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HomeArm WrestlingThe phenomenal rise of Levan Saginashvili aka The Georgian Hulk

The phenomenal rise of Levan Saginashvili aka The Georgian Hulk

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Domination. Brutality. Overpower. Might. Words that we often throw around in the vast world of combat and strength sports, and there are no lack of athletes in these fields who have set new examples of all these. Georgian arm wrestler Levan Saginashvili has just set new definitions for those terms.

Arm wrestling, one of the most popular rising strength sports today, has had no lack of adrenaline-rushing matches in its course of history. From the days of legendary figures like John Brzenk and Cleve Dean, arm wrestling has seen an immense growth across the world, and has given rise to superstars such as Denis Cyplenkov, Michael ToddSarah Backman, Ermes Gasparini, Genadi Kvikvinia, Gabi Vasconcelos, Dave Chaffee, Marcio Barboza, Alex Kurdecha, Wagner Bortolato and many more… and the most popular of them all – Devon Larratt.

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Levan Saginashvili
Levan Saginashvili (Photo Credit: Professional Arm Wrestling League)

All of them have displayed absolutely colossal strength and technique on the table, from going neck to neck in a nail-biting pulling contest, to completely outperforming their oppositions. However, the main event of King of the Table 4 told a different story.

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The entire arm wrestling fandom had their eyes on 25th June, when the sport’s biggest, most anticipated match of all time headlined the premium event at The Space hypercar garage in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While Levan was already touted as the favourite over Devon, everyone expected an even, neck to neck clash, as the Canadian world champion underwent the hardest training regime of his career and reached the biggest physique he has ever been to match that of Levan.

The majority expected Levan to win, but contrary to how the match actually played out. Devon Larratt, who has earned a reputation for being unstoppable on the table and getting inside his opponent’s heads, had no room to breathe as Levan completely unmatched him in strength and technique, pinning him through and through without breaking a sweat. Having defeated Devon 6-0, Levan has now raised the bar higher than anyone anticipated.

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Needless to say, while the established arm wrestlers from the East and the West were clinching titles and engaging in super matches, Levan was laying the stepping stones for his ascension to the top, becoming an arm wrestler so powerful that no one had seen before.

How did Levan Saginashvili become the ‘Georgian Hulk’?

Before he became the “Georgian Hulk“, Levan Saginashvili was just Levan, a teenager from Tbilisi who aimed to become a footballer someday and entered the arm wrestling scene quite late. When he was 20 years of age, Levan weighed 80 kgs and started to train under Lado Khutsishvili, who saw the potential in the youngster.

Khutsishvili noticed Levan’s arm wrestling talent by watching him training at the gym, and deduced that his hand was perfect for the sport. His massive breakthrough came in 2012, when after just two years of training, Levan defeated the legendary Genadi Kivikvinia- the most famous arm wrestler in Georgia, and that’s when his journey to become the “Hulk” started.

Entering contests in both his left and right hand, Levan Saginashvili quickly became a menace on the pulling table, completely decimating anyone who came before him. His early feats include four clean sweeps at “The Vendetta” followed by winning the World Arm-wrestling Championship (WAF) seven times and the European arm-wrestling championship six times. He also participated in the World Cup in 2017 and two years later, entered the Top 8. In 2018, he won the EuroArm, the World Armwrestling Championship as well as the Vendetta All Stars #50.

In recent years, arm wrestling saw a huge popularity among combat and strength sports enthusiasts across the world, along with premium events such as King of the Table and East vs West taking place, featuring the biggest names in the sport today. Nonetheless, everyone anticipated to see Levan and how he would contend against the first-class arm wrestlers.

There’s nothing more first-class than a contest against Devon Larratt, and it was finally decided that Levan would headline King of the Table 4 against the Canadian superstar. Devon, sitting at the top of the hierarchy, was coming off of wins against John Brzenk and Michael Todd, with zero quizzes on his mastery in pulling.

All that being said, the way the 6-0 scoreline played out, there’s no doubt in any arm wrestling fan’s mind that Levan Saginashvili stands apart from the rest of the pack, and he has risen so high above the hierarchy that its uncertain the sport would ever find someone that can match him on the table, let alone manage to pin the “Hulk“.

Levan Saginashvili next match

It’s unclear as to who Levan Saginashvili will fight next, but it’s looking like the top contender for him is Ermes Gasparini.

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Saikat Banerjee
Saikat Banerjee
A wordsmith who indulges in the world of combat sports, Saikat is an MMA, boxing, and arm wrestling content writer at The MMA India Show and The Sports Room. Apart from combat sports, he also engages in Indian sports content at The Sports India Show. Currently pursuing an MBA from Jadavpur University, Saikat's other interests lie in motorcycling, working out, and travelling.
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