Natalia Kuziutina to join MMA?
A recent posting on Instagram by Russia’s Natalia Kuziutina indicates she is joining MMA. Her comments accompanying the picture says:
From this moment @firstroundmgmt my exclusive representative🤝
Kuziutina was one of the top fighters in the -52kg category. She has an Olympic bronze medal, a world silver medal (plus three bronzes), four European gold medals and seven IJF World Tour titles.
At the time of writing, there aren’t any press reports about her joining MMA, so it’s not clear what factored into her decision to do this.
It could be her age. She is now 33 years old and perhaps felt it was time to move on from judo. Urantsetseg Munkhbat, a former World Champion from Mongolia, recently retired at 32 to move onto MMA.
Money could also be a factor as there is certainly more money in MMA than in judo. Both Ronda Rousey and Kayla Harrison from the USA have managed to achieve fame and wealth in MMA.
Currently, Russian judokas are not competing in international judo tournaments due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. This could also be a factor.