambo, an MMA transition is a common question for Anton Mamonov. While he hasn’t considered moving over to mixed martial arts, he feels his combat sambo experience will help him achieve similar success in MMA.
“There are no such thoughts yet. But if I am going to compete in mixed martial arts, then combat sambo will definitely help me. Of course, it will be necessary to rebuild the technique, but the skills of combat sambo will greatly help to achieve the desired result as soon as possible.”
In addition to sambo, Mamonov has competed in wrestling and judo. But, he’s taken a step back from that to concentrate on combat sambo. “Sometimes I wrestle and perform in judo and sambo, but there is no longer any desire to move anywhere, so as not to get confused.”
The Future of Sambo
There is a massive audience growing for all combat sports, sambo included. With the growth, many are pushing for more martial arts in the Olympic Games. Anton Mamonov says the sport of sambo deserves two be part of the Games as well. While sambo may be a long way off from joining the Games, Mamonov would love the opportunity to compete.
“I really want to compete in the Games. Sambo and Combat Sambo deserve their place in the Olympic Games.”
Sambo as a sport was brought into the spotlight by the legendary Fedor Emelianenko took over the MMA world with a background in the sport. Then, now champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov took it into the stratosphere by winning the UFC lightweight title and destroying Conor McGregor. When asked if becoming a sambo ambassador similar to those two legends, Mamonov said it would be an honor.
“They were an example for many and showed the whole world what sambo is and thanks to them this sport has become more on the globe. I would be infinitely happy if I myself were an example for someone.”
Anton Mamonov looks to continue his sambo career, seeing great places along the way. Follow Mamonov on Instagram to follow his journey through the sport.