I haven't seen him lose one single round. He is a pure block of power which is the reason I give him this nickname, "The Russian Tank". This name is very fitting as Pavlo literally plows over everything that gets in his way. I believe the only reason Pavlo is not ranked number #1 in his weight class in America is because he has not had the opportunity to pull those that are ranked ahead of him. Just recently, Pavlo told me in his humble manner, that he actually wishes someone would beat him. This way he could train harder.
Lets get to know a little about Pavlo "Tank" Derbedyenyev.
Hi Armwrestling Community. My name is Pavlo Derbedyenyev. I was born in Rovno, Ukraine, July 18th,1980. My family moved to US in 2003 and currently I live, work and train in Chicago.
How did you get involved in the sport of arm wrestling?
I always showed interest in sports and athletics. Initially I was more interested in shot put but I always love to armwrestle. My AW career started by accident, when I was in college. In the gym I noticed a handwritten ad for university armwrestling championships. In1997 in Rovno, I participated in my first tournament hosted by University of Water Management. I won my class – 83kg.
Tell us some history about your arm wrestling career.
When I moved to the states, I spoke no English, and I had to learn a new profession. At that time I had neither time, nor money to pursue my armwrestling career. During this time of my life I wasn’t the most disciplined athlete, but I participated in local tournaments and trained a little. In 2006 I won with Lithuanian champion in Russian tournament in Chicago, organized by Saulius Rakauskas, who became my friend, and encouraged me to go back to regular trainings. I decided to follow my passion and talent.
In 2017 I qualified and started preparation for WAL, world championship in Vegas. Because of my injury I pulled only left hand and placed 8th in my class- 195lb. It was great accomplishment considering the caliber of the tournament. After this event I decided to retire, but life had its own plans. Soon after I met a few great athletes, including my training partner who asked me to reconsider my decision and keep training armwrestling. I changed my life around and decided to focus more on armwrestling .
In August 2019 I started intense trainings to prepare for Zloty Tur – best professional tournament in the world. It was great opportunity to experience the excitement of armwrestling and pull with the best. I did not have much experience in armwrestling on this level, but still achieved impressive results at the championship - 6th left and 8th right.
After the trip to Europe, I continue regular trainings and attend more tournaments all over the States.
I have noticed that you are a family man and you bring your children to also compete in tournaments. Besides arm wrestling, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
I love outdoors, hunting, camping, fishing, especially deep sea finishing. I have 4 kids: 2 sons and 2 daughters, so besides AW and hobbies, I am enjoying time with my kids. My sons and older daughter are interested in armwrestling as well. They are very good, especially my oldest son, Dmitry who already has impressive collection of medals. We all enjoy our armwrestling trips, and time in the gym.
What is your training schedule like?
Usually my day starts at 5:30am. I have big breakfast at home and I take vitamins and supplements. I start work early, I have a small plumbing company and it takes lots of effort to run a business. I try to be back at my shop/store where I also built my gym around 5pm. Training programs depend on the time of the year and competition season. Usually, I don’t do any special preparation for local tournaments. I train 3-4 times a week. When I need to prepare for more serious tournament I can train 6 times a week plus some short 20-30 min additional trainings early in the morning. Most of my trainings include weight lifting, statics, and table time.
How do you see your future and what are your goals in the sport of arm wrestling?
I think I am at my best now. I won the Mississippi left hand overalls, won left overall in the USAA international championships In Oklahoma. Ranked 3rd left and 4th right in US, and 7th both arms in the world.
When I attended Zloty Tur in 2019, I arrived 2 days earlier to watch IFA world championships. It was an unforgettable experience: impressive organization and priceless emotions. I was impressed when I saw how many people with special needs are competing on the highest levels. Thank you Igor Mazurenko for all your input into ARMWRESTLING. This experience gave me an idea to create an Armwrestling club, where I can train and be a trainer to help other people get involved and train armwrestling. In addition, I would like to help people with special needs become a sportsman and spice up their life; add some excitement, traveling, socializing, and emotions. Hopefully one day my dreams will come true.
Well, that is some very big and impressive future goals Pavlo "Tank" Derbedyenyev. Thank you for sharing your story with us. There is no doubt in my mind we are learning about a future world champion arm wrestler here. My guess is it will happen at the IFA world championships in Orlando Florida 2021. I will see you soon my friend. Until then, Train, Overcome, and Destroy.