Irina Mazepa is the upcoming star of ONE FC. Her entry to the main stage was underlined with several good fights, making her a serious title contender. Talking exclusively with Fight-Madness Irina unraveled her goals and wishes. Ladies and gentlemen, Irina Mazepa!
1. Hello Irina. For starters, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello to all readers of Fight Madness! My name is Irina Mazepa, I come from Russia – from a very beautiful city – Saint-Petersburg. I am a successful martial artsdevotee.
2. You come from Russia, which houses ardent Fedor supporters. How influential has his success been on other upcoming fighters from Russia, promotion and events vise?
Yes, Fedor is very popular in Russia and he deserved every bit of that success. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet met on any of the events. Personally I like to be around talented and motivated fighters,especially if they speak Russian.It’s an inspiration for me to watch other fights, and a pleasure to discuss the fights afterwards.
2. When did you start with martial arts?
It all started when I was 6 years old. I was drawn to different all sorts of physical activities like athletic, swimming even circus… I really like to move, have fun, it helps me forget about problems, and of course it gives me satisfaction… When I was 10 I asked my mother to take me towushuto which I was immediately drawn. It was great, we were training and had lots of fun with some great people. I made really good progress and my coach EleonoraVolokontceva helped me to use my talent and participate in bigger competitions.You see my family wasn’t rich, so this was a great chance and an honor for me. She taught us how to use diverse technics and also to handle different kind of weapons. Latter I became five-times wushu world champion – 2004 Poland, traditional wushu; 2006 USA, Grand Champion US Capitol Classics; 2008 Italy, WTKA World Championship & Martial Marathon – 3 GOLD MEDALS.
In 2006 I decided to work in Cirque duSoleil, so I went through casting. That year also I meet French manager Didier le Borgne at the World Championship K-1 in Turkey, where I did a show program. He immediately showed interest to see me fight. That’s how I got the idea in the first place. In 2008 I got support from Viktor Shuvalov, and the two of usstarted work in Russia. Didier also organized for me to train in Europe. Nowadays I have a professional promoter Yamamoto Mayumi. They all helped me a lot and always believed in me.
3. Which is the victory in your career that you treasure the most?
All my victories are dear to me,and also the loses are important for me and I think for my fans too, you know, that way you can learn how to be a winner. It doesn’t go without experience. It takes all sorts of experimentation in the ring; sometimes you have to try something new mainly because every opponent is a different warrior, so you have to constantly search for theright key to win.
4. What is your life motto?
IMPROVISE, ADAPT, OVERCOME!
5. You fought in many big organizations. Where did you feel most comfortable?
ONE FC, it’s a professional and very clear organization, with great performance level. They take care of their fighters!
6. You have an impressive score – do you look for a particular rematch?
I never keep track of my score, if you believe. So it is better to ask Didier about. I also don’t care about rematches.
7. Many people think that MMA is not a sport at all, but violence. What is your message to those people?
The fight is a dialog between two preparedand determined persons;it’s also an unblemished display of character! But if this is not your cup of tea, then simply don’t follow it. It is only for people who understand it.
8. You are an inspiration to many young fighters. What advice would you give to those starting out?
Be ready to experiment.It’s also important to have interest, and be able to find your inspiration; live your life!
9. What are your goals and wishes?
To win without compromises. Nothing can deny you!
10. How big an impact has being a ONE fighter had on your life and recognition?
Actually I do not have any strong feelings about it yet, but I’d like to have that noted in my story someday!
11. When and where is your next fight ?
I do not know yet, because at the moment I’m recuperating. But I hope it will be soon.
12. Which fight do you remember best?
Maybe the first fight with ONE FC, because it was new experience for me. It was as real as it gets, we has almost no protection.
13. What is your favorite food?
Oh, I like to eat nice, tasty and fresh food -especially with good company!
14. Describe yourself in three words?
Healthy, impressive and professional!
15. If you look back on your career, would you change anything or decide otherwise?
I prefer to look forward; maybe we can talk about it again when I’m older.
16. What do you do in your spare time, if there is any?
I prefer to spend my free time with my family and also with my Academy Martial Arts students. SometimesI do stunt work for movies. This I love very much because it’s an opportunity tomet interesting and professional people– it an creative business.
17. What’s your opinion on the use of prohibited substances in sports?
I have no tolerance for that. It’s unhealthy, and above all a deception for you personally.
18. What goes up in your mind when walking into the ring – are you focused on the fight, what is the level of nervousness and adrenalin?
I go in to write my story. I work smart and hard, that way I feel the power to fight. It’s my choice!
19. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Right here on Earth! Surrounded by talented, interesting, curious, active and charismatic people!
20. Your message to fans and friends?
Thanks you all who follow me and help me. It is a great honor for me!
Thank you Irina for taking your time to talk to us.
Pics from Irina fb .