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HomeCulturebne IntelliNews - Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage

bne IntelliNews – Mongolia’s wrestling culture: From the grasslands to the cage

“When a boy is born on the steppes, he is a wrestler.” Old Mongolian saying. Many believe that this centuries-old wrestling tradition can be translated to Mongolian domination of professional mixed martial arts (MMA).

In a wrestling gym in Ulaanbaatar, a 15-year-old boy, who weighs about 65 kilograms takes his turn going against the assistant coach, an adult, a 30-year veteran of the sport who is exactly double the boy’s weight. Far from taking it easy on the boy, the coach throws him, tosses him and man-handles him, slamming him down on the mat, again and again. But each time, the boy gets up and charges at the coach, with a look of pure fire in his eyes. The bout goes on, non-stop, for more than 20 minutes. This scene which repeats itself,…

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