Injury Sidelines Zavurov; Aleksander Emelianenko Steps in for M-1

By Mike Whitman Nov 3, 2011
M-1 Global welterweight champion Shamil Zavurov will not defend his title as expected at M-1 Challenge 28, as the Russian has suffered a knee injury that will prevent him from participating in his rematch with Rashid Magomedov.

As a result, heavyweight Aleksander Emelianenko will step up on short notice and take on a to-be-named opponent in the main event. Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a source close to the situation on Thursday.

M-1 Challenge 28 goes down Nov. 12 from Star Centre in Astrakhan, Russia. In addition to Emelianenko’s appearance, the card is also expected to feature a light heavyweight confrontation pitting Igor Savelyev against Tomasz Narkun, along with the opening round of an eight-man middleweight grand prix.

Emelianenko (Pictured, File Photo), 30, recently suffered his first loss since 2006, as he was chopped down by Peter Graham in December 2010. Prior to succumbing to Graham’s leg kicks, the Russian had won eight straight contests, competing thrice for M-1 in that span. Like his older brother, Fedor Emelianenko, he is best known for his time in Japan’s defunct Pride Fighting Championships, where he fought the likes of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Josh Barnett and Sergei Kharitonov. The sambo specialist owns 11 of his 17 career wins by knockout and has only seen the judges’ scorecards twice in his eight years as a pro.

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