Zahir Khudayarov vs. Eric Lilliebridge: Powerlifting Drama

Posted on 09 Aug 2015 22:29

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You cannot go for very long without some drama unfolding in the Powerlifting world. Today we have Zahir Khudayarov talking shit to Eric Lilliebridge, Eric responding and Zahir's response to Eric (yes, drama).

I don't really have any personal opinion on the matter. I'm not rooting for Eric or Zahir simply because I have no personal connection with either. So rooting for either just seems silly to me. I think Zahir's points about weight class differences is very valid but it seems like a little(er) guy talking smack to a much bigger guy (literally).

I'm going to go ahead and link Zahir's video first. This video is from 3 weeks ago and I believe this is when the smack-talking originally started. It might take you a couple of views to figure out what he said exactly but there's no doubt he is calling out Eric Lilliebridge. If you want, scroll to 3:33 to get to the part where he finishes his 440 kgs x 3 reps squat and begins cussing.




Next, 13 hours ago he updated his YouTube channel with this video wherein he manages to pull off a squat with 465 kgs for 2 reps. In this video as well, Zahir is calling out Eric. To be honest, I think Zahir is just talking shit to have some fun and to get some friendly competition going. I think Zahir is trying to create an environment where two huge strong guys are going to compete, and to make the competition memorable, he wants them to talk shit and take shots at each other but Eric is just not playing along (ha!).

Eric Lillibridge

I've also read comments online where Eric has fallen out of popularity with the younger generation because of his online persona but I don't understand any of that. He's always been straight with me and his father has been very encouraging of me directly even though I don't compete nor do I live in the US nor do I have anything whatsoever to do with powerlifting from a money standpoint. So I don't get the sudden hate towards Eric from so many kids - especially when just a few years ago everyone was talking about the child prodigy AND he's always been honest about his pro-hormone use, etc.

Zahir Khudayarov Banned

Zahir got banned from the GPA because of his behavior last year. According to a forum member of Manly Excellence Hall of Fame, Zahir had conducted himself poorly in Finland. Click on the link HERE to see his offenses. The original page from the Global Powerlifting Alliance has been taken down. So on the whole, it is safe for me to conclude that Zahir likes theatrics!

  • Mr. Khudayarov insulted the organizing country and it's athletes and the whole competition by shouting Fuck Finland at the warm up area on Finland's independence day
  • Mr. Khudayarov inhibited athletes from taking rackheights from the only monolift in the warm up area with the same rackheights as the monolift from the platform (His wife Anna Karrila included in this action)
  • Mr. Khudayarov neglected head referees orders not to throw magnesium on the competition bench (he was warned once but second time he did it again, it was very obvious that this was intentional because after this one of the referees mentioned about this and Mr. Khudayarov then looked at the referee very angry and asked can he eat it. Referee (Arto Männistö 64 years of age) told him it was ok to eat it, Then Mr. Khudayarov asked if the referee wants to eat it in a very aggressive manner).
  • Mr Khudayarov took a powerlifting bar from one of the female athletes hands (Jenni Erola) who were warming up for the competition therefore making it harder for Ms. Erola to do the proper warming up.
  • Mr Khudayarov Took one of the benches for himself and maybe 250kg of plates reserved for athletes to show his strength and to mock the athletes and the competition. He did the same in Deadlift with 300+kg of plates. This made the competing athletes warming up much harder.
  • Mr. Khudayarov tried to force his wife Anna Karrila from lifting at the GPA Worlds 2013 by frightening Mrs. Karrila by saying if Mrs Karrila is to lift at the Worlds 2013 he would leave Finland and never come back




Eric responded to Zahir on Instagram and I will embed the post later on..

@zahirkhudayarovpowerlifter You picked the wrong person to talk shit to. "Fuck Eric, Ima Kill you, Lillie kill" Lmao… After trying to decipher what you were actually trying to say in your video, I finally got the hint after watching it 10 times. You know, your big loud mouth doesn't impress me. Neither do your mile high squats. 2 high shitty squats don't = 1 good one. If you think you're doing something impressive, look at the picture above and guess again. Your gym squats are embarrassing. Let's move on to the bigger picture here. What's your best total? Last time I checked, it was far from 1,100kgs. Your gym buddies are sitting there blowing smoke up your ass telling you your squats are "good", clearly they're not. Again, I'm not impressed, and sure as hell am not scared of you. Beating you won't be that hard, especially since I'm already ahead.

This is Zahir's response to Eric:

Whatsup @ericlilliebridge , well im glad I pissed you off. Take it how you want to, you are my biggest rival and motivation. Maybe its also good for you, Maybe you get pushed to do better and better. Here is some facts.. 1. That was 2nd rep, and you froze the picture a touch to high,first rep was fairly deep .2. I dont understand how you are ahead when im doing your max for 2 reps at 25kg less bodyweight? 3. I got the world record with 450kg in 125kg class, and 400kg in 110kg class, that were done in official competiton. 4. Im planing to do 485-490kg in the GPA meet. Anyway, we are rivals, fighting for the nr 1 place in the world. When I say i kill you, it does not mean I Will kill you, but I am sorry to say that I world have to kill your squat records. Take care, say hi to your dad from me, we respect what you guys do. Personally im happy with the rivalry we got going. Be safe, see you at GPA worlds lad!!

Eric's latest response:

@zahirkhudayarovpowerlifter Don't flatter yourself and think you pissed me off. I had a very good laugh at your video. First from the high squats, 2nd from the childish shit talking. 1. Both squats were high, no matter what angle they were taken from. 2. Unless you don't know how to do math, 1,030 is higher than 992 in completion. Also, you're not doubling my max when I haven't actually "maxed" out yet. Again, 2 high squats don't = 1 good one. 3. I have broken the world record squat over 7 times @ 275 and have broken the world record total 3 times and still currently hold the record. 4. I hope you learn how to hit depth by your meet day, because if not, you're in trouble! Those numbers sound nice and all, but they're all talk, just like you. I never took your "kill me" literally, but what you said was ignorant and childish. I could easily make a video, out squatting you and talking shit about you, but I won't stoop down to your level. I'll just keep doing my thing and training to beat myself, just like I have been. Good luck with your meet.

Before I embed both posts from Instagram, I want to state that I believe this is a publicity stunt. It would seem random for these two guys to beef but they did compete at the GPA World's last year in 2014:



Latest update

I am updating this post to say that in December 2015, Eric and Zahir came face to face at the World Russian Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) championships in Moscow. The outcome of this meet is not favorable for either competitor. The audience and powerlifting fans were expecting a showdown between Andrey Malanichev, Zahir Khudayarov and Eric Lilliebridge. But Eric got injured in his second attempt of the squat by tearing his hamstring and withdrew from the meet. Zahir did not compete but rooted for all the lifters. In the end, set a new RAW world record squat of 475 kgs 1,045 lbs and a world record total of 1,135 kgs 2,503 lbs all done RAW.

Eric and Zahir posed for some pictures and I am going to embed the instagram updates as well as quote Lilliebridge:

Look who we ran into at our hotel in Moscow! I guess things are getting serious now ;-) @zahirkhudayarov @ernielilliebridgesr @jbboss_e3

This was in good spirit and shows real camaraderie and sportsmanship between both giants:

Instagram Embeds:

LATEST update: Both competitors have deleted their posts.

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