Mariano Ozón
COUNTRY: Argentina

I started training moved by curiosity, like most of us, trying to know more about this sport. A few months later, a little of bad luck and a little of ill-will destroyed my ligaments and knee. So I had to make a choice. One option was to go back home to my peaceful life, and the other one was to stay and see of what use I could be. It was hard. Due to a wrong diagnosis and some bad advices, it took me two years what should have taken six months. I had a lot of pain, but it didn’t stop me from being there. At the beginning I just helped where I was needed, but at the end I was fully committed thanks to the reliance placed on me by CECM HMB & Bohurt Club. Because fighting is the ultimate goal, but not everyone is willing to learn and dedicate time to this world outside the list. Not everyone is willing to sacrifice personal things for the team. If we only think in personal expectations, then the group will fail. We always say a quote and I think that it’s the idea that moved me in every aspect of my life… ‘If you aren’t here to help, don’t be a hindrance’. It’s a requirement to third parties, but it’s also a rule to live by.

It was the exceptional human group of CECM what allowed me to get to this day, even when I thought I had reached my limits, even when it seemed like my knee was never getting better. I feel that we have done a great work together, which was reflected not only in the results inside the list, but also in the group organization.

I had the opportunity to participate as a squire in the Argentinian national team at Battle of the Nations 2016. It wasn’t because of my lack of will to fight, as I took the physical and technical tests and my results were similar to some other fighters of the national team. But I had to help as a squire, and so I did. It is an honor and a great compromise to be part of a national team, there is no place for individualisms. It was one of those experiences difficult to describe: waking up early, running all day, the fighters, the tents, the endless camps with their fireplaces, the stores… the fellowship. All those things are still difficult to imagine back in Argentina, but were completely common there. Seeing live the Russian efficiency and violence, the Ukrainian speed and versatility, that completely changes your perspective about the sport.

Now, all I have left is to achieve the objective, the one that everyone has when they start practicing this sport. Sacrificing time with my family is the great price I have to pay to succeed.
After that?

I don’t know yet. I am no longer 20 years old, I almost double that age. I have fractures and injuries all over my body… Once I reach the objective, I will see what’s left to give.


Photography: Luz Makarieva.

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