Oleg Taktarov Youtube Videos


Oleg Taktarov Bio

Oleg Nikolaevich Taktarov (Russian: Оле́г Никола́евич Такта́ров; born 26 August 1967) is a retired Russian mixed martial artist and actor. He is a practitioner of Sambo and Judo and has competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pride Fighting Championships. Taktarov was the UFC 6 tournament champion and holds notable wins over Marco Ruas, Tank Abbott, Mark Kerr, and Anthony Macias. Taktarov is known for being exceptionally calm during fights and for using a variety of rarely seen, acrobatic Sambo take-downs. All of Taktarov's losses were by knockout or decision; he has never submitted in an MMA fight.


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • 2.2 Post-UFC
    • 2.3 Return to mixed martial arts
  • 3 Acting career
    • 3.1 Filmography
  • 4 Championships and accomplishments
  • 5 Mixed martial arts record
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Early life

Mixed martial arts career

Ultimate Fighting Championship

On 12 November 1993, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was held in Denver, Colorado, where fighters from all martial arts codes were invited to compete for a purse of US$50,000, in a no-holds-barred elimination tournament billed as being, "not for the faint-hearted". The show-down was held inside the eight-sided ring, known as the Octagon, that measures 32 feet across, and is surrounded by a five-foot-high chain fence.

In April, 1995, Oleg entered UFC 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina, billed as "The Russian Bear". "It (the title) sounds alright to me now, but before.....I was called this by the manager I had then, who was from Texas. He thought that Texas was the capital of the world," laughs Oleg. "He didn’t know any other places existed. He just knew that Russia had bears and vodka, and he couldn’t call me ‘The Russian Vodka’." When Oleg entered UFC 5 he was regarded by the organizers as "The X-Factor". His friend and Lion's Den fighter, Guy Mezger, had spoken highly of Taktarov, but the Russian was an unknown quantity. Before the tournament, competitors were interviewed pulling macho faces and growling, whilst boasting how they were going to win the event and destroy their opponents. By contrast, Oleg coolly said he was from Gorky, Russia, and smiled an infectious smile at the cameras. Held in Charlotte, North Carolina, the competition claimed to have eight contenders representing eight different martial arts, but as Royce Gracie had previously stated, many of the UFC competitors were now abandoning their own arts to copy his grappling techniques. The fact that a fighter was listed as representing the art of Tae Kwon Do did not mean he would be using TKD striking techniques against his opponent.

In UFC 5, the program had Oleg Taktarov listed as representing the Russian discipline of Sambo. "At first I was kind of disappointed because in Russia they would have regarded me as a ju-jitsu exponent because it was a new art I was practicing back there, whereas many people were already doing judo and sambo in Russia. Here in America, people categorized me as a sambo artist because it was unique and unusual, and that’s what they liked. But I don’t mind now," says Taktarov.

Between UFC 5 and UFC 6 (where he won the tournament, beating Tank Abbott in the finals), Taktarov lived and trained with Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den fighting team. Taktarov started his American training with Gene LeBell and Gokor Chivichyan.

Despite badly injuring his knee in training shortly before the event, Takatarov entered the UFC 5 tournament. He firstly faced karate expert Ernie Verdicia, winning by pulling guard, sweeping and performing an arm triangle choke. Oleg would then advance round, but he was defeated by eventual tournament winner Dan Severn, who passed his guard and landed knees to the head and headbutts for the doctor stoppage. After losing at UFC 5, Taktarov went to live and train with his friend Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den training camp. Taktarov talked about his experience in an interview: "For a month Ken and I fought together. The guys who later became good fighters, like Frank Shamrock or Guy Mezger, were not any competition for me at the time. The only guy I trained with was Ken, and we had battles behind closed doors. Nobody was allowed to watch them."

Taktarov returned at UFC 6, whose first round saw him eliminating Dave Beneteau via guillotine choke in a scrambling match. Later, in the semifinal bout, Anthony Macias was brought in to replace Patrick Smith due to injury, and the fight ended in 9 seconds with Taktarov submitting Macias by another guillotine choke becoming the fastest submission in UFC history. Taktarov went to the main event of the night, facing the much larger Tank Abbott in 17 grueling minutes. Abbott dominated thanks to his takedown defense and striking skill, landing numerous punches through the match, while Taktarov remained patient and counterattacked with submission attempts; finally, when both fighters looked devoid of energy, Taktarov locked a rear naked choke for the tournament victory. Taktarov displayed incredible heart and willpower during the fight and had to be taken to the hospital afterwards with an oxygen mask on due to the high altitude of Casper, Wyoming.

Well respected by Bob and Ken Shamrock, Taktarov, being the reigning tournament champion, was set up to fight his friend and reigning UFC Champion Ken Shamrock in UFC 7 for the UFC Superfight Championship. Taktarov again displayed an incredible amount of heart in this fight, taking a lot of punishment but refusing to quit. The fight had a 30-minute time limit and went into three minutes of overtime, finishing as a draw at 33 minutes.

Taktarov then entered the UFC's Ultimate Ultimate 1995 tournament. He defeated Dave Beneteau again, this time via leglock, and went to face luta livre exponent and highly regarded UFC 7 champion Marco Ruas. The match was lengthy and slow, with Taktarov trying repeatedly to take Ruas to the ground while the Brazilian caused damage with strikes and made Oleg bleed. After the time went out, however, Taktarov won the decision for his superior aggression during the match. He lastly met Dan Severn in the finals in a rematch of their fight at UFC 5. After 30 minutes the judges awarded Dan Severn a decision victory based on points scored during the bout.

On 21 November 2003, at UFC 45, the UFC conducted a poll amongst the fans to determine the most popular fighters in the history of the UFC. The fans voted Oleg as one of the top 10 most popular fighters in the history of the UFC.


Taktarov fought in the first ever Pride 1 show on 11 October 1997 facing Canadian heavyweight and UFC veteran Gary Goodridge. Unfortunately for Oleg, he suffered a frightening knockout loss. After being knocked unconscious, the hulking 'Big Daddy' landed a scary right hook on the prone Taktarov. Oleg had to be carried out on a stretcher. He later fully recovered. In one of his recent interviews he attributed Goodridge's victory to the peak of the anabolic steroid cycle that Goodridge allegedly went through prior to the fight. Taktarov further asserted that Goodridge's following performances (i.e. a string of losses) clearly indicated the downtrend of the steroid cycle.

Perhaps the most famous non-UFC fight of his MMA career is when he faced Renzo Gracie in the MARS Reality Fighting event. The anticipated ground battle never took off and he lost by KO by an up kick as he was looking for a leg submission.

Oleg faced his rival Marco Ruas once again in Brazil in a super fight at the World Vale Tudo Championships. It was agreed that there would be no judges for this bout, and when time ran out, it was ruled a draw.

Oleg faced Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Sean Alvarez in Pentagon Combat an event held in Brazil. Wearing boxing trunks, he displayed boxing skills by knocking out his opponent.

In Russia, for a specialised event Oleg faced Dolph Lundgren in a celebrity boxing match and won via unanimous decision.

Return to mixed martial arts

Prior to making a successful comeback to the sport in 2007, Taktarov's last bout was in 2001. Taktarov announced in an online radio interview in November 2007 his plans to return to MMA with BodogFight. He won his debut match against John Marsh at 33 seconds into the 2nd round of the match by submission (kneebar). He then fought UFC 14 and UFC 15 heavyweight champion Mark Kerr, again winning by kneebar.

Taktarov is now retired from mixed martial arts.

Acting career

After temporarily retiring from mixed martial arts, Taktarov focused on his acting career and starred in the movies 15 Minutes, Bad Boys II, 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out, Air Force One and the 2002 version of Rollerball. He also appeared in the first episode of season 3 of Alias entitled The Two and in the NCIS season 5 finale Judgement Day. He has also appeared in a few Russian productions, and was cast in a few releases from 2007, such as We Own the Night. Taktarov also released several instructional Sambo videos and has made an instructional video with Vladimir Vasiliev entitled Russian Mega Fighting. Taktarov more recently starred in Robert Rodriguez's franchise reboot, Predators, directed by Nimród Antal.

He is a leading actor in Ex-Wife (Russian TV series).


Championships and accomplishments

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • UFC 6 Tournament Champion
    • Ultimate Ultimate 1995 Runner Up
    • UFC 5 Tournament Semi-Finalist
    • UFC Viewer's Choice Award
    • 1994 Iron Gladiators Competition winner (twice)

Mixed martial arts record

See also

  • List of male mixed martial artists

External links

  • Professional MMA record for Oleg Taktarov from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata
  • Official website
  • Oleg Taktarov at the Internet Movie Database

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