Sambo Bite Mark ©FIAS

Nikita Kletskov takes off his uniform to show what appears to be a bite mark on his back

Feature Grappling, Knockouts and a Bite

The 2021 World Sambo Championships concluded Sunday in Uzbekistan with Russian athletes making a late surge to once again reassert their dominance in the sport they founded. Led by Magomed Magomedov's big knee strike knockout of Sokhibjon Khasanboev in the 88 kg combat sambo finals, Russians earned four gold medals on the last day to push their total for the tournament to 8 golds and 18 overall medals.

Consisting of competition in sport sambo for men and women and men's combat sambo, which allows striking, it was nations from the former Soviet Union, where sambo first became a sport, that dominated the tournament. The only countries which weren't part of the old Soviet-bloc to earn gold were Israel, whose Alice Schlesinger captured the women's under 72 kg division, and Cameroon's Maxwell Djantou Nana who took the over 98 kg combat sambo title. The event was marred by controversy on day two as local Uzbek competitor Sarbon Ernazarov was disqualified in the finals of the 71 kg sambo division when his Russian opponent complained to the referee that he had been bitten displaying an apparent bite mark on his back.

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