Igor Vovchanchyn

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Igor Vovchanchyn
Ігор Вовчанчин
Igor Vovchanchyn.jpg
Born (1973-08-06) August 6, 1973 (age 41)
Zolochiv, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Native name Ігор Вовчанчин
Other names "Ice Cold"
Nationality Ukrainian
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight 235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)
Division Light Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Reach 68.0 in (173 cm)
Style Kickboxing, Sambo
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Kharkiv, Ukraine
Team Team Vovchanchyn[1]
Years active 1995-2005 (MMA)
Kickboxing record
Total 63
Wins 61
Losses 2
Mixed martial arts record
Total 66
Wins 55
By knockout 29
By submission 17
By decision 8
Unknown 1
Losses 10
By knockout 1
By submission 6
By decision 3
No contests 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: February 10, 2011

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.

Biography[edit]

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[edit]

Early career[edit]

A young Vovchancyn in the Mr. Powerman Sekai.

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[edit]

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 attemps, and even took him down himself at one point, being given the decision.

Unofficial #1 Heavyweight Superfight[edit]

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[edit]

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 Japanese number one pound for pound fighter in the world, Kazushi Sakuraba, 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 Kazushi covered up. At the end of the first round, the towel was when Sakuraba could not continue into round two and Igor won the fight.

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.

PRIDE decline[edit]

Vovchanchyn continued to fight in PRIDE over the next year, with a mixed record. At Pride 13, Vovchancyn faced Tra Telligman. Despite Igor was 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 weak on the ground, Vovchancyn 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, Vovchancyn 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.

Drop to Middleweight (93 kg)[edit]

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.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Vovchanchyn is married and has one daughter.[3]

In a 2008 interview, Vovchanchyn stated that he retired from competition and has students and a restaurant business where he is also teacher.[2]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • 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)[4]
    • World Vale Tudo Championship 5 Tournament Winner

Kickboxing[edit]

  • Russian Kickboxing Champion:

63 Fights, 61 Wins, 2 Losses

  • Won World Kickboxing/Martial Arts Championship in Moscow, 1995.

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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 N/A N/A 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 (unanimous) 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 (unanimous) 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

Kickboxing record[edit]

Kickboxing record

Legend:       Win       Loss       Draw/No contest

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fight Finder: Igor Vovchanchyn". Sherdog. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "FansOfK1.com - Igor Vovchanchyn". fansofk1.com. 
  4. ^ "World Vale Tudo Championship". Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. 

External links[edit]