Mikhail Ilyukhin (born November 21, 1966) is a retired Russian mixed martial artist and professional wrestler who competed in the light heavyweight division. He competed in both Fighting Network Rings, and Pride Fighting Championships, and was a prominent member of Russia Top Team, where he trained with the likes of Volk Han, Fedor Emelianenko, and Sergei Kharitonov.[1] At Pride 26, Ilyukhin lost by stoppage to Quinton Jackson.[2] He won his last fight at K-1 – Hero's Lithuania against Jordanas Poskaitis on November 26, 2005. It appears that following the demise of the Russia Top Team Ilyukhin has retired.[3]

Mikhail Ilyukhin
Born (1966-11-21) November 21, 1966 (age 53)
Tula, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union (now Russia)
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
DivisionLight Heavyweight
TeamRussian Top Team
Years active1994–2005
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout1
By submission33
By decision2
By knockout6
By submission12
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog



After a successful career in sambo, Ilyukhin debuted in the professional wrestling promotion Rings in 1994, submitting Mitsuya Nagai in his first match. He would become a part of the Rings Russia team, along with Volk Han, Andrei Kopylov and Nikolai Zouev. One year later, he had his first contact in MMA represented Rings Russia in the International Absolute Fighting Council (IAFC)'s Absolute Fighting Eurasian Championship. He won the event tournament by submitting six opponents on a row, five of them by Achilles hold and in roughly one minute each.

Only three months after, he returned to IAFC for a similar format, and his performance seemed to follow close. He made short work of his first two opponents with an armbar and a guillotine choke, submitted kickboxer Igor Vovchanchyn by digging his chin into Igor's eye from dominant position, and skipped a match when teammate Achmed Sagidgusenov threw the fight for him. However, at the finals Ilyukhin would meet Brazilian jiu-jitsu exponent Ricardo Morais, an apprentice of Carlson Gracie who outweighed Mikhail by almost 70 Ib. The Russian unexpectedly dominated the first segments of the match, hitting repeated headbutts and punches through Morais's guard until swelling shut one of his eyes, but he made the mistake of standing up, and it allowed the Brazilian to sweep him and take his back. After a long series of elbow strikes to Ilyukhin's spine, Morais locked a rear naked choke and got the win.

Despite the loss, the bout against Morais gained him fame in the Brazilian vale tudo scene, and he got a spot in the first event of Universal Vale Tudo Fighting, which was coincidentally hosted in Japan. He faced another against another Carlson Gracie trainee, the debutant Carlos Barreto, still heavier yet more similar to him in weight. The bout ended in the second round with Ilyukhin submitted again by rear naked choke. Months after, Ilyukhin participated in Shoot Boxing's MMA S-Cup event and was pitted against capoeira fighter Mestre Hulk, who was known for his tournament victory against Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Amaury Bitetti. The Russian won the match using the already known chin submission.

Back in Rings, Ilyukhin had a vale tudo rules match in 1996 against Adilson Lima, a Carlos Gracie, Jr. trainee who had been famously defeated twice by Vovchanchyn in the first IAFC tournament. The match started slow, with Lima taking down Illukhin and mounting him, but the Russian escaped thanks to a failed rear naked choke attempt. Illyukhin gained a yellow card by illegally grabbing the ropes in order not to be taken down again, yet he managed to take down the Brazilian himself and almost finished him with an ankle hold before the end of the time. The match was declared a draw, but Lima and his cornermen Renzo Gracie protested the result and demanded another round, which Rings chairman Akira Maeda and referee Yuji Shimada eventually had to concede. The fight was restarted for a heated contest, as Lima attacked Illyukhin at the handshake and grabbed the ropes himself while Mikhail threw an illegall headbutt, and it featured yet another controversial moment when Shimada stopped the match to a submission win for Lima before Illyukhin surrendered.[4]

Mikhail returned to MMA format in 1999 facing Ultimate Fighting Championship Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture. The American, as a decorated wrestler, managed to stop Ilyukhin's insistent takedowns and push him against the ring ropes, almost making him fall through them at one point. After brawling on the clinch for most of the match, Illyukhin secured an arm with his back against the turnbuckle and dropped for a Kimura lock, but the referee intervened to reposition them on the center of the ring. In the process, the Russian visibly advanced the hold, and once restarted the fight, he completed it and Couture was forced to tap out. The win was immediately contested by Couture, but nothing come out of the complain.

In 1999, Ilyukhin was selected to compete in Rings' first MMA tournament, King of Kings 1999. He defeated his two first opponents, Tito Ortiz's teammate Justin McCully and HOOKnSHOOT tournament winner Brad Kohler, and then faced luta livre fighter Renato Sobral at the block's finals. The bout saw Sobral earning a yellow card for intentionally throwing Mikhail over the top rope, as well as the Russian attempting takedowns and boxing in order to try to hold his own. After the judges ruled a draw, an overtime was called; Mikhail performed a standing Kimura lock entry, but Sobral skillfully reversed it to an armbar and got the win. Ilyukhin also took part in the next edition of the tournament in 2000, facing Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in the first round. Although the bout looked to be back and forth, Kohsaka landed a striking combination in the second round which knocked Mikhail out, eliminating him from the event.


Ilyukhin took part in a special match against Quinton Jackson in Pride Fighting Championships in 2003. The Russian was successful in taking and holding down Jackson, but his opponent powered out and started hitting back, knocking Mikhail down and making him earn a yellow card for crawling under the ropes. Jackson dominated the standing exchanges afterwards, and after avoiding a triangle choke, he gained side control over Mikhail and threw knees to the liver, making him tap out.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

  • Fighting Network Rings
    • 1997 Rings Mega Battle Tournament Runner up[5]
    • 2001 Rings Openweight Championship Tournament semifinalist[5]
  • International Absolute Fighting Council
    • IAFC Absolute Fighting Eurasian Championship Tournament Winner
    • IAFC Absolute Fighting Championship Tournament Runner Up

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
42 matches 30 wins 11 losses
By knockout 0 2
By submission 28 9
By decision 2 0
Draws 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 30-11-1 Jordanas Poskaitis Submission (half boston crab) Hero's Lithuania 2005 November 26, 2005 N/A Vilnius, Lithuania
Win 29-11-1 Petrov Kolev Submission (heel hook) Rings Russia: CIS vs. The World August 20, 2005 1 Lithuania
Loss 28-11-1 Quinton Jackson Submission (knee to the body) Pride 26 June 8, 2003 1 6:26 Yokohama, Japan
Win 28-10-1 Katsuhisa Fujii Submission (guillotine choke) PC: Premium Challenge May 6, 2002 1 5:45 Tokyo, Japan
Draw 27-10-1 Hiromitsu Kanehara Draw Rings: World Title Series Grand Final February 15, 2002 3 5:00 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 27-10 Bobby Hoffman TKO (corner stoppage) Rings: 10th Anniversary August 11, 2001 2 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 27-9 Borislav Jeliazkov Submission (armbar) Rings Lithuania: Bushido Rings 2 June 15, 2001 2 2:06 Yokohama, Japan
Win 26-9 Kestutis Smirnovas Submission (achilles lock) Rings Lithuania: Bushido Rings 2 May 8, 2001 1 Lithuania
Win 25-9 Martin Lazarev Decision (4-0 points) Rings Russia: Russia vs. Bulgaria April 6, 2001 1 10:00 Ekaterinburg, Russia
Loss 24-9 Tsuyoshi Kohsaka KO (punches) Rings: King of Kings 2000 Block B December 22, 2000 2 1:53 Osaka, Japan
Win 24-8 Valerijus Golubovskis Submission (armbar) Rings Lithuania: Bushido Rings 1 October 24, 2000 N/A Lithuania
Win 23-8 Bakouri Gogitidze Submission (Achilles lock) Rings: Russia vs. Georgia August 16, 2000 1 7:25 Russia
Win 22-8 Emil Kristev Submission (Achilles Lock) Rings Russia: Russia vs. Bulgaria May 21, 2000 1 0:00 Tula, Russia
Win 21-8 Lee Hasdell Decision Rings Russia: Russia vs. The World May 20, 2000 3 5:00 Ekaterinburg, Russia
Loss 20-8 Renato Sobral Submission (armbar) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Final February 26, 2000 3 0:40 Tokyo, Japan
Win 20-7 Brad Kohler Submission (armbar) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block A October 28, 1999 1 2:16 Tokyo, Japan
Win 19-7 Justin McCully Technical Submission (achilles lock) Rings: King of Kings 1999 Block A October 28, 1999 1 4:48 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 18-7 Bakouri Gogitidze Submission (rear-naked choke) Rings: Rings Georgia October 8, 1999 1 5:07 Georgia, United States
Win 18-6 Joop Kasteel Submission (achilles lock) Rings: Rise 3rd May 22, 1999 1 9:40 Japan
Win 17-6 Randy Couture Submission (kimura) Rings: Rise 1st March 20, 1999 1 7:43 Tokyo, Japan
Win 16-6 Masayuki Naruse Submission Rings: Third Fighting Integration May 29, 1998 1 13:52 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 15-6 Kiyoshi Tamura Submission Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1997 Final January 21, 1998 1 18:12 Tokyo, Japan
Win 15-5 Volk Han Submission Rings: World Mega Battle Tournament 1997: Semi-Finals December 23, 1997 1 9:36 Fukuoka, Japan
Win 14-5 Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Submission Rings: World Mega Battle Tournament 1997: Second Round November 20, 1997 1 14:16 Osaka, Japan
Win 13-5 Masayuki Naruse Submission (Achilles lock) Rings: Mega Battle Tournament 1997 Semifinal 1 October 25, 1997 1 12:28 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 12-5 Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Submission Rings : Mega Battle Tournament 1996: Grand Final January 22, 1997 1 10:04 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 12-4 Kiyoshi Tamura Submission Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1996 Opening Round October 25, 1996 1 14:40 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 12-3 Adilson Lima Submission (armbar) Rings: Maelstrom 6 August 24, 1996 1 24:52 Tokyo, Japan
Win 12-2 Mestre Hulk Submission (chin in the eye) Shoot Boxing: S-Cup 1996 July 14, 1996 1 6:59 Japan
Loss 11-2 Carlos Barreto Submission (rear-naked choke) UVF 1: Universal Vale Tudo Fighting 1 April 5, 1996 2 3:15 Japan
Win 11-1 Wataru Sakata Submission Rings: Budokan Hall 1996 January 24, 1996 1 10:44 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 10-1 Ricardo Morais Submission (rear-naked choke) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship 1 November 25, 1995 1 9:44 Moscow, Russia
Win 10-0 Achmed Sagidgusenov Submission (achilles lock) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship 1 November 25, 1995 1 0:05 Moscow, Russia
Win 9-0 Igor Vovchanchyn Submission (chin in the eye) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship 1 November 25, 1995 1 6:30 Moscow, Russia
Win 8-0 Andrei Besedin Submission (guillotine choke) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship 1 November 25, 1995 1 1:21 Moscow, Russia
Win 7-0 Zagil Eribinov Submission (armbar) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Championship 1 November 25, 1995 1 1:35 Moscow, Russia
Win 6-0 Nikolai Zouev Submission Rings: Battle Dimensions Tournament 1995 Opening Round October 21, 1995 1 12:27 Fukuoka, Japan
Win 5-0 Victor Yerohin Submission (rear-naked choke) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Eurasian Championship July 1, 1995 1 3:54 Moscow, Russia
Win 4-0 Leonid Efremov Submission (achilles lock) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Eurasian Championship July 1, 1995 1 1:09 Moscow, Russia
Win 3-0 Vadim Shevchenko Submission (achilles lock) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Eurasian Championship July 1, 1995 1 0:08 Moscow, Russia
Win 2-0 Maxim Tarasov Submission (achilles lock) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Eurasian Championship July 1, 1995 1 0:41 Moscow, Russia
Win 1-0 Piotr Tjernov Submission (achilles lock) IAFC: Absolute Fighting Eurasian Championship July 1, 1995 1 0:36 Moscow, Russia


  1. ^ Rules of Encagement Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine. FIGHT! Magazine. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
  2. ^ Rampage Jackson |. Kickassmma.com. Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
  3. ^ King Without a Crown: Fedor Emelianenko & Co. Find Their Own Way Archived 2011-10-04 at the Wayback Machine. FIGHT! Magazine (1976-09-28). Retrieved on 2011-12-18.
  4. ^ Wrestling Observer Newsletter, September 2, 1996
  5. ^ a b "Pro Wrestling History".

External linksEdit