ProFC's Elena Katretskaya: A Russian Trailblazer
ProFC's Elena Katretskaya: A Russian Trailblazer
Over the years, We have seen great strides made when it pertains to women succeeding in professional sports. The United States has become synonymous with creating major platforms for women to show their talents at the highest levels possible. The best examples would be the growth of women's basketball on the professional level. Every summer, The women's professional league of basketball, the WNBA, has been a staple of American sports since the mid to late 90's. Women's soccer is another example of a platform that was given to women on the professional level.
During recent times within Women's Mixed Martial Arts, we have seen enormous growth in many facets. Talent, Prestige, Lineage, Star Power, depth... you name it, tremendous strides have been made. Pioneers like Gina Carano brought the sport to the mainstream, Crossover icons like Ronda Rousey took it to another level. Those aforementioned strides have spawned the aspirations of many young women looking to participate in the sport whether it is recreational or professionally. Such strides has also led to the construction of an all women's professional league, InvictaFC with a brilliant executive by the name of Shannon Knapp in the role of President. When you think of the UFC's Dana White, you have to immediately liken her as Women's MMA answer to the long time Zuffa Executive/Co owner.
Shannon Knapp's impression upon the sport is solidified without any doubt. InvictaFC is here to stay and has produced many greats within the sport today. Knapp is an individual that worked tirelessly within the MMA Business for many years but she isn't the only one that has done so in that regard. In fact, there is another pioneer in her own right, climbing the ladder within a male dominated industry. This ambitious woman is doing something unprecedented not only for her sport but for her own country of Russia. At only 26 years old, she has a wealth of experience already in combat sports, both within the competitive aspect as a kickboxer and now with the business aspect being an executive. This is the profile and interview of ProFC's Vice President, Elena Katretskaya
Deeply rooted in combat sports, Elena Katretskaya has a long history in sports from childhood. In particular, her love for combat sports manifested itself in becoming a successful professional kickboxer while simultaneously serving as a Public Relations manager for the Rostov-On-Don based Peresvet Fight Team. She represented her sport and her fight team well in those dual roles for years. In her own words "I got MMA System and it's rules quite fast. My roots are combat sports, So Mixed Martial Arts is my hobby, my job and my passion." With those sentiments in tact, it is very easy to understand how she has gotten far in her endeavors which culminated in her hire to take on role as Vice President of one of the top MMA organizations in Russia.
Katretskaya's professional kickboxing career was cut short due to a devastating motorcycle accident that resulted in a shoulder injury that required several surgeries. Even with such tragic circumstances, she soldiered on to fulfill her role in exemplary fashion.
Here's my interview with Elena Katretskaya as we catch up with the Vice President of ProFC talking about her life and what to expect from the ProFC promotion in the coming months...
DS-MMA Madhouse: It is well documented that you were active in combat sports for many years, one might even say that you are pioneer for woman in powerful positions in Russian combat sports....
What is the current state of Russian women competing in Mixed Martial Arts? And where do you see the level of athletes of women's MMA going in the future?
Elena Katretskaya: Women are so much more developed and advanced now. We are seeing more young girls involved in sports. We will have to see what will happen in the future. Maybe women can begin to compete with men. ahaha ...
DS MMAmadhouse: that's very funny but hey anything is possible!
Elena Katretskaya: I know in the history of the sport was a fight between man and woman..
DS MMAMadhouse: Yes! I think you are referring to Endiane Gomes' fight in Brazil... correct?
Elena Katretskaya: That is correct...
DS Mmamadhouse: (jokingly asking) hahaha
Is this something that you envision for the future? Fights between men and women?
Elena Katretskaya: Oh noooo haha.
DS MMAmadhouse: As you became involved in combat sports who inspired you the most?
Elena Katretskaya: I have always been inspired by mom... She is my universe, she is everything to me.
DS MMAmadhouse: Would you say that she is the reason for your success as a professional woman?
Elena Katretskaya: Yes. She taught me to be strong. When I was little, we lived very poor. I started work at a very young age. In the area that we lived, it was a very bad neighborhood with criminal all over. I had to be strong.
DS MMAMadhouse: As someone that covers MMA and also some that is also active within the sport competitively, I pay attention to fighters all over the world to see who will make their mark on the sport.
Within your organization, can you tell us some notable names that have been able to progress through the ranks successfully?
Elena Katretskaya: currently we have a lot of interesting and promising fighters. Many fighters than have fought in ProFC, are now in UFC. Alexey Oleinik, Milana Dudieva, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Ruslan Magomedov and many others.
We are a leading organization in Russia and we will continue to be.
DS MMAmadhouse: UFC's streaming component "UFC Fight Pass" has several ProFC events available in their library for viewing.. Will we see more live streaming in the future from FightPass? If so, what is the next event that will be available to viewers?
Elena Katretskaya: Yes, in fact, you will see the next tournament, ProFC 62, March 26 on UFC FIGHT PASS. Final Grand Prix for 70kg will be contested.
DS-MMAMadhouse: that's awesome. 3 years ago, you found ProFc and you have become an important asset to the fighting organization. Within those 3 years, how far has it come and where would you like to see this organization go in the future?
E. Katretskaya: The League has existed for 9 years. It was founded in 2008. I have been working for almost 4 years. We have held 62 tournaments in Russia and the CIS.
In the future, we plan to organize a tournament in Turkey, and to increase the number of tournaments overall.
DS- MMA Madhouse: Does this mean we will see more Turkish based athletes ply their trade within your organization?
E. Katretskaya: Of course, it will be an interesting prospect to see them compete within ProFC.
DS- MMAmadhouse: Well you are indeed a busy woman. I would like to thank you for your time. I hope ProFC 62 is a great success on March 26th. Keep doing big things!
Elena Katretskaya: You're welcome and all your readers should watch this tournament on UFC FightPass, it will be a great and interesting tournament!
Article Credit @DarrylSatcher