Hardcore Fighting Championship (Hardcore FC, HFC, Hardcore Fighting) is a Russian sports organization based in Moscow. It held its debut tournament in June 2020. The organization specializes in bare-knuckle fighting. The founder is Russian businessman Anatoly Sulyanov
Back in 2017, Anatoly Sulianov opened an MMA fighting lineup at his fitness gym, Arena Fighting Club, but by 2018 he closed the project after failing to recoup his investment and focused on the usual fitness. At the end of 2018, he helped organize the first tournament of the "Battle for Hype" project, Amiran Sardarov, in which Askhab Tamayev and Philip Marvin fought. After watching the success of Battle for HYIP, Sulianov set out to create his own project in the fighting direction. Hardcore Fighting was founded in the early summer of 2020 by Russian businessman Anatoly Sulyanov. Choosing between pop-MMA, similar to what Amiran Sardarov (Khacha Diary) did in his "Battle for Hype" project, and fist fights, Sulyanov decided to create a fist-fighting promotion.
Hardcore FC Fistfighting League
Inspired by the success of the American bare-knuckle fighting promotion Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, Sulyanov created a Russian bare-knuckle fighting league in the summer of 2020, which he referred to as the first professional bare-knuckle fighting league (while the first Russian fist fighting league was Top Dog FC, which was founded in 2019). The events were held in indoor arenas, and the tournaments were not live-streamed. As time went on, videos of the tournaments were released on the official Youtube channel, alternating between videos and press conferences. The heavy emphasis on the show segment greatly increased the popularity of the Hardcore FC organization. In less than six months, the number of subscribers exceeded one million.
On December 31, 2021, the number of subscribers to the main YouTube channel exceeded 2 million.
The first season began with the launch of the league itself, in June 2020. In the first season, the main event was an elimination tournament of 64 fighters with a weight limit of 85 kg While the tournament featured fighters weighing less than 65 kg. There was also a heavyweight grand prix of 8 fighters. The fighters, who left the grand-prix fell into their weight classes and had rating fights. The winner of the first season became Mukhamed Kalmykov, who defeated in a competitive struggle Emil Novruzov of Azerbaijan. The winner of the heavyweight grand-prix was Timur Slashchinin.
The second season
In March 2021, the second season of Hardcore Fighting started, and it no longer used an octagonal cage as in the first season, but an octagonal ring. The weight limits were changed: the minimum weight was 70, and the maximum 89. The number of prize places was increased. In the first season, only the winner received a special prize (1 million rubles), and in the second season significant prizes were given for the first three places, and the third place bout between the fighters who lost the semifinal fights was also added. In parallel, rating fights continued to be held. The number of tournaments held and the sports component of the league increased in comparison with the first season. The format of championship fights was changed from three-round matches to five-round matches.
Introduction of other leagues in the Hardcore organization
Main article: Hardcore MMA
In February 2021, Hardcore announced the introduction of a new Hardcore MMA league. On April 21, 2021, a new HFC MMA YouTube channel was registered, and on May 12.
On October 13, 2021, an Epic Fighting Championship YouTube channel was created, and on November 17, a teaser with the official announcement of the EFC league was posted. This league is announced as an organization that specializes in freak fights. The hosts are rapper Syava and showman Stas Baretsky.
On November 30, the announcement of the introduction of a professional boxing league - Hardcore Boxing.
Other projects by Hardcore
On December 20, the first episode of Hardnews, a newly created martial arts news channel on YouTube, took place. The anchorman of the channel is a well-known Russian sports commentator, Alexey Safonov, who is also the main commentator of Hardcore FC and Hardcore MMA tournaments.
January 12 was the announcement of Hardcore Tattoo (an institution which will consist of a tattoo studio, a barbershop and a bar with craft beer).
The rules of engagement.
The official website highlights the 3 main rules of combat:
Fighting is done exclusively on fists. Fighting and hitting other parts of the body - prohibited.
Fight lasts 2 rounds of 2 minutes, with the possibility of an additional, third, "Extra Round". (This rule for qualifying duels. Ranked fights are 3 rounds, and championships from the second season - 5 rounds)
No protection for fists, except for wrist bandages to prevent hand injuries.
Lower leg kicks, knee kicks, leg kicks, shoulder kicks, forearm kicks, elbow kicks, open hand blows, punches to the back, to the back of the head, to the kidneys, to the back of the neck
Strangles, wrestling, pushing, holding the opponent, grabbing, throwing, piling on the opponent, low bending or diving, dangerous head movements
Hooking the opponent's arms with strikes, hitting the opponent lying or rising, passive defense, turning your back on the opponent
Unnecessary talking and insults, failure to obey commands of the referee, aggressive behavior to the referee, spitting a mouthguard
Blows with a clenched fist, in a "stand" position on the opponent's authorized zones
Wrist bandaging, to prevent hand injuries
Transitions to the clinch, blows in the clinch
Hardcore FC is not a classic sports organization. Duels are not broadcasted live, but broadcasted later with high-quality video editing. The emphasis is made on the sports component as well as on the media one.
Light light - up to 66 kg, (up to July 2021 - 65 kg);
Light - up to 71 kg, (till July, 2021 - up to 70 kg)
Intermediate - up to 77 kilograms;
Intermediate - up to 84 kg;
Light Heavy - up to 93 kg;
Heavy - over 93 kg.