||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2014)|
August 6, 1973 |
Zolochiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Native name||Ігор Вовчанчин|
|Other names||"Ice Cold"|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Weight||235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)|
|Reach||68.0 in (173 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Kharkiv, Ukraine|
|Years active||1995-2005 (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Igor Yaroslavovych Vovchanchyn (Ukrainian: Ігор Ярославович Вовчанчин; born August 6, 1973) is a retired Ukrainian mixed martial artist and kickboxer. After making his professional MMA debut in 1995, he won seven mixed martial arts tournaments, held a 37-fight unbeaten streak, and reached the final of the PRIDE Grand Prix 2000.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Mixed martial arts career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 Mixed martial arts record
- 6 Kickboxing record
- 7 References
- 8 External links
As a young school boy, Vovchanchyn began competing in track and field in his hometown of Kharkiv, and due to his love for fighting, he later moved to boxing under trainer Oleg Ermakov. He was at last invited to a kickboxing gym, where he made his transition to this sport, and also took up sambo.
Mixed martial arts career
Vovchanchyn transitioned from a successful kickboxing career to MMA in 1995, and competed primarily in tournament-style events held across Ukraine, often fighting three or four times in one day. With his dominant kickboxing style, he became famed for being one of the few strictly stand-up fighters to overcome grappling-based opponents, exemplified in his victory in the Mr. Powerman Sekai tournament in Minsk, Belarus on January 23, 1996. He also had an impressive performance at the inaugural International Absolute Fighting Council event, defeating Adilson Lima, a Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belt who trained with Ryan Gracie. Vovchanchyn won by knockout via soccer kick 56 seconds into the fight, but Lima's cornerman (Renzo Gracie) argued to the tournament organisers, complaining that kicks to a downed opponent were unfair and demanded an instant rematch. Unusually, an immediate rematch was granted, and the fight began again only to be stopped a second time after Lima's nose was broken by a punch, giving Vovchanchyn the win by TKO. Vovchancyn would advance to the last round, where he would be finally submitted by Russian sambo champion Mikhail Ilyukhin.
Vovchanchyn won seven MMA tournaments during this stage of his career, and was considered[by whom?] arguably the best Heavyweight in the world for several years to come. From January 1996, Vovchanchyn did not lose a fight until the final match of the Pride Grand Prix 2000 tournament, when he was beaten by Mark Coleman.
Early PRIDE FC career
After winning the Diamond Night tournament in Kiev, Vovchanchyn was invited to Japanese promotion PRIDE, fighting Gary Goodridge in his debut. Vovchanchyn showed an evident lack of experience in takedown defense and was twice taken down by Goodridge, who was not known for his wrestling prowess. Igor, however, obviously behind on points, dominated Goodridge during the stand-up exchanges and knocked him out with two left hooks, 10:14 into the first round.
Vovchanchyn then fought Japanese fighter Akira Shoji. Most of the fight stayed in the standing position, with Vovchanchyn damaging a wary Shoji and throwing him down, while the Japanese circled him and lied on the mat to avoid his hits. At the end Vovchanchyn won the judges decision by having badly damaged Shoji with strikes. He then fought Carlos "Carlão" Barreto, a Carlson Gracie team member and vale tudo champion. Despite the larger height of Barreto, Vovchanchyn countered him with punches and leg kicks and shut down his takedown attempts, and even took him down himself at one point, being given the decision.
Unofficial #1 Heavyweight Superfight
Vovchanchyn was next matched up with American wrestler Mark Kerr for the unofficial title of #1 heavyweight in the world. Nearly all outlets who covered mixed martial arts held either Vovchanchyn or the unbeaten two-time UFC Champion and ADCC Champion Mark Kerr as the best Heavyweight and pound for pound fighter in the world. Early in the fight, Kerr cut Vovchanchyn with a knee strike to the right eye, and secured several takedowns, but was unable to pass Vovchanchyn's guard or do any more significant damage. In the last round, Vovchanchyn pounced on the now-exhausted Kerr and dominated him with strikes, eventually knocking him out with a series of knees. Vovchanchyn was declared the winner on the night, but the result was later overturned, and the result declared a no contest. Knees to the head of a grounded opponent in the four points position had been banned just prior to the event.
In his next fight, Vovchanchyn fought Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Francisco Bueno. Igor knocked Bueno out with a vicious combination, Bueno literally falling face first as he was being punched in the face. This knockout is still to this day considered one of the most brutal knockouts in the history of MMA. After this string of victories, Vovchanchyn became a huge favorite going into the Pride Grand Prix 2000.
PRIDE Grand Prix 2000
Vovchanchyn had been considered the top fighter in the sport for some years, and as commentators Stephen Quadros and Bas Rutten stated, he was likely the favorite to win the tournament. In the opening round he defeated Japanese professional wrestler Alexander Otsuka by decision and, in a rematch with Gary Goodridge, decisively won by knockout in an entirely stand-up fight.
Vovchanchyn then faced the number one pound for pound fighter in the world, Kazushi Sakuraba of Japan, who had recently beaten Royce Gracie in a 90-minute fight, the longest in recent competitive fighting history. Though Sakuraba took him down and punched him, Vovchanchyn eventually grabbed a waist lock takedown and controlled the Japanese with strikes while Sakuraba covered up. After the fight was declared a draw and needed a second round to determine a finalist, Sakuraba's corner threw in the towel as he had just fought for 105 minutes and could not physically continue. Vovchanchyn won the fight via TKO (corner stoppage) and advanced into the final.
Vovchanchyn then faced powerhouse American wrestler in Mark Coleman. Coleman had the advantage, coming into the final match, as he bypassed the semi finals after his opponent, Kazuyuki Fujita, retired due to injury. Coleman kept the visibly tired Igor on the ground, and during the second 20-minute round, finished the fight by mounting Vovchanchyn's back and repeatedly kneeing him in the head, forcing Vovchanchyn to submit.
Facing Japanese gatekeeper Daijiro Matsui at the next event, Vovchanchyn controlled the bout by sprawling and performing ground and pound on him, until the fight was stopped by eye damage on Matsui. Igor then fought Enson Inoue, stopping him after the first round, and Nobuhiko Takada, who was the trainer of Sakuraba and Matsui. Vovchanchyn was taken down and met leg kicks and some resistance, but he finished him on the second round via ground and pound.
After those victories in PRIDE, Vovchanchyn received a rematch with Mark Kerr. Vovchanchyn's advantage in the stand up fighting was countered by Kerr's superior grappling and takedowns, and the fight was ruled a draw after two rounds. After an extra, third round, Vovchanchyn was awarded the victory via unanimous decision.
Vovchanchyn continued to fight in PRIDE over the next year, with a mixed record. At Pride 13, Vovchancyn faced Tra Telligman. Despite Igor being able to counterstrike, Telligman surprised him with a left straight which knocked Vovchanchyn down, allowing Tra control the rest of the fight and win the decision. This was the first time Igor had been outstruck, even if it was seen as an upset. He later faced another feared striker, Gilbert Yvel. However, sensing Gilbert was weaker than him on the ground, Vovchanchyn avoided meeting him in the stand-up and took him down, putting his sambo skills to use and choking Yvel out. Vovchanchyn would go to defeat another striker, beating world karate champion Masaaki Satake by decision.
In PRIDE 17, Vovchanchyn suffered another upset when was submitted in under three minutes by Brazilian Top Team trainer Mario Sperry. He rebounded by showing a greater grappling expertise against Valentijn Overeem, escaping from heel hook attempts and slipping his own heel hook for the tap out. He then faced Heath Herring, struggling in a fight which saw both grappling and striking from the two men, but after Herring accidentally headbutted Vovchanchyn at the third round, he was controlled by him, and judges gave the decision to Heath. Fighting Quinton Jackson would be similarly unfortunate for Vovchanchyn, as the American fighter slammed him twice, getting him submitted due to injury.
After beating Bob Schrijber by submission, Vovchanchyn was knocked out by Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic via left roundhouse kick. This fight is considered a 'passing of the torch', as Vovchanchyn couldn't compete at the top level at Heavyweight any longer, and it elevated the newer striking sensation Filipovic into an Interim Heavyweight Championship fight with Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira. This would be Vovchanchyn's only ever loss via KO/TKO.
Drop to Middleweight (93 kg)
Breaking his losing streak, Vovchanchyn then strung together a series of wins over Dan Bobish and Yoshiki Takahashi. In the following year, Vovchanchyn moved down a weight division and entered PRIDE's 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix. Vovchanchyn was matched against Yuki Kondo in PRIDE Total Elimination 2005, a man with wins over the likes of Guy Mezger, Frank Shamrock and four-time K1 World Grand Prix Champion and King of Pancrase Semmy Schilt. Vovchanchyn controlled the fight, winning a unanimous decision. He then fought Alistair Overeem in the quarter finals and lost via submission. Vovchanchyn received a second chance to progress when offered a fight against Kazuhiro Nakamura in PRIDE Final Conflict 2005, with the winner earning the right to be an alternate in the finals of the tournament. After 15 minutes, Vovchanchyn lost a unanimous judges' decision in what would be his last competitive MMA fight.
Vovchanchyn retired at age 32, citing multiple injuries, including a right hand that remained seriously affected as of 2008.
Vovchanchyn is married and has one daughter.
In a 2008 interview, Vovchanchyn stated that he retired from competition and has students and a restaurant business where he is also teacher.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Absolute Fighting Championship
- Absolute Fighting Championship 3 Winner (1997)
- Donetsk No Rules Fighting
- Ukrainian Octagon Winner (1996)
- International Absolute Fighting Championship
- Absolute Fighting Russian 3 Tournament Winner (1997)
- Absolute Fighting Russian Open Cup 3 Winner (1997)
- International Fighting Championship
- International Fighting Championship 1 Winner (1996)
- Mr. Powerman SEKAI
- Mr. Strong Guy Winner (1996)
- Ukrainian Combat Martial Arts League
- Ukrainian No Rules Championship (1996)
- World Vale Tudo Championship
- WVC Super Fight Champion (one time)
- World Vale Tudo Championship 5 Tournament Winner
- Russian Kickboxing Champion:
63 Fights, 61 Wins, 2 Losses
- Won World Kickboxing/Martial Arts Championship in Moscow, 1995.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|66 matches||55 wins||10 losses|
|Loss||55–10 (1)||Kazuhiro Nakamura||Decision (unanimous)||PRIDE Final Conflict 2005||August 28, 2005||2||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||55–9 (1)||Alistair Overeem||Submission (guillotine choke)||PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005||June 26, 2005||1||1:25||Saitama, Japan||PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal|
|Win||55–8 (1)||Yuki Kondo||Decision (unanimous)||PRIDE Total Elimination 2005||April 23, 2005||3||5:00||Osaka, Japan||PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Win||54–8 (1)||Yoshiki Takahashi||KO (punch)||PRIDE 29||February 20, 2005||1||1:10||Saitama, Japan||Middleweight (205 lbs.) debut|
|Win||53–8 (1)||Sergey Terezimov||Submission (heel hook)||WOP: Water of Peresvit||December 4, 2004||1||1:35||Ukraine|
|Win||52–8 (1)||Katsuhisa Fujii||KO (punches)||PRIDE Bushido 5||October 14, 2004||1||4:02||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||51–8 (1)||Dan Bobish||TKO (punches)||PRIDE 27||February 1, 2004||2||1:45||Osaka, Japan|
|Loss||50–8 (1)||Mirko Filipović||KO (head kick)||PRIDE Total Elimination 2003||August 10, 2003||1||1:29||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||50–7 (1)||Bob Schrijber||Submission (rear-naked choke)||It's Showtime 2003 Amsterdam||June 8, 2003||2||4:05||Netherlands|
|Loss||49–7 (1)||Quinton Jackson||Submission (injury)||PRIDE 22||September 29, 2002||1||7:17||Nagoya, Japan|
|Loss||49–6 (1)||Heath Herring||Decision (unanimous)||PRIDE 19||February 24, 2002||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||49–5 (1)||Valentijn Overeem||Submission (heel hook)||PRIDE 18||December 23, 2001||1||4:35||Fukuoka, Japan|
|Win||48–5 (1)||Ricardas Rocevicius||TKO (leg kicks)||RINGS Lithuania: Bushido Rings 3||November 10, 2001||2||N/A||Lithuania|
|Loss||47–5 (1)||Mario Sperry||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||PRIDE 17||November 3, 2001||1||2:52||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||47–4 (1)||Masaaki Satake||Decision (unanimous)||PRIDE 15||July 29, 2001||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||46–4 (1)||Gilbert Yvel||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Pride 14 - Clash of the Titans||May 27, 2001||1||1:52||Yokohama, Japan|
|Loss||45–4 (1)||Tra Telligman||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 13 - Collision Course||March 25, 2001||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||45–3 (1)||Mark Kerr||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 12 - Cold Fury||December 9, 2000||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||44–3 (1)||Nobuhiko Takada||TKO (punches)||Pride 11 - Battle of the Rising Sun||October 31, 2000||2||5:17||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||43–3 (1)||Enson Inoue||TKO (punches)||Pride 10 - Return of the Warriors||August 27, 2000||1||10:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||42–3 (1)||Daijiro Matsui||TKO (corner stoppage)||PRIDE 9||June 4, 2000||1||5:03||Nagoya, Japan|
|Loss||41–3 (1)||Mark Coleman||Submission (knees)||PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Finals||May 1, 2000||2||3:09||Tokyo, Japan||PRIDE FC 2000 Openweight Grand Prix final|
|Win||41–2 (1)||Kazushi Sakuraba||TKO (corner stoppage)||PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Finals||May 1, 2000||1||15:00||Tokyo, Japan||PRIDE FC 2000 Openweight Grand Prix Semifinal|
|Win||40–2 (1)||Gary Goodridge||TKO (punches)||PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Finals||May 1, 2000||1||10:14||Tokyo, Japan||PRIDE FC 2000 Openweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal|
|Win||39–2 (1)||Alexander Otsuka||Decision (unanimous)||PRIDE Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round||January 30, 2000||1||15:00||Tokyo, Japan||PRIDE FC 2000 Openweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Win||38–2 (1)||Francisco Bueno||KO (punch)||PRIDE 8||November 21, 1999||1||1:23||Japan|
|NC||37–2 (1)||Mark Kerr||NC (illegal knees)||PRIDE 7||September 12, 1999||2||N/A||Yokohama, Japan||Originally a victory for Vovchanchyn, it was later ruled out a No Contest.|
|Win||37–2||Carlos "Carlão" Barreto||Decision (split)||Pride 6||July 4, 1999||3||5:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||36–2||Vepcho Bardanashvili||Submission (guillotine choke)||InterPride 1999: Heavyweight Final||May 8, 1999||1||N/A||Ukraine|
|Win||35–2||Vladimir Solodovnik||TKO (punches)||InterPride 1999: Heavyweight Final||May 8, 1999||1||N/A||Ukraine|
|Win||34–2||Akira Shoji||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 5||April 29, 1999||2||10:00||Nagoya, Japan|
|Win||33–2||Edson Carvalho||TKO (punches)||WVC 7: World Vale Tudo Championship 7||February 2, 1999||1||3:16||Brazil|
|Win||32–2||Aloisio Freitas Neto||TKO (punches)||WVC 6: World Vale Tudo Championship 6||November 1, 1998||1||7:26||Brazil|
|Win||31–2||Gary Goodridge||TKO (punches)||Pride 4||October 11, 1998||1||5:58||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||30–2||Nick Nutter||KO (knee)||WVC 5: World Vale Tudo Championship 5||February 3, 1998||1||0:14||Brazil||Won WVC 5: World Vale Tudo Championship 5 Tournament|
|Win||29–2||Elias Rodrigues||TKO (headbutt & punches)||WVC 5: World Vale Tudo Championship 5||February 3, 1998||1||10:35||Brazil|
|Win||28–2||Tulio Palhares||TKO (punches)||WVC 5: World Vale Tudo Championship 5||February 3, 1998||1||5:35||Brazil|
|Win||27–2||Nick Nutter||KO (headbutt)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship III||November 12, 1997||1||24:42||Israel||Won IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship III Tournament|
|Win||26–2||Mikhail Avetisyan||Decision (split)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship III||November 12, 1997||1||35:00||Israel||Opponent was an alternate for the injured Vasily Kudin|
|Win||25–2||Valery Pliev||TKO (punches)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship III||November 12, 1997||1||7:13||Israel|
|Win||24–2||Yuri Mildzikhov||TKO (forfeit)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Russian Open Cup 3||August 29, 1997||1||0:38||Moscow, Russia||Won IAFC: Absolute Fighting Russian Open Cup 3 Tournament|
|Win||23–2||Igor Guerus||TKO (punches)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Russian Open Cup 3||August 29, 1997||1||0:04||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||22–2||Vasily Kudin||TKO (leg kicks)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Russian Open Cup 3||August 29, 1997||1||3:02||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||21–2||Dimitry Panfilov||TKO (punches)||COS: Cup of Stars||May 23, 1997||N/A||N/A|
|Win||20–2||Aslan Hamza||KO (knee)||COS: Cup of Stars||May 23, 1997||N/A||N/A|
|Win||19–2||Leonardo Castello Branco||Decision (split)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship II [Day 2]||May 2, 1997||1||35:00||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||18–2||Igor Akhmedov||Submission (rear-naked choke)||DNRF: Ukrainian Octagon 2||May 1, 1996||N/A||N/A||Ukraine|
|Win||17–2||John Dixson||Submission (retirement)||IFC 1: Kombat in Kiev||March 30, 1996||1||9:10||Ukraine||Won IFC 1: Kombat in Kiev Tournament|
|Win||16–2||Paul Varelans||KO (punches)||IFC 1: Kombat in Kiev||March 30, 1996||1||6:20||Ukraine|
|Win||15–2||Fred Floyd||TKO (punches)||IFC 1: Kombat in Kiev||March 30, 1996||1||13:14||Ukraine|
|Win||14–2||Igor Akhmedov||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||UCMAL: Ukrainian No Rules Championship 1996||March 9, 1996||1||N/A||Ukraine|
|Win||13–2||Yuri Zhernikov||TKO (punches)||UCMAL: Ukrainian No Rules Championship 1996||March 9, 1996||1||N/A||Ukraine|
|Win||12–2||Matrosov Matrosov||TKO (punches)||UCMAL: Ukrainian No Rules Championship 1996||March 9, 1996||1||N/A||Ukraine|
|Win||11–2||Igor Guerus||KO (punches)||DNRF: Ukrainian Octagon||March 1, 1996||1||1:41||Ukraine||Won DNRF: Ukrainian Octagon Tournament|
|Win||10–2||Sergey Sheremet||KO (punch)||DNRF: Ukrainian Octagon||March 1, 1996||1||1:27||Ukraine|
|Win||9–2||Oleg Tischenko||KO (punch)||DNRF: Ukrainian Octagon||March 1, 1996||1||0:05||Ukraine|
|Win||8–2||Roman Tikunov||KO (punch)||MPS 1996: Mr. Powerman SEKAI 1996||January 23, 1996||N/A||2:15||Belarus||Won Mr. Powerman SEKAI 1996 Tournament|
|Win||7–2||Sergei Bondarovich||KO (head kick)||MPS 1996: Mr. Powerman SEKAI 1996||January 23, 1996||N/A||Belarus|
|Win||6–2||Nikolai Yatsuk||KO (punch)||MPS 1996: Mr. Powerman SEKAI 1996||January 23, 1996||N/A||Belarus|
|Loss||5–2||Mikhail Ilyukhin||Submission (chin in the eye)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship I: Tournament||November 25, 1995||1||6:30||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||5–1||Adilson Lima||TKO (corner stoppage)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship I: Elimination||November 25, 1995||1||1:51||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||4–1||Adilson Lima||TKO (corner stoppage)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship I: Elimination||November 25, 1995||1||0:56||Moscow, Russia|
|Win||3–1||Sergei Akinen||TKO (corner stoppage)||IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship I: Elimination||November 25, 1995||1||2:40||Moscow, Russia|
|Loss||2–1||Andrei Besedin||Submission (kneebar)||UCMAL: Warrior's Honour 1||October 14, 1995||1||1:12||Ukraine|
|Win||2–0||Sergei Bondarovich||KO (punches)||UCMAL: Warrior's Honour 1||October 14, 1995||1||0:18||Ukraine|
|Win||1–0||Alexander Mandrik||TKO (punches)||UCMAL: Warrior's Honour 1||October 14, 1995||1||3:06||Ukraine|
61 wins, 2 losses
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest