Source: Phoenix Likely Host for M-1's Showtime Return

By Mike Whitman Aug 23, 2011
Kenny Garner (standing) has earned another shot at Guram Gugenishvili. | Photo: Dave Mandel



M-1 Challenge will return to Showtime on Oct. 14 with a bevy of title fights, as three champions will defend their belts on the premium cable network.

Citing M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan, MMAFighting.com first reported the date for the promotion's Showtime return, as well as championships pairings. According to Kogan, heavyweight king Guram Gugenishvili will put his belt on the line against Kenny Garner in the evening's headliner.

In two other title bouts, M-1 Challenge 27 will also see light heavyweight titleholder Vinny Magalhaes lock horns with Mikhail Zayats, while lightweight champion Jose Figueroa toes the line against Daniel Weichel.

Though Kogan could not confirm a location for the event, Sherdog.com has learned from a source close to the situation that the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., will likely play host to the show. However, the booking is not yet official and has yet to be announced by the promotion.

Gugenishvili and Garner have met once before, as they squared off for the heavyweight strap in Oct. 2010. The Georgian emerged victorious at M-1 Challenge 21, submitting the American with a guillotine choke early in the second round.

Since that bout, neither man has tasted defeat. The champion defended his title successfully against Maxim Grishin in March, while Garner earned victories over Danny Lockhart and Pat Bennett in April and July, respectively.

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