Kenny Garner will look for his third straight win, as well as revenge, at M-1 Challenge 27. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Premium cable channel Showtime will broadcast five fights from M-1 Challenge 27, an event topped by an M-1 Global heavyweight title rematch between unbeaten Ukrainian Guram Gugenishvili and American challenger Kenny Garner.
Sherdog.com on Monday confirmed the five-bout lineup with a source close to the event. The show marks the Russian promotion’s first trip to Arizona, as the show will emanate from Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix.
In the big men’s initial meeting last October, Gugenishvili put Garner to sleep with a second-round standing guillotine choke to win the vacant belt. Since then, Gugenishvili has retained his belt by submitting Maxim Grishin in March, while Garner has strung together back-to-back knockouts of Pat Bennett and Danny Lockhart.
In the evening’s co-headlining slot, M-1 Global light heavyweight titleholder Vinny Magalhaes will attempt to defend his belt for the first time against Russian sambo specialist Mikhail Zayats. BJJ wiz Magalhaes took home the vacant title with an April submission of Viktor Nemkov and comes hot off a Sunday win in the super-heavyweight bracket of the 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship. Zayats earned his title shot with his first career knockout, having stopped Frenchman Malik Merad on punches in April.
Bolstering the main card will be a middleweight bout between Arthur Guseinov and “Crazy Face” Eddie Arizmendi, both of whom scored impressive knockouts on M-1’s July Showtime offering. At welterweight, 2010 M-1 Challenge Americas tournament winner Tom Gallicchio will take on Phoenix local Daniel Madrid, and Sengoku veteran Yasubey Enomoto will go up against Joshua Thorpe.