Team USA East will face a stiff test in its five-bout clash with Team Russia Legion at the M-1 Challenge Finals on Dec. 3 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Russia Legion team dominated its Group D bracket this season rooted in strong performances by undefeated welterweight prospect Magomed Shikshabekov and lightweight Yuri Ivlev.
Shikshabekov, who won all four of his bouts in the first round, faces USA East’s Gerson dos Santos. Ivlev meets an undefeated Ivan Jorge in the 155-pound finals. The Russian group will also get a boost from the addition of Ansar Chalangov in its middleweight slot. Chalangov, a Bodog Fight and UFC veteran, will meet FuryFC and Meca participant Danilo Pereira.
M-1 Challenge’s second season has spanned seven countries on four continents, whittling 16 teams of over 150 fighters down to the two remaining squads.
Group C winners Team USA East conquered Team Bulgaria (5-0), Team Finland (3-2), and took two wins over Team Benelux en route to the semi-finals. USA East bested the USA West team by 4-1 to earn its place in the finals.
Russia Legion became the Group D Champions with victories over the World Team (4-1), Team Germany (4-1) and Team Turkey (5-0). In the bracket’s semi-finals, Russia Legion iced Team England to take its finalist slot.
Russia Imperial, formerly the Russian Red Devils, won the M-1 Challenge’s first season last January in Amsterdam.
The M-1 Challenge Finals will stream live on www.M-1Global.com and www.Mixfight.ru (where blackout isn’t in effect for TV broadcasts).