For the beginning, I'd like to say that the idea of such a tournament arose long ago and, at first, the project was called “TOP 16”. It was assumed that the 16 best armwrestlers of the world will fight every 2 months and, as a result, will share the first 16 positions of the world ranking. But, as they say, the project “did not go” and there were several reasons for that.
First of all, for the participants 4 events per year meant 8 months of continuous voltage without the possibility of recovery between events. That is, it was almost impossible physically.
Secondly, the project turned out to be financially cumbersome and at that time demanded huge investments. We began to look for sponsors, to negotiate with television in the United States, but, unfortunately, we did not find partners willing to finance our project.
And the third reason was the lack of an objective rating of professional armwrestling, which would give the opportunity to select the 16 best armwrestlers to participate. Simply put, we didn’t have enough armwrestling stars to ensure that the TOP 16 pool of participants didn’t cause any questions.
There were a number of smaller issues as well. Therefore, it was decided to postpone the project to a later time.
2018 was a breakthrough year for PAL.
Our team threw all its strength and resources in order for this breakthrough to take place. We conducted the most "star" Vendetta in the history of armwrestling, we completely changed the approach to the promotion of our events, we created a referral program for armwrestling fans, we continue to improve the Armbets TV video platform , and most importantly - by the end of the year we launch the Unified Rating of Professional Arm Wrestling . And the top division of this rating is the “TOP 8” division.
We managed to raise a new wave of armwrestling enthusiasm. And on this wave, we decided to go higher and immediately launch the “TOP 8” project.
Place and time
Again we face a very difficult challenge. The project TOP 8 consists of 3 events that will be held in different countries. Today we know the time and place of holding only the final event, which will be held as part of the World Cup among professionals “Zloty Tur 2019” in Poland.
We are planning to hold the first event in April, and the second in July. The venues are still being determined - we are negotiating with several partners. I hope that contracts will be signed in the coming weeks and we will make an official statement.
Today we have a complete list of athletes we would like to see in “TOP 8”. All those whom we offered to participate, expressed their readiness. Today we have 4 confirmed participants, two more who have contracts with another organization with which we will hold negotiations, and the remaining two will be determined by the results of the so-called “transitional matches” in January.
Evgeny Prudnik, the winner of the overall weight category of the “Zloty Tur 2018” Professional World Cup, will meet in the transitional match with Tim Bresnan. According to the rules of the Unified Rating of Professional Armwrestling (ORPA), the overall weight category winner of the “Zloty Tur” has the right to participate in the transitional match with the participant of TOP 8, who finished in eighth place. Since this is the first season of the TOP 8, we have identified a Evgeny’s rival by the results of the last Vendetta. Especially since Tim and Evgeny have an unfinished duel in the past.
The second transitional match is planned between Alex Kurdecha and Dmitry Trubin. We are waiting for confirmation from Dmitry Trubin.
Four athletes who have already confirmed their participation in the TOP 8 are: Denis Tsyplenkov, Levan Saginashvili, Rustam Babayev, Genadi Kvikvinia.
The first season of “TOP 8” we will hold in the absolute weight category. But armwrestling fans will be interested to know that we are planning to launch the TOP 8 tournament in each weight category during next 3-4 years. Thus, professional athletes in the middle weight and light categories will have a peak to which they should strive. Let me remind you that once in the TOP 8 division, an athlete signs a contract by which PAL pays his expenses related to traveling to competitions, and also pays a cash reward for the matches.
As news arrives, we’ll keep our armwrestling community informed.