ADCC Trials Champion Misha Cirkunov

The product of hard work and good coaching (Sam Zakula), Misha is surely destined to leave his mark and it is with great honor to say that he will be representing Canada at the upcoming ADCC world championships.Upon making predictions for the recent ADCC North American trials, anyone outside of Canada would never have thought that this unknown grappler from Canada (Misha) would be champion. I admit, not even myself, but I knew he would make a mark and surprise everyone. Little did I know that he would surprise even myself by taking the whole tournament and not even get scored on once throughout his division.

I have seen Misha Cirkunov tear up the Canadian grappling scene these past years and I know how skilled he is. The product of hard work and good coaching (Sam Zakula), Misha is surely destined to leave his mark and it is with great honor to say that he will be representing Canada at the upcoming ADCC world championships.

BALEIA-Misha, first of all congratulations on your win at the ADCC trials. You are well known in the Canadian Grappling circuit having won the Ontario Grand Prix circuit last year but were sort of an unknown to the fans at the ADCC trials. Do you feel that being unknown worked to your advantage or are you that good that you would have won anayhow!

MISHA- Thank you! I think being unknown is always better so that nobody knows your style , but I also think when you step on the mat you should be ready for anything no matter who it is!

BALEIA- With who and where did you train with for the ADCC trials?

MISHA- I did my training at Kombatfitnessgym in Toronto , with talented grapplers at the Tap Star team. Guys like Mark Bocek, Chris Banic , Peter Nolan, Daniel Tsakos, Alex Luchkin and my coach Sam Zakula.

BALEIA -What other grappling titles do you have?

MISHA – I have some other titles in grapling sports such 1st place in Judo junior national championships 2003. Also im 2 time junior national freestyle wrestling champion 2005-2006.And i also won greco roman wrestling national championsips in 2005. And my best result on the international scene is 9th place in the junior world wrestling championships.

BALEIA – Which match was your most difficult at the competition?

MISHA – I think that Elliot Marshal gave me the best go at this tournament ADCC trials.

BALEIA – Both you and your teammate Mark Bocek were victorious in your respective divisions and did not get a single point scored on you. What’s the secret?

MISHA – I think it’s not a secret, me and Mark Bocek we train hard every day. That’s what makes us strong.

BALEIA- You defeated the Elliot Marshal in the finals who is well known in the US, Can you talk a little bit about this match?

MISHA- Yes, Elliot Marshal is a good grappler. I did not know who he was untill the last day. But my coach Sam Zakula and I did some research. I knew that he is dangerous in certain positions, that’s why I had 2 depend on my corner a lot . And at the end everything worked out just like Tap Star team planned.

BALEIA – Do you feel that Canadian grapplers are not getting the attention that the U.S. or brazillian grapplers are?

MISHA- I think that Toronto grapplers are not getting same attention yet. But I’m sure we also have some talent here in Toronto and this tournament was the 1st step to prove it!

BALEIA- Is there anyone you are looking forward to facing in the actual ADCC event who compete last year ?

MISHA- I’m not sure who is going to compete at ADCC this year but my goal is to grapple top guys and to learn as much is I can!

BALEIA – Do you think if given the opportunity you will make an attempt at the open weight division of Abu Dhabi?

MISHA- If I have this opportunity then yes I would love 2 participate in the open weight class!

BALEIA- Were you impressed by any other fighters at the trials?

MISHA- I was really impressed by my teammate Mark Bocek! He did not give up 1 point , he outwrestled everyone and I believe he was the most technical and dominant grappler at this tournament. I look up to him.

BALEIA- How do you feel that you could do against the other champions at your weight class of Abu Dhabi? Roger Gracie, Cacareco, Ricardo Almeida etc…?

MISHA- I love competition. I think that I’m still fresh in this sport! I’ve only been training BJJ for one year. I’m sure those big names don’t know who I am, just like most people at ADCC trials didn’t. My goal is to change that!

BALEIA-Who would you like to thank for all of your recent success?

MISHA-I’d love to say big thank you to my coach Sam Zakula I never had a coach like that! He knows sport so well. I also want to thank Peter Brauti and Rob Nikiforuch, my sponsors who helped me out for past few years with financial and other problems!

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Riccardo Ammendolia