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Alexander Karelin Calls for Discrediting MMA as Sport

Alexander Karelin
Alexander Karelin CC 3.0

The Deputy of the State Duma, and three-time Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, Alexander Karelin has urged legislators to deprive remove state accreditation for the regimen of mixed martial arts, contending that MMA is not a sport. 

On Monday Karelin called to remove accreditation for mixed martial arts from the Ministry of sports of Russia on the grounds, MMA is a set a regimen made up of the traditional martial arts, rather than a sport in and of itself. Karelin's view is similar to that expressed by the head of Federation of Wrestling of Russia (FSBR) Mikhail Mamiashvili, who recently urged children to engage in wrestling and boxing, and not MMA.

For his part, Mamiashvili went on to stress that Chechen children, who since childhood "show fighting spirit", should be engaged in the traditional martial arts. 

Alexander Karelin, nicknamed the "Russian Bear", Alexander the Great" and "The Experiment", is considered the greatest Greco-Roman wrestler of all time.He was also included in the 25 best world athletes of the 20th century and is a Hero of the Russian Federation.