Vladislav Sukalenko and Yakov Ekimov from the Kuznya team took first place at the Phygital Games 7 in martial arts (Mortal Kombat + MMA). They were ahead of Jan Saskovets and Valery Dashkevich (MMA Academy), thanks to the audience vote. The third place was taken by Brazilian athletes from the GOR team (Lucas Nascimento and Arimarsel Santos).
The tournament was held at the Ak Bars Martial Arts Palace. It was attended by 8 teams, consisting of two athletes of different weight categories (up to 66 kg and up to 77 kg). As part of the match, each team member conducts one duel in Mortal Kombat and one MMA fight with the same opponent, and the points they earned were summed up.
The competition of the Games was opened by a duel between Lucas Nascimento from the GOR club and Amirhossein Habibi (IRIC) in the weight category up to 66 kg. In the digital stage, the Brazilian was much stronger than his opponent. He chose the character “Scorpio” and confidently took 5 rounds, gaining a significant advantage before entering the octagon. In the physical part, there was an intersection of two styles – Nascimento relied more on techniques from jujutsu, and Habibi went into the fight. The Brazilian’s plan worked — the judges unanimously gave him the victory, and the overall score of the match became 10:0.
“These are my first Phygital Games, and this is a very cool event! Just the fire! I just started training to play Mortal Kombat yesterday, but it’s a very popular game in Brazil. I specifically chose “Scorpio,” this is the best character, which is easier to play with. I really liked Kazan. There are very friendly people here, and I would like to come back here many times,” said Nascimento after the victorious match.
Kirill Mironenko from PERESVET beat Nazmidin Sultonov (Camelot) no less convincingly in a console game (5:1), but in the octagon the audience saw a tense fight. Sultonov was better in the first round, in the second the initiative passed to his opponent, and in the decisive third Nazmidin still achieved the desired result. The judges gave the victory to him, and thus Sultonov won the match with a score of 6:5.
“We got involved in Mortal Kombat, although we were preparing for it. In the octagon duel we had an experienced opponent, we gained an insight into him. After the first round, Nazmidin relaxed a little, but in the third round we proved that underdogs should not be underestimated. Everything is cool at the Games. I like to play myself, though not in Mortal Kombat. It’s funny that different audiences are attracted. People look at martial arts, other sports and understand that there is nothing terrible in them, and they leave the computer to do physical activities. And for athletes, this is a good psychological release. And so, everything is dynamic and fun,” said Pavel Koval, coach and sports director of the Camelot Academy.
The fighter of the Kuznya team, Yakov Ekimov, had a great start to the console part of the match with Shakzot Yuldashev (ATHLETIC SPIRIT) and led 4:2, but then his opponent found a counteraction to the attacks, built a defense and responded himself with killer blows. The score was even — 4:4, and in the decisive round of the digital part, the victory went to Yuldashev.
But Shakzot failed to finish the fight in the octagon. In the second round, he refused to continue the fight, and the victory went to Ekimov.
“In combat, there are not many advantages in the octagon. And the game is very enchanted. The score was 4:4, and I lacked a bit of luck and experience. I will train more! I took the controller in my hands just a couple of months ago, and before that I was not very good with it. I will devote more time to it. I think nothing is impossible, and with a strong desire, even someone who has only played before can come to the octagon. When they called for the Phygital Games, at first there was a brain rupture. How is it possible to play the console and fight? It slightly reminded me of the beginning of my career. Pleasant feelings,” Yakov Ekimov shared his emotions.
Yan Saskovets from MMA Academy and Sultan Karimov (Division) closed this weight category. Yan aggressively conducted the digital stage and left no chance to the opponent, who only tried to impose a fight with the score 4:0 and took the consolation round — 5:1. Karimov lasted all three rounds in the octagon, but Saskovets did not allow him to turn the tide of the fight and surpassed him in strikes almost twice. The judges gave him the victory, and with it — another 5 points. The overall score of the match is 10:1 in favor of Yan.
“In Mortal Kombat, I am one of the best players in Belarus. As for battles, I’d like to improve my weight category to 61 kg. The opponent was strong. But I feel great. I had a great fight. I will rest even better,” Yan said after the fight.
The first to compete in the weight category up to 77 kg were the veteran of fist fights Arimarsel Santos (GOR), who at one time fought even with Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Sanzhar Nazarkulov from ATHLETIC SPIRIT. I’ll tell you a secret — Arimarsel fights in Mortal Kombat even better than me,” his teammate Lucas Nascimento noted before the fight. But in the digital part of the match with Nazarkulov, the Brazilian looked weaker and lost 1:5. But in the octagon, his experience and character came in handy. At the end of the third round, he was able to put the squeeze on Nazarkulov, who gave up after a submission lock of Santos — 7:5.
And the duel between Vladislav Sukalenko from the Kuznya team and Ruzinboy Sultonmurodov turned out to be very fast. And in the console part, where Vlad confidently outplayed the opponent — 5:1, and in the octagon. In the middle of the first round, Sukalenko ended the fight with a technical knockout and put his team in front. At the end of two matches, it scored 21 points.
“I’m not a fan of Mortal Kombat, to be honest, but I trained daily and prepared for the Games. In the morning there was an MMA training session, in the afternoon a couple of hours in the console, and in the evening MMA again. I am glad that everything turned out well. Here you need to be ready both in the octagon and in digital. The format is very cool, emotions are only positive. We need to unload in a different way, not like before a normal fight. Today I looked at the opponent, drew conclusions and hit the target. I want to wish him good health, it’s a sport. Only respect for him,” Vladislav said.
The match between Ilya Kharitonov (PERESVET) and Muboriz Umarov (Camelot) turned out to be no less rapid. The digital part of the tournament ended with a score of 5:0 in favor of Ilya, and in the octagon he crushed the opponent in a minute and a half, holding a choke hold. In the final match of the Games, Valery Dashkevich from the MMA Academy team needed a confident victory over Farshid Golami (IRIC) to keep the chances of winning the tournament. He dealt with his opponent in the digital part without any problems, and then won the fight in the octagon in 30 seconds! 21:21 – with such scores, MMA Academy and Kuznya came to the finish of the competitions.
In this case, according to the rules of the Phygital Games, everything depended on the online voting of fans, which could bring additional points to teams and fighters. Vladislav Sukalenko was awarded in the nomination “best finish” and “best fighter,” and these two points brought his team an overall victory!
“We were supported by a lot of people from the Krasnodar Territory, they wrote to us, voted. There is also a part of their merit in our victory,” said the coach of the team Ruslan Krainov.
The final distribution of prize money based on the results of the Phygital Games 7 in martial arts.
- 1st place, Kuznya (Sukalenko and Ekimov) – 600 thousand rubles;
- 2nd place, MMA Academy (Dashkevich and Saskovets) – 500 thousand;
- 3rd place, GOR (De Souza Santos and Nascimento) – 400 thousand;
- 4th place, PERESVET (Kharitonov and Mironenko) – 350 thousand;
- 5th place, ATHLETIC SPIRIT (Yuldashev and Nazarkulov) – 325 thousand;
- 6th place, Camelot (Umarov and Sultonov) – 300 thousand;
- 7th place, DIVISION (Sultonmurodov and Karimov) – 275 thousand;
- 8th place, IRIC (Golami and Habibi) – 250 thousand.