‘Da Tank’ Takes Aim at M-1 Challenge Gold at XXIII

Prepare for a war in M-1 Challenge XXIII’s co-main event as the 2010 M-1 Selection Americas tournament winner, Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio hooks up with current champion, Shamil Zavurov. With Zavurov putting his welterweight championship belt on the line for the very first time, the eerily similar fighting styles of both fighters are set to explode inside the confines of the five-rope ring. Fans can catch the title-tilt’s action from inside the Crocus City Arena in Moscow, Russia for free and LIVE on MMA-Paradie.com on Saturday March 5th starting at 11:00am EST / 8:00am PST.

With his personal affairs sorted out and eager to return to action, the New Jersey native and Team Bombsquad scrapper is intent to make Zavurov’s reign short lived. “I’m going to Moscow to finish what I started,” declared Gallicchio in a recent interview with M-1. “Zavurov’s tough – he’s 19-1 for a reason but he’s not used to fighting North American-sized fighters and I’m training my ass off for this fight.” Talking about the size difference, Gallicchio brought up the progress of his camp. “I’m down to about 180 pounds right now. This last ten pounds won’t be a massive cut since I’m trying to train near my fighting weight to ensure my speed and power are perfectly tuned.”

Even M-1 Global’s Director of Operations, Evgeni Kogan has piped up about the fight. “Every once and a while perfect match-ups present themselves. Both guys are aggressive on their feet and on the ground and having the championship belt on the line is certainly adding fuel to this highly anticipated fight.”

Gallicchio also opened up about his first taste of international competition. “This is my first fight overseas and I’m doing my research on the Russian culture, the food and time change; I’m doing all I can to prepare.”

Originally slated to battle Zavurov for the welterweight crown this past December, Gallicchio discussed his reasons for withdrawing. “Nagging injuries from the Selections tournament made me request being withdrawn from the title fight. It was a gruelling run and I needed more time to recover.”

In 2010, Gallicchio made three consecutive trips to the Atlantic City boardwalk on route to capturing the M-1 Selection Americas tournament; the conquest included knocking off tough opponents in incredible fashion which earned a ‘fight of the night’ award and a ‘submission of the night’ honourable mention.

In his opening bout, Gallicchio clashed with Reggie Pena; going the distance, the judges gave the bout to Gallicchio via razor-thin split-decision.

The tournament semi-finals matchup pitted “Da Tank” against Aaron Meisner and the pair closed out the night in epic fashion. Barley able to answer the bell for the third, Gallicchio came out with a furious exchange that took both men to the canvass; stealing Meisner’s back, Gallicchio locked in a suffocating, world-class, rear naked choke forcing the submission near the midway point of the frame.

Gallicchio made no fuss in his pre-final predictions about winning the tournament over fellow finalist Len Bentley. In his tournament finals bout, Gallicchio was motivated to destroy Bentley and the pair came out at the bell explosively. After Bentley gave up his back, ‘Da Tank’ smelled blood and locked in his signature RNC to capture the first-round submission victory and win the tournament.

Having won six of his last seven and riding a current three-fight streak, Gallicchio is known for producing highly explosive and entertaining fights making him a fan-favourite on any card; with his persistent work ethic and relentless drive inside the ring, there is no questioning where he garnered his nickname.

Closing out our call, ‘Da Tank’ delivered on his always quotable humour when discussing how similar his and Zavurov’s fighting styles are. “We have VERY similar builds and styles. In fact, he kind of looks me – we’re brother’s from another mother.”

No matter what womb these warriors fought out of, come March 5th in Moscow, Russia, fans expect nothing less than this tilt to deliver on its ‘fight of the night’ expectations as Gallicchio closes in on the M-1 Challenge championship belt with unrelenting toughness.

About William Smith

After watching the first Ultimate Fighting Championship I became instantly hooked. I've been a huge fan of the sport of MMA ever since. Haven't missed a UFC event & thanks to fight pass I've witnessed some of the all time greatest fighter & athletes the sport through Pride, Strikeforce, WEC, Glory, Pacrase, EliteXC.............. I resently joined MMA-paradise.com & will use this site to continue to bring the latest news from the world of MMA to all our loyal followers.