Photo: M-1 Global
Heavyweight prospect Guram Gugenishvili was killed in a car accident Sunday in his native Georgia.
M-1 Global, Gugenishvili’s longtime promoter, today confirmed the news; details of the accident were not disclosed. Gugenishvili was 28 years old.
“He was a great athlete and a kind, open-hearted person,” the organization wrote in a brief statement.
A physically gifted fighter with a powerful grappling base, 6-foot-5 Gugenishvili claimed multiple M-1 heavyweight titles while compiling an 11-0 record in his first two years as a mixed martial artist. The Georgian will perhaps be best remembered for his trilogy of bouts with American Kenny Garner, who scored stoppages of Gugenishvili in their last two meetings.
In April, Gugenishvili returned from an injury-induced 16-month hiatus to punch out Tony Bonello under the Inoki Genome Fight banner in what would be his final bout. According to M-1 Global, Gugenishvili was expected to compete again for IGF before the end of the year and would have returned to M-1 competition in 2015.