mama_main111 A strong mother
makes her children
WATCH FILM a film by
Anna Rudikova
& Svetlana Pechenykh


Anna Azovskaya is one of the most colorful and mysterious characters in Russian MMA. She is a gentle mother at home, but a tough and uncompromising coach in the ring. For her, the body is like modeling clay, dough even. This is how a true professional should treat it. Still, she is just a spectator, her face on the other side of the mesh and split in two. Here, Anna embodies the roles of both mother and coach.


“We were picked on by other kids and got into fights, but we were not that strong. That’s when our mom told us that we didn’t have a father to protect us, so we had to learn how to fight and stand up for ourselves.”

- Georgiy Kichigin for ONE Championship

“…I would later find out that that was his mother, and that she served as his trainer, coach, and corner during fight week.”

- Karim Zidan

“You've never seen a sports parent more bonkers than this Russian MMA fighter's Mom.”

- Ben Kiely (Sports Joe)

“While Azovskaya may be a new name to most Americans, to Russian fight fans, she’s a celebrity because of her abusive, er, intense tactics.”

- Marissa Payne (Washington Post)



Anna is rightfully considered the top mother of Russian MMA. She is the only mother in the world who brings her five children to the ring, and also seconds them in professional MMA fights. At the tournaments where her children compete, there is no one who displays more emotion than her.

During broadcasts, her voice drowns out commentators and ring announcers. Anna isn’t shy about scolding her children if she believes they are doing something wrong and is never afraid to express her opinion, even if it diverges from the judges.

The trials of her life have affected her temper and turned her into an incredibly strong woman who uis ready to do anything for her children.

When her elder sons began their love affair with fighting, she didn’t contradict or try to dissuade them. She displayed curiosity about her children’s interest. Anna didn’t leave them to go down this path alone, but went down it alongside them. It is to their mother, Anna Azovskaya, that the Kichigins devote all their victories.


The reigning Fight Nights Global Welterweight Champion. He had his professional MMA debut in 2012. In 2016, he became a fighter in the Fight Nights Global league, where he was named the competition’s champion and successfully defended his title. After defeating Rousimar Palhares at the Russian Cagefighting Championship 5 tournament, Kichigin signed a contract for six fights with the Asian ONE Championship promotion.


31 years old. He began his professional career in 2013. He has taken part in 16 fights, of which he won 11. He is currently the director of a children’s sports school in Roshal.


25 years old. He began his professional career in 2013. He has featured in 22 battles, of which he won 17. In November 2019, he emerged world champion at the Krestov Brod Fighting Championship.


21 years old. She began her professional career in 2017. To date, she has participated in a total of five fights, of which she won four.


20 years old. She began her professional career in 2017. She has faced a total of four battles, all of which she has won. In 2018, she became the Russian hand-to-hand combat champion, and a few months later was named world champion.


— Stavropol —
The bulk of filming took place in the city of Roshal, 145 km outside Moscow, where the Kichigin family moved about five years ago in order to fulfil their sporting talents and childhood ambitions. The Kichigins are now the pride of a small town home to 20,000 people.

The family moved around a lot before settling in Roshal, but their longest stay was in Stavropol. After being inspired by the crew, the film’s subjects even invited the director and cameraman to go with their family to an old house in a village near Pyatigorsk. This hidden side of the former champions’ personal lives found itself in the line of sight of the camera lens.


The idea for I Love You So Much, Mommy was conceived four years ago, when one of the sports television channels broadcast an MMA tournament featuring two of Anna Azovskaya’s sons, Grigoriy and Egor. Anna, as usual, announced her son’s arrival in the ring with a battle dance complete with daggers, and proceeded to cheer him on, screaming until she wheezed from the other side of the net. We couldn’t stop gazing into her face, watching her, listening. It had to be a film shot through observation, covering a short time span in Anna’s life – preparations for one of her sons’ titles. I wanted to create a clash between two images, the image of a gentle mother–woman–housewife and the image of a coach, tough and uncompromising. I wanted to look at how she manages to maintain a hold on the guys, who were quite famous athletes at the time.

Perhaps the script would have remained a script without my co-author Anna Rudikova. After studying everything I could find online about Azovskaya it was clear that she wouldn’t let anyone in, and we needed a suitable co-author who could win her trust.

Director Anna Rudikova herself is a ‘girl from the south’ and she was very clear about Azovskaya and her approach to raising boys. She liked the idea and agreed to work alongside the director on the project. The wheels were set in motion very quickly and we met Azovskaya. It turns out that she currently has four athletes under her wing, since the eldest son Grigoriy can no longer fight due to illness. Her second son, Egor, has become a champion, and his mother puts her energies into her youngest son, Vitya, as well as bringing her two daughters into the ring.

Nevertheless, the concept of the film remained the same – ‘the mother-as-mom and mother-as-trainer’.

We didn’t seek to maintain a purely observational style – the subjects often addressed the crew and this became part of the film. Anna’s relationship with the crew contributes to her image. This is Anna Azovskaya, this is her life and this is her documentary.


Executive documentary producer for the TV channel RTG (Russian Travel Guide); cooperation with global documentary filmmakers (Thomas Lennon). Organization of the production process, including freelancers and all staff selection. Produces her own documentaries and shoots commercial projects. Screenwriter, director, producer. Ten years’ experience in TV, shooting popular science and entertainment programs. Has directed documentary films since 2017.

  1. documentary

    Matrix of Science, TRK St. Petersburg, screenwriter and editor

  2. documentary

    Night Duty, documentary, Lendok Studio, screenwriter and director

  3. documentary

    I Love You So Much, Mommy, Lendok Studio, screenwriter

  4. documentary



Date of birth: February 11, 1978. Place of birth: Leningrad, USSR. Education: Saint Petersburg State University of Cinema and Television (1999–2004). Profession: director of cinema and television, animation and computer graphics. Since 2004: working as an editor. Since 2016: head of a course on Film Editing at the Directors and Screenwriters High School of Lenfilm Studio


On the Third Planet from the Sun (documentary, 32 min, 2006, Russia),

director – Pavel Medvedev

Medium Business (documentary, 30 min, 2007, Russia), director – Zhanna Romanova

Russian Thought. Return (documentary, 30 min, 2008, Russia),

director – Zhanna Romanova

House at the River. Part 1 (documentary, 52 min, 2008, Russia), director – Felix Yakubson

Symbols of Russia: Hymn. Flag. Coat of Arms (documentary, 132 min, 2008, Russia), director – Pavel Medvedev

The Unseen (documentary, 40 min, 2007, Russia), director – Pavel Medvedev

A Lost Theatre (documentary, 2×26 min, 2008, Russia), director – Tatyana Moskvina

Nyarma (documentary, 40 min, 2009, Russia), director – Edgar Bartenev

Violets Blossom in the Caucasus (documentary, 39 min, 2010, Russia), director – Aleksandr Avilov

Jazz Kids (documentary, 26 min, 2009, Russia), director – Viola Vorobeva

Turnip (documentary, 26 min, 2010, Russia), director – Viola Vorobeva

Diaries of a Happy Man (documentary, 104 min, 2011, Russia),

director – Felix Yakubson

The Lemon Seller (documentary, 26 min, 2012, Russia), director –  Maxim Yakubson

Wizard (documentary, 26 min, 2013, Russia), director – Vasilyi Kovalevskyi

PLATZKART (documentary, 52 min, 2016, Russia), director – Felix Yakubson

An Ordinary Life (2 min, 2016, Russia), director – Lydia Sheinin

The Cherry Orchard (Maly Drama Theatre, Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, 2014, Russia), artistic director – Lev Dodin

Nation (documentary, 60 min, 2017, Russia, Netherlands, Finland), director – Julia Mironova

Shamanic Lessons for Beginners (documentary, 70 min, 2017, Russia), film director – Svetlana Stasenko

Night Nursing (documentary, 26 min, 2017, Russia), director – Anna Rudikova

Our Africa (documentary, 45 min, 2018, Russia), director – Alexander Markov. Participation and awards at film festivals: Visions du Réel, Artdocfest, DocPoint, IndieLisboa.

I Love You So Much, Mommy (documentary, 44 min, 2019, Russia). Participation and awards at film festivals: Artdocfest (2019, Russia), IFF Message to Man (2019)


Russia 2019
Russia 2019
Russia 2019
Russia 2019


DIRECTORS Anna Rudikova & Svetlana Pechenykh

SCRIPTWRITER Svetlana Pechenykh

CAMERA Artur Bergart



PRODUCER Alexei Telnov


Anna Azovskaya

Grigoriy Kichigin

Egor Kichigin

Viktor Kichigin

Yaroslava Kichigina

Uslada Kichigina



Original title: Я так люблю тебя, мама

International title: I Love You So Much, Mommy

Runtime: 44 min

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Format: Full HD

Sound: Stereo

Year: 2019

Color: Color

Original language: Russian

Subtitled language: English

Country of production: Russia

Production company:

Saint Petersburg Documentary Film Studio

Distribution company: Ukulele Films


Link to trailer

Link to film for press HERE



Link to download HERE

Interviews with the film’s main subject can be arranged upon request.


Stanislav Poplavskii