First, at Friday’s M-1 Challenge 59: Battle of the Nomads 5, former UFC fighter Luigi Fioravanti (26-13-0) stepped up against undefeated prospect Sergey Kovalev for a middleweight tilt. Across three tours in the UFC, Fioravanti compiled a respectable 4-5 record, with a 2009 knockout loss to Anthony Johnson finally pushing him out of the promotion. He’s been up and down since then, with a five-fight run from 2010-2011 serving as a high point, and a subsequent, three-fight losing streak being the deepest slump of his career. As for Kovalev, he kicked off his pro career in 2012, but took extended leave from the sport a year after; the bout with Fioravanti would serve as his first in two plus years. Kovalev hasn’t yet seen a fight go to the judges, and that trend would continue on Friday, though not in the way he would’ve wished, as Fioravanti tied up a fight-ending rear-naked choke early in Round 2. With the unprecedented loss, Kovalev sees his record fall to 5-1-0. Fioravanti successfully rebounds from a unanimous decision loss earlier this year and moves to 4-2 since 2013.
In the night’s main attraction, former PRIDE heavyweight Sergei Kharitonov (23-5, 8-3 PRIDE, 1-1 Dream, 1-1 Strikeforce) made short work of former M-1 champion Kenny Garner (16-9-0), putting him away with strikes in the opening minute of the fight. Garner, who has fought almost exclusively for M-1 since 2010, falls to 2-1 for the year, with this latest loss halting a two-fight winning streak. Kharitonov, meanwhile, extends his latest winning streak to five.
BE’s Karim Zidan has the complete results from M-1 Challenge 59 here.
Now I know you’re all thinking “Yes, yes, Kharitonov, that’s fine. But what’s happening in Boise, Idaho?!”
Well, I’ll tell you.
In Boise on Friday, the RFA put on its 27th show, featuring a headliner between bantamweights Jesse Brock (21-8, 1-1 Bellator) and Joe Murphy (8-3, 0-1 WSOF). Brock’s appreciable edge in experience would lead him to a unanimous decision victory, making for his fifth win in a row. That streak includes a win over WEC veteran Bendy Casimir. As for Murphy, Friday’s loss makes for his second in a row.
And, east of the Philipines, on the island of Saipan, former TUF 16 hopeful Frank Camacho (16-3-0) faced Yasuaki Miura (6-7-0) in the main event of Rites of Passage 18. Camacho, who lost to Neil Magny in the reality show’s opening round, dispatched Miura in half a minute via ground-and-pound. He’s 1-1 for the year.
Finally, we have Tokyo’s Pancrase 268, which featured a bout between former Top 10 bantamweight Masakatsu Ueda (19-4-2, 0-1 Bellator) and Luis Nogueira (19-4-1, 5-2 Bellator). Recently, Ueda could be seen plying his trade in One FC, where he beat Jens Pulver and prospect Kevin Belingon to win the organization’s bantamweight tournament and earn a shot at champion Bibiano Fernandes’s title, which he was unable to capture. Nogueira has seen his own share of tournament success, winning Bellator’s 2012 bantamweight tournament. Like Ueda, however, he would stumble in the ensuing title fight (that one to Marcos Galvao). Between these former contenders, Ueda would come out on top, putting himself back in the win column after suffering an unprecedented two consecutive losses. In the process, Ueda also hands Nogueira his first defeat in three years.
Also on the card, in a minor upset, Atsushi Yamamoto (18-9-3, 2-2 Dream) dropped a split-decision to journeyman Yuki Yasunaga (12-8-1). Yamamoto is 2-2 in his last four. Yasunaga has won his last three.
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