Kicking off the new year, M-1 Global announces its first event of 2011! On March 5th, from the Crocus City Arena in Moscow Russia, M-1 Challenge XXIII: Guram vs. Grishin will see the current heavyweight champ, Guram Gugenishvili, defend his title for the first time against 2010 Selections Eastern European tournament winner, Maxim Grishin.
“M-1 Global has crowned their champions and 2011 is the year for these stars to defend what they have rightfully earned,” says Evgeni Kogan, Director of Operations of the worldwide mixed martial arts promotion. “Guram knows what he has to do at M-1 Challenge XXIII and every heavyweight here on out is gunning to take the belt away from him. His reign is in his hands and M-1 will provide the stage for the showdown between two highly talented fighters.”
The clash was originally slated for M-1 Challenge XXI however Grishin was forced to withdraw due to an injury sustained in training just weeks before the October 28th event date. Stepping into replace Grishin was American Selections tournament winner, Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner who succumbed to Guram early in the second round via rear-naked-choke; with the win, Guram become M-1’s first-ever heavyweight champion.
Sadly for American fans, this event is being held overseas and not in New Jersey where M-1 has held shows in the past. I have been reassured that M-1 will return stateside soon but are not certain of the date at this time. It is a pity since M-1 has put on excellent shows in the US, especially since the judging is unbiased towards a fighter of a specific country if it goes to a decision, and we have not had ANY title fights ever on American soil. Hopefully, we will see one of these fights by late-Spring back in Atlantic City, but until then you can always come back here and enjoy the livestream for free on my site!