This Saturday, Russia’s top-promotion M-1 Global will make it’s debut in Tbilisi, Georgia with a packed card that features hard-hitting heavyweights, tough Eastern-European prospects and a UFC veteran.
M-1 Challenge 55 will be hosted in memory of late Georgian heavyweight and former M-1 champion Guram Gugenishvili, who died in a tragic car accident last November. You can check out a brief preview of the event by Bloody Elbow’s Karim Zidan here:
The main attraction of the show is a promising heavyweight clash between 9-1 prospect Denis Smoldarev and seasoned veteran Maro Perak. Both fighters came up short against Marcin Tybura in their last fight and whoever wins here would most likely receive a rematch against the current M-1 champion.
American heavyweight Kenny Garner is an M-1 regular and set to do battle with the young 4-1 talent Aslambek Musaev, who looked like a bearded version of Ivan Drago at the weigh-ins. Garner lost his last fight against Sergei Kharitonov in November.
U.S. fans might remember Italian-American middleweight Luigi Fiovaranti, who went 2-2 in the UFC between 2008 and 2009, but eventually got cut after losing to then-welterweight and now light-heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson. Fiovaranti is a durable veteran and racked up a win in his last fight for M-1 in December, but with Georgian wrestling standout Nodar Kudukhashvili he might have bitten up a little more than he can chew.
Check out the weigh-in results and pictures below:
M-1 Challenge 55
February 21, 2015
Tbilisi Sports Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia
Shamil Alibekov (142,86) vs. Soso Nizharadze (142,86)
Kurbanali Abdusalamov (145,06) vs. Archil Taziashvili (143,52)
Denis Smoldarev (267,64) vs. Maro Perak (216,27)
Kenny Garner (263,45) vs. Aslambek Musaev (211,2)
Luigi Fioravanti (184,97) vs. Nodar Kudukhashvili (182,76)
Max Coga (144,4) vs. Pavel Vitruk (145,06)
Artem Damkovsky (154,54) vs. Heydar Mamedaliev (157,19)**
Arsen Abdulkerimov (250,44) vs. Levan Razmadze (275,36)
Enoc Solves Torres (*) vs. Ibragim Tibilov (*)
Lukasz Borowski (200,84) vs. Batraz Agnaev (204,15)
Artur Odilbekov (*) vs. Artem Frolov (183,87)
Artur Aliev (153,66) vs. Tutarauli Raul (155,21)
* Fighters have not been able to attend the official weigh-ins because of travel problems due to the weather condition.
** Mamedaliev passed on his second try and gave up 20 percent of his purse to Damkovsky.
Maro Perak vs. Denis Smoldarev
Kenny Garner vs. Aslambek Musaev
Luigi Fiovaranti vs. Nodar Kudukashvili
Max Coga vs. Pavel Vitruk
Heydar Mamedaliev vs. Artem Damkovsky
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