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`Russian Bear` makes triumphant return to the ring
December 1, 2007, 7:14
Nicknamed the ‘Russian Bear’, Oleg Taktarov has crushed American John Marsh at
Moscow’s first ever Russia versus the U.S. mixed martial arts spectacle. The
Ultimate Fighting Championship winner, Taktarov is mostly known in Russia as an
actor having appeared in movies alongside Robert De Niro and Will Smith.
The actor, self-defence teacher and businessman, Oleg Taktarov has returned to
his first love - the ring.
The 40-year-old is back on top of the bill at a full contact martial arts event
for the first time in almost 10 years.
A former two-time world Sambo champion, Taktarov moved to the U.S. in 1994 from
the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, with the aim of becoming an actor.
However, he got sidetracked into the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which he
won in 1995.
This victory shot him into the Hollywood limelight. Appearances in movies
alongside the likes of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Will Smith followed.
But the lure of the mat was too much and after nine years of waiting the Bear is
Californian native and another veteran, John Marsh was his opponent.
Despite the tight opening round, the Russian Bear won the clash, securing a five
wins, two losses overall record.
The crowd at Moscow’s Hodynka arena certainly savoured the end of what was a
fine night for Russia.
And the man of the moment told RT he has a very simple, yet lucrative plan for
“I want to do one big movie and one big fight, one big movie and one big
fight,” he said
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