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M-1 champion on how remembrance of the 'Great Patriotic War' morphed his fighting spirit

M-1 lightweight champion Maxim Divnich explains why he is dedicating his upcoming fight to the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany during WWII.

M-1 Global

Nearly 70 years following the conclusion of one of the most destructive wars in human history, some continue to suffer the consequences of the war. World War II brought with it torrents of devastation; it exterminated portions of populations, annihilated proud cities along with their heritage sites, and brought about years of suffering in its wake.

Some to this day still walk around with a heavy weight on their hearts; a twinge of emotional agony that makes it impossible to forget what had happened, even if they were not alive during the chaos.

Few can imagine the hardships in the 40s; from war to famine, millions dropped like flies. Amongst those who refuse to forget is M-1 lightweight champion Maxim Divnich, who was touched by the war from both sides of his family.

"All of my great-grandfathers were fighting at War," Divnich told M-1 Global. "Both of them didn't come back. The Great Patriotic War was an unprecedented disaster for our country. It's frightening theme"

A frightening theme indeed -- Russia, then the Soviet Union, lost more soldiers during The Great Patriotic War, a term used to describe the conflict between the USSR and Nazi Germany an its allies between 1941-45, than any other nation involved in the war. One could hardly find a family that has not been affected by the war. It was the single greatest massacre that the country ever endured.

The Victory Day national holiday in Russia, which is celebrated on May 9 and commemorates the day that the Soviets struck the definitive blow against Nazi Germany, is more important to the Russian people than most, if not all other non-religious holidays.

Divnich is of the opinion that such tragic events in history should never be forgotten. Millions gave their lives for the global peace achieved during that era. He uses it as a source of inspiration - an undeniable influence on his very character, one that allows him to view his life from an entirely different perspective.

"When you think about what people got through on it, what they had lost, you start to think about your own life in completely different way. We shouldn't forget whom we owe our living. We should respect people who stood their ground and eventually gave their lives for peace."

While times have changed for the better over the past 70 years, Divnich has found a way to apply the traits used by his grandfathers to better his own life. After being touched by the reality of mortality, the champion is not prepared to waste his own life.

"The War can change everything. Of course, our generation is different from our grandfathers' one. But our spirit is still with us. One has to look inside oneself and find something valuable there, something that can become the meaning of his life, not to waste it out. Our ancestors did have the values of highest level that helped them to go through life with dignity and honor.

"Our generation stands at the point where we should find the same in our souls."

Divnich is scheduled to defend his lightweight title against Mansour Barnaoui at M-1 Challenge 57 in Orenburg on May 2nd.