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Oleg Nikolaevich Taktarov (Russian: Оле́г Никола́евич Такта́ров; born 26 August 1967) is a Russian actor and retired mixed martial artist. He was a practitioner of sambo and judo and competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Pride Fighting Championships. He won the UFC 6 tournament.[2]. He holds notable wins over Marco Ruas, Tank Abbott, Mark Kerr, and Anthony Macias.

Oleg Taktarov
Oleg Taktarov 7 July 2010.jpg
Taktarov in July 2010
BornOleg Nikolaevich Taktarov
(1967-08-26) 26 August 1967 (age 52)
Arzamas-16, Gorky Oblast, RSFSR, USSR
Native nameОле́г Такта́ров
Other namesThe Russian Bear
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight95 kg (209 lb; 14 st 13 lb)
StyleSambo, Judo, Jujutsu, Boxing
RankMaster of Sport and 3rd Dan black belt in Judo
Master of Sport in Sambo[1]
Black belt in Ju-Jitsu
Years active1993 - 1998, 2001, 2007 - 2008 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout2
By submission14
By decision1
By knockout3
By decision2
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: March 10, 2011 (2011-03-10)

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

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 relatively unknown. 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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[3] 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."[3]

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.[4] 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.[5]

Return to mixed martial artsEdit

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.[6] He won his debut match against John Marsh at 33 seconds into the 2nd round of the match by submission (kneebar). He last fight was against UFC 14 and UFC 15 heavyweight champion Mark Kerr, again winning by kneebar.

Taktarov retired from mixed martial arts with a record of 17 wins, 5 losses, and 2 draws. He was never submitted in a mixed martial arts match.

Acting careerEdit

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[7] 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.[8] Taktarov also released several instructional Sambo videos and has made an instructional video with Vladimir Vasiliev entitled Russian Mega Fighting.[9] Taktarov more recently starred in Den of Thieves(as Alexi), Robert Rodriguez's franchise reboot, Predators, directed by Nimród Antal.

He is a leading actor in the Russian television series Ex-Wife.


Year Movie Role
1997 Total Force Boris
1997 Absolute Force Agent Boris Checkniov
1997 JAG Russian Officer
1997 Air Force One Russian Prison Guard No. 2
1999 Counter Measures Dmitry
2001 15 Minutes Oleg Razgul
2001 My Friend's Love Affair Boris
2001 The Quickie Boris
2002 Rollerball Denekin
2003 Red Serpent Sergei
2003 Bad Boys II Josef Kuninskovich
2003 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out Emil Matasareanu
2003 Alias Gordei Volkov
2004 Sins of the Fathers (rus. Грехи отцов) Jerome Thompson
2004 National Treasure Shippen
2005 Call me Genee (rus. Зови меня Джинн) Ufa
2005 Law of Corruption (rus. Мужской сезон. Бархатная революция) Skala
2005 To Hunt an Elk (rus. Охота на изюбря) Kamaz
2006 Shift (rus. Сдвиг) Fetisov
2006 Miami Vice Russian Security
2007 We Own the Night Pavel Lubyarsky
2007 The Death and Life of Bobby Z Oleg
2007 Rockaway Ivan
2007 A Second Before... Oleg
2008 Montana Nikolai
2008 NCIS Viggo Dratnyev
2008 Righteous Kill Yevgeny Mugalat
2010 Predators Nikolai
2011 Generation P Vovchik
2011 Battlefield 3 Dmitri "Dima" Mayakovsky
2013 Officer Down Oleg Emelyanenko
2013 Viy Gritsko
2017 Battle of the Drones Gergori
2018 Den of Thieves Alexi

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
24 matches 17 wins 5 losses
By knockout 2 3
By submission 14 0
By decision 1 2
Draws 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 17–5–2 Mark Kerr Submission (kneebar) YAMMA Pit Fighting April 11, 2008 1 1:55 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 16–5–2 John Marsh Submission (kneebar) BodogFIGHT: USA vs. Russia November 30, 2007 2 0:33 Moscow, Russia
Win 15–5–2 Aaron Salinas Submission (armbar) Total Kombat May 13, 2001 1 1:24 McAllen, Texas, United States
Win 14–5–2 Moti Horenstein Submission (kneebar) National Freesparring February 21, 1998 1 3:24 Almaty, Kazakhstan
Win 13–5–2 Mick Tierney Submission (kneebar) 1 3:58
Loss 12–5–2 Gary Goodridge KO (punch) Pride 1 October 11, 1997 1 4:57 Tokyo, Japan
Win 12–4–2 Sean Alvarez KO (punches) Pentagon Combat September 27, 1997 1 0:52 Brazil
Win 11–4–2 Chuck Kim Submission (guillotine choke) World Fighting Federation February 24, 1997 1 0:22 Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Loss 10–4–2 Renzo Gracie KO (upkick and punch) Martial Arts Reality Superfighting November 22, 1996 1 1:02 Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Draw 10–3–2 Marco Ruas Draw World Vale Tudo Championship 2 November 10, 1996 1 31:12 Brazil
Win 10–3–1 Joe Charles Submission (kneebar) World Vale Tudo Championship 1 August 14, 1996 1 4:42 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 9–3–1 Ryushi Yanagisawa Decision (lost points) Pancrase - Truth 5 May 16, 1996 1 15:00 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 9–2–1 Dan Severn Decision (unanimous) Ultimate Ultimate 1995 December 16, 1995 1 30:00 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 9–1–1 Marco Ruas Decision (unanimous) 1 18:00
Win 8–1–1 Dave Beneteau Submission (achilles hold) 1 1:15
Draw 7–1–1 Ken Shamrock Draw UFC 7 September 8, 1995 1 33:00 Buffalo, New York, United States For UFC Superfight title
Win 7–1 Tank Abbott Submission (rear naked choke) UFC 6 July 14, 1995 1 17:47 Casper, Wyoming, United States Won UFC 6 Tournament
Win 6–1 Anthony Macias Submission (guillotine choke) 1 0:09 Fastest submission in UFC history
Win 5–1 Dave Beneteau Submission (guillotine choke) 1 0:57
Loss 4–1 Dan Severn TKO (cut) UFC 5 April 7, 1995 1 4:21 Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Win 4–0 Ernie Verdicia Submission (choke) 1 2:23
Win 3–0 Maxim Kuzin Submission (choke) White Dragon: Day Three October 23, 1993 1 1:11 Riga, Latvia
Win 2–0 Artur Almaev TKO (corner stoppage) White Dragon: Day Two October 22, 1993 1 4:25 Riga, Latvia
Win 1–0 Vaskas Hilma Submission (choke) 1 0:24

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "mixed martial arts-Oleg Taktarov". Archived from the original on 1 January 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Free Hosting - Domain Does Not Exist". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  5. ^ " - is for sale (Mma Movement)". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  6. ^ Episode 9 Archived 2008-02-28 at the Wayback Machine, American Sambo Association - Sambocast Radio Archived 2007-10-18 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ IMDb
  8. ^ IMDb
  9. ^ "Russian Martial Art". Systema Vasiliev. Russian Martial Art. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  10. ^ "UFC 45: Revolution". Fight Times Magazine. Retrieved 12 July 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Dan Severn
UFC 6 Tournament winner
July 14, 1995
Succeeded by
Marco Ruas