Beau ‘Blackjack’ Baker Steps Up; Rising Prospect Faces Alexander ‘The Tiger’ Sarnavskiy on Showtime

Seizing the opportunity to jump to the main card after Josh Bacallao was forced to withdraw due to an injury, Beau ‘Blackjack’ Baker now finds himself kicking off M-1 Global’s debut event on Showtime against a much tougher opponent, undefeated, top-ranked European prospect Alexander ‘The Tiger’ Sarnavskiy. Fans can catch the battle between these two rising stars LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

A well-sized lightweight standing 5’9″, Baker has had good success fighting up a division but prefers to leverage his natural advantages as a 155’er. A former division-one collegiate wrestler from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Baker made his successful professional MMA debut in 2007 and quickly went on a tear to win four in a row, three by way of crafty submissions; favouring to venture to the mat versus standing up, the 31 year old freestyle fighter out of the MMA Institute in Harrisonburg, Virginia now boasts a respectful 8-3 as a pro with notable wins over Ran Weathers and Ron Foster and.

Baker began wrestling at the age of 10 and went on to become a two-time state high school champion. It wasn’t until he and his younger brother Kyle, who is also a professional fighter, watched Bas Rutten’s collection of instructional DVDs that he learned many of the skills he would use throughout his fighting career. The two started in the basement where Baker went on to develop his self-trained abilities. After only three months of diligent ‘basement training’, ‘Blackjack’ took his first amateur fight and after a year on that circuit he made the decision to go pro. Four years later he and his brother have a 6000 square foot gym with over 50 members and managed to win over 75% of the 100+ fights their athletes have competed in

Having great respect for Russian fighters, especially Fedor Emelianenko, Baker feels the Europeans ‘bring a unique stand-up element to MMA… a different technique in how they throw hooks, turn their hands over and loop their punches in addition to melding the different styles together.” Respecting Sarnavskiy’s striking and kicks and knowing he is good on the ground, Baker’s methodical and tactical aggressive style can be leveraged as an advantage over his opponent’s wild exchanges. Baker’s wrestling and scrambling ability could prove to be a big asset if he uses this to take Sarnavskiy down, use a relentless ground and pound to subdue his undefeated opponent and set up a submission or TKO victory.

Known for his lethal grappling ability, fast hands and iron chin, Baker has faced high calibre competition throughout his career; although he hasn’t won all his fights against recognizable names, he continues to build his experience and he’s ready to peak against Sarnavskiy.

M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa airs LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

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.