Article written by Ethan Paki and originally published by Oko! Magazine, an official partner of Kafkadesk. czech MMA
Last year was huge for the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene in the Czech Republic. In February 2019, the world’s biggest MMA promotion, the UFC, brought its production to the nation for the first time ever, with local Czech fighter Lucie Pudilová competing on the event’s main card.
The past year has also seen the rise of other fighters, including Jiří Procházka in the RIZIN promotion and Makhmud Muradov in the UFC.
The future looks bright for Czech MMA. What can we expect from our small country this year and who will be flying the flag for the Czech Republic on the international MMA scene?
Despite the rise of MMA stars in our corner of the world, such as Poland’s Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Slovakia’s Attila Végh, only recently have we seen Czech competitors in the sphere of combat sports shine under the bright lights of the international stage and at an elite level.
This is not to say that the country is without successful combat competitors in the past, however. Lukáš Konečný is probably the country’s most decorated professional boxer, with a record of 51-5 (23 KOs). Konečný is a former Olympian, holds a plethora of European titles, and, in 2008, fought for the WBO light middleweight title.
Petr Vondráček is a former super heavyweight WKA (World Kickboxing Association) world champion and K1-Grand Prix competitor, while Lukáš Krpálek is an Olympic gold medallist in judo (+100kg division).
All are champions, and compete at the highest level in each of their respective fields, but MMA requires a mastery of many if not all of these practices to compete at the very top of the division.
Boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling and Muay Thai kickboxing are just some of many fighting disciplines that need to be mastered in order to reach the pedigree status held by some of the sport’s most recognised fighters, such as Jon “Bones” Jones, Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes and The Notorious Conor McGregor.