27 April 2011
It’s probably pretty safe to say that the American fight fan perceptions of M-1 Global is that of the silent puppeteer of Fedor Emelianenko and a company so hell-bent on validation that they demand co-promoter billing on any event that features one of their fighters. Of course, M-1 Global would disagree with such sentiment. To let M-1 tell it, they are a legitimate promotional company with the desire to spread the reach and influence of MMA by giving their countrymen opportunities not afforded to them by other promoters. While M-1 had been slow on establishing their brand as an independent entity is years past, it does appear that they are working toward rectifying this in 2011.
This past March, M-1 held their M-1 Challenge XXIV card from Norfolk, VA. While the card was filled with fighters few in America had even heard of, the fact remains that with all things considered, it was a pretty entertaining show. Aiding in the increased American exposure was the fact that the event was broadcast live on Showtime. Say what you want about the decidedly unheralded Russian fighters on their roster, but they made a good showing of themselves with their non-stop aggression in the ring.
This Thursday, M-1 Global will host their M-1 Challenge XXV: Zavurov vs. Enomoto card from the Ice Palace Saint Petersburg, in Saint Petersburg, RUS. While this card will again feature a plethora of Russian fighters (most training out of the heralded Red Devil Sport Club), it will feature a couple of names familiar to the die-hard American fight fans in the nights’ two title fights. Sengoku veteran Yasubey Enomoto will get a shot at the M-1 welterweight title when he takes on champion Shamil Zavurov in the promotion’s main event. Sweeting this card will be the co-featured M-1 light heavyweight title fight between Vinny Magalhaes and Viktor Nemkov for the vacant strap. US fight fans may recall Magalhaes as the talented Brazilian on season eight of The Ultimate Fighter.
Granted, a card full of European fighters may not be the most compelling thing going for American fight fans. But, before Fedor was, well, Fedor he was a talented young Russian sambo fighter looking for his shot at glory. If nothing else, M-1 Challenge XXV will give viewers an opportunity to see the global influence of modern day MMA.
The free live broadcast coverage of M-1 Challenge XXV from St. Petersburg, Russia will be available to viewers worldwide on the official M-1 Global website (www.M-1Global.com) and select affiliate partner sites, including us here at InsidetheCageMMA.com, starting at 11:00am EST / 8:00am PST on Thursday April 28th.
Full Fight Card
M-1 Challenge XXV Main Card (Streaming Live):
Light Heavyweight Championship Bout
Vinny Magalhaes (7-5) battles Viktor Nemkov (10-2) for the vacant 205-pound strap
Welterweight Championship Bout
Shamil Zavurov, M-1 Challenge Champion (19-1) meets Yasubey Enomoto (6-2)
Maxim Grishin (7-5) vs. Vladimir Kuchenko (4-8-1)
Mikhail Zayats (13-5) vs. Malik Merad (10-6)
Arsen Temirkhanov (8-1) vs. Juanma Suarez (6-0)
Murad Magomedov (6-6) vs. Ramazan Emeev (7-1)
Alexander Volkov (10-3) vs. Denis Goltsov (2-2)
Alexander Yakovlev (10-3) vs. Christian Eckerlin (6-0)
Andrei Semenov (29-9-2) vs. Luigi Fioravanti (22-8)
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