Both Michael Todd and Andrey Pushkar looked huge at Zloty Tur. Right after my weigh in I went to the breakfast and I sat right by the window. Andrey, Dmitry [Trubin] and Michael were asked to pose for picture and because there was more light by the window they came right by where I sat. It was a bad feeling for me as they were so huge. After I saw them live I felt like Michael would win because Pushkar always depends in his strength and Michael looked big and strong enough to stop Pushkar.
When I saw the first start without strap I realised that Pushkar had chance to beat Michael as Michael slipped under Pushkar’s hand unlike the equal slips that they had in the super match that they had years ago. With the go in strap, Pushkar easily beat Michael and I was convinced that he could do this enough to win the Vendetta. Second round unlike the first round Michael stopped Pushkar, but Andrey managed to win the round even though Michael has told me that it was not a pin. I realized that Michael was making the set ups longer and Pushkar did not realize that this was making him tired. At the third round Michael managed to slip equally right at the center and this was a sign that Pushkar was getting exhausted. Andrey looked stronger than Michael but not enough to pin him. He was doing his best but just could not pin him. Once Pushkar was getting tired, he was intentionally making fouls. Score became 2-1 after 3 rounds, and the fourth round was same as third round and now score became 2-2. I was watching and believing that Michael was going to win 4-2 if Pushkar does not try shoulder press and I told this to Kazakh pullers that were watching the event with me in the cafe of the sport center.
There are handful people who were able to beat Michael in last years and they all started with the controlled toproll and ended with shoulder pressure. Larrat did this this, Trubin did this, Brzenk did this and even a light heavyweight Gasparini did this. Someone who has a supermatch should have studied his lesson much better than Pushkar did. If he did not have ability of shoulder pressure then I would understand but someone who knows Pushkar from his junior years I know that Pushkar can do shoulder pressure especially with his wrist bent back. In fact, this was his main style when he was pulling as a junior. I think the reason that Pushkar did not try shoulder press till round 5 was because of his bad experience with it when he pulled Michael years ago in USA. Then Pushkar was still pulling tested events and he was applying direct side pressure and falling into the trap of Michael. This time he was hitting outside and this flattened Michael’s wrist so Pushkar had his pronator control right before he applied the side pressure. Also he was strong enough to press Michael’s hand down. So in short, Pushkar won by making right decision before it was too late and won the match. If he used this strategy right from the beginning, he could have won 6-0 and if he did not try at all then he would lose 2-4.
Congratulations to Pushkar for his win! Also good job to Michael for putting his heart into it!