Emelianenko Takes Out Late Replacement with Ease

By Evgeni Kogan Jul 23, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, July 21 -- The waterfront of historic St. Petersburg was the setting for Saturday's M-1 vs. Europe event. Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures) drew top billing for the unique VIP-only event set on a pontoon moored to a ship, just a stone's throw from the Winter Palace.

About 100 invited guests surrounded the ring while a handful of luxury yachts circled the makeshift arena. The Russian contingent would not be let down as Emelianenko sent them home happy after his dominating win over an unheralded Jesse Gibson.

The fighters were initially cautious, with Emelianenko moving steadily forward, crowding Gibson into a corner. Before he could close, Gibson, who matched the huge Emelianenko in size, threw a front push kick that caught Emelianenko in the stomach and knocked him down onto his haunches.

Gibson pounced forward and Emelianenko pulled guard. From there Emelianenko wasted no time in sweeping Gibson to end up on top in half guard. He immediately tried to pull his leg out from between Gibson's to gain side mount. When this did not happen quickly Emelianenko abandoned hopes of side mount and transitioned into a Kimura that suddenly had Gibson in danger.

Gibson had no answer for the hold and tapped, ending the match in the third minute of the first round giving Emelianenko the victory.

In a fight that went the distance, Eric Oganov took home a unanimous decision over Lloveras Hernandez Abner. Oganov's wrestling was dominant; he took his Spanish opponent down at will, but was unable to progress from guard or force a stoppage with strikes.

On the feet, Abner tried to stay on the outside and trade with Oganov. His straighter punches found their mark a number of times, but he was not able to remain standing long enough to accumulate points. Oganov repeatedly put him on his back with single or double-leg takedowns to avoid his striking prowess.

Despite looking physically weaker than the compactly powerful Oganov, Abner was very comfortable off his back, even when mounted. In the end it was Oganov's ability to win the positional battle that garnered him the unanimous decision.

Making his debut, Radmir Gabdullin at 19-years-old looked comfortable matched up against the older and more experienced Alexei Belyaev. The first round was a Groundhog's day of Gabdullin keeping his distance with Belyaev and striking from the outside. Belyaev unwillingly traded, waiting for an opportunity to take Gabdullin down. Gabdullin sprawled and tried to throw Belyaev from the clinch. The second round was more of the same until Belyaev got caught underneath and Gabdullin worked for a tight armbar which forced the tap halfway through the round.

Joao Wilson gave up considerable height and weight to Uriy Pulaev and came into the bout with a mixed record. Despite his opponent's advanatages, Wilson did well to weather Pulaev's initial onslaught. After taking the fight to the ground, he controlled the action before forcing a tap with a rear naked choke midway through the first frame.

30-year-old Russian Sergey Berdev took on PRIDE Bushido veteran Brian Lo-A-Njoe (Pictures) in a first round that saw mostly clinching against the corner posts, with Berdev looking for takedowns while Lo-A-Njoe tried to create distance to land a haymaker.

The start of the second was more of the same with Berdev, who took Lo-A-Njoe down and looked for the finish. Lo-A-Njoe reversed Berdev from side-mount, only to end up in Berdev's high guard, where moments later moments later the Russian sunk a tight triangle choke that forced Lo-A-Njoe to submit.

In one of the less exciting bouts of the evening, Arman Gambaryan controlled the action and scored a unanimous decision over Karl Amoussou (Pictures).

Dmitriy Samoylov displayed his sambo prowess against Bohumil Lungrik en route to scoring a second round TKO victory via ground-and-pound.

Antonio Mendes claimed victory in the second round against 18-year-old Kiril Sidelnikov, after the ringside physician stepped in to examine Kirill's right eye; which sported a huge mouse. Sidelnikov's left eye was cut as well.

Vladimir Zenin (Pictures) got the best of Seydina Seck before finishing his opponent via TKO in the second with a barrage of ground-and-pound strikes.

In what was one of the better fights on the card, Mikhail Zayats submitted Lukasz Jurkowski with an arm-triangle choke in the final period.

Gegard Mousasi (Pictures) showed his class against Alexander Kokoev, dominating on his feet and easily taking the first frame before submitting his fatigued opponent in the second round.
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