Almost one year on from his success at the 2021 GAMMA Asian Championships, Champion Oryntaev Yermakhan Anuarovich from Kazakhstan spoke to us about his MMA career so far, his experiences at the 2021 GAMMA World and Asian Championships, the inclusion of Striking MMA and what the future looks like.

Growing up in Kazakhstan, MMA was not as popular when Anaurovich began at age 10 back in 2021, then it is now. First training in boxing and then trying many different sports, he began focusing on his chosen sport in 2016, “I fell in love with this sport, and I knew from the start that I would be able to compete at international events and represent my country the best way I can.” Ambitious words from the youngster who comes from the Almaty region.

Growing up with idols such as Roy Jones Junior, Anaurovich was learning plenty about combat which would stand him in good stead for the future. In recent years, Kazakhstan has produced a lot of very successful MMA athletes and that is helping to raise the standards for the next generation of athletes, “I am a member of one of the best MMA teams in Kazakhstan and my teammates are professional athletes Shavkhat Rakhmonov, Assu Almabayev and many other established names.”

The 2021 Asian Championships were a landmark event for GAMMA as it was the first time that Striking MMA was included in a Continental Championships, and this proved to be a popular inclusion for Anaurovich, “I have a boxing background, so it’s natural that I prefer to stand and fight. Striking MMA suits my style very well, that’s why I choose it and I did well. These contests are always entertaining, and I have become even fitter as these bouts require even more stamina. I am very pleased that MMA and Striking MMA bouts will continue to be a part of the GAMMA Championships.”

Last year was a very successful year for Anaurovich as he was crowned Asian Champion in Kyrgyzstan and went on to win a silver medal at the 2021 GAMMA World Championships in Amsterdam. “The final match of the Asian Championships has given me memories that will stay with me forever, it was amazing. There were many supporters from my hometown watching on YouTube and I received a great welcome when I returned home. I was especially happy that I made my parents and those close to me very proud.”

Being the only MMA athlete from the Almaty region who won an Asian title and made it to the finals of the World Championships is a significant step for Anaurovich, “this is my sport, it is my path in life. I am doing quite well so far and I’m going to leave my footprints in MMA history. The level of competition is extremely high at these events, as anyone representing their country is very talented and I am happy to compete alongside these great athletes and one day become world champion.”

Team Kazakhstan usually travels in big numbers to GAMMA events and are certainly vocal when their athletes compete, “our supporters are on a different level compared to any other teams and supporters. We are like Liverpool fans, you’ll never walk alone, we always stay together. Finally, I would like to thank my parents for the way they raised me and for making me who I am today.”

With the 2022 edition of the GAMMA Asian-Pacific Championships a few weeks away, we are looking forward to welcoming Anaurovich and his teammates to Bangkok and seeing if they can repeat their success from Kyrgyzstan when they topped the medals table winning 36 medals in total (14 gold, 8 silver and 14 bronze)

To find out more about Oryntaev, follow him on Instagram