Yana Kunitskaya upset prospect Cindy Dandois | Photo Courtesy: M-1 Global
UFC veterans Luigi Fioravanti and Vinny Magalhaes walked away with victories, but it was a mixed bag for up-and-coming prospects Friday afternoon at M-1 Challenge 22 at Druzhba Arena in Moscow.
After three periods, Fioravanti entered the extension round against Arthur Guseinov with no intention of allowing further judge interference, putting his Russian foe away with a rear-naked choke 33 seconds into the frame.
The American Top Team fighter deserved the nod after 15 minutes, but the judges returned a draw verdict. Fioravanti took Guseinov down, punched him when he turtled, advanced to mount and worked for numerous armbars. Guseinov, to his credit, escaped out of every attempt and returned to the feet where he attacked with wild kicks, only to be taken down again.
At one point, Guseinov was deducted a point for an illegal soccer kick on Fioravanti, which made the three-round draw all the more puzzling. However, Fioravanti realized he was fighting the judges as well, turning up his attack to eventually finish the exhausted Guseinov, who could barely stand after the third round.
Vinny Magalhaes' ground acumen was well beyond his European contemporaries on the bill and Alihan Magomedov found out firsthand.
The TUF 8 alum didn't look to be well-prepared but had little trouble twisting up Magomedov when the fight hit the ground. In the first round, the Russian wisely tried to avoid Magalhaes’ guard but still had to fight off armbars and a gogoplata.
In round two, a more focused “Pezao” got a takedown and forced his opponent to give up his back. From there, Magalhaes transitioned to a slick triangle, and added an armbar to force the tap 70 seconds into the second frame.
Prospects Dandois, Narkun Fall; Moks, Zavurov, Sarnavskiy Roll
Cindy Dandois' hype took a massive blow as the previously unbeaten Belgian judoka was completely outclassed by Russian Yana Kunitskaya.
With a striking stance that invoked memories of Rickson Gracie and Yoshihiro Takayama, Dandois could not stop the advance of Kunitskaya who landed simple crosses and hooks to great effect. Dandois, who was tabbed as a potential future foe Strikeforce 145-pound women’s champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, finally crumbled to the floor after a right cross, prompting referee Mika Sinkkonen to stop the bout just 34 seconds in. Dandois protested the stoppage but to no avail.
Russian Vyacheslav Vasilevsky claimed the vacant M-1 light heavyweight title, dispatching highly-touted Polish grappler Tomasz Narkun in the second round.
The 20-year-old Narkun had no answer for Vasilevsky's speed and striking and couldn't get close enough to attempt a proper takedown. Vasilevsky, who weighed in at just 191 pounds for the bout, had no intention of grappling, continuously motioning for Narkun to stand up, where he would overwhelm him with punches time and again.
Finally, a right cross put Narkun on the mat again, and “Giraffe” refused to stand up as requested by referee Viktor Korneev, giving Vasilevsky the win and the M-1 title at 2:20 of the second round. Vasilevsky is now 11-1 and 6-0 in 2010 alone.
Narkun’s teammate Rafal Moks picked up M-1's middleweight crown with a lightning-fast submission of veteran Magomed Sultanakhmedov. Moks was the smaller man and was fighting a fever and food poisoning heading into the bout. Perhaps with this in mind, he set to work quickly, flopping to the ground after a kick, baiting Sultanakhmedov to the ground, and locking up a tight heel hook for the tap in just 17 seconds.
Russian Shamil Zavurov comfortably defeated Spain's Abner Lloveras to claim the M-1 170-pound title.
Lloveras was unable to stop Zavurov’s takedowns and the Spaniard was exhausted by the fourth round. After throwing up a desperate omoplata attempt, Lloveras turtled while Zavurov punched away to earn the stop at 4:22 of the fourth frame.
With the win, Zavurov moved his record to 13-1, with a whopping 9-0 mark in 2010.
Though heralded for his striking, exciting 21-year-old prospect Alexander Sarnavskiy showed his grappling skills, tapping out Arsen Ubaidulaev in 43 seconds. After getting taken down and mounted for a moment, Sarnavskiy scrambled, jumped on his opponent's back, locked on a body triangle, then the choke for the quick tap, moving his unbeaten mark to 12-0, and 6-0 on the year.
In other action, American Patrick Bennett was wronged by local judges after four rounds against Alexander Volkov. For three rounds, Volkov would land a kick, be taken down, and punched until the bell. After three rounds of Bennett’s top control, an extension round was called for. The last period unfolded identically, yet was inexplicably judged a draw despite Bennett’s dominance.
Mikhail Zayats defeated powerful Georgian wrestler David Tkeshelashvili by rear-naked choke at 2:26 of the first round.
Viktor Nemkov made Daniel Vizcaya submit to a triangle choke just 69 seconds into their bout.
Moscow’s Vitaly Minakov defeated Valery Scherbakov in just 65 seconds, transitioning from full mount to an armbar for the tap.
In the show opener, Alexander Tokarev made short work of Azerbaijan's Vusal Bairamov knocking him out with a left hook 1:47 into the first round.