M-1 Challenge XXIII: Guram vs. Grishin Kicks Off 2011

Kicking off the new year, M-1 Global announces its first event of 2011; on March 5th, from the Crocus City Arena in Moscow Russia, M-1 Challenge XXIII: Guram vs. Grishin will see the current heavyweight champ, Guram Gugenishvili, defend his title for the first time against 2010 Selections Eastern European tournament winner, Maxim Grishin.

“M-1 Global has crowned their champions and 2011 is the year for these stars to defend what they have rightfully earned,” says Evgeni Kogan, Director of Operations of the worldwide mixed martial arts promotion. “Guram knows what he has to do at M-1 Challenge XXIII and every heavyweight here on out is gunning to take the belt away from him. His reign is in his hands and M-1 will provide the stage for the showdown between two highly talented fighters.”

The clash was originally slated for M-1 Challenge XXI however Grishin was forced to withdraw due to an injury sustained in training just weeks before the October 28th event date. Stepping into replace Grishin was American Selections tournament winner, Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner who succumbed to Guram early in the second round via rear-naked-choke; with the win, Guram become M-1’s first-ever heavyweight champion.

If you’re a heavyweight fighter in Europe and you know the name Guram Gugenishvili, you’ve probably been put to sleep; with the way he’s been putting his opponents out on the canvass, he may as well become a licensed anaesthesiologist. Come March 5th when he steps into the ring to defend his heavyweight title against Eastern Europe’s 2010 M-1 Selection tournament winner, Maxim Grishin, fans should expect the seemingly emotionless giant to deliver an utterly dominant performance.

Fighting out of Makariv, Kiev Oblast in the Ukraine, Gugenishvili has quietly amassed an undefeated and impressive 10-0 record on his way to capturing the title of M-1 Selection 2010 Eastern European Champion. What has been most notable about this prospect is his agility; at 6’4” and 250lbs, Gugenishvili moves around the ring lightly on his feet and stalks his opponents down like a starved lion hunting prey on an African plain. He’s methodical, calm and systematic in his movements; in his mind, he’s won the fight before the sound of the bell and the course of action within the ropes is only a formality.

No one has been able to expose holes in his abilities to date. All but one of his victories have ended early in the first round and six of these come by way of suffocating, anaconda-like rear naked chokes. Simply put: Gugenishvili, and his team at Makfight, are proving to be top prospects in MMA and the global fan base has no choice other than to take notice.

In capturing the M-1 Selection Championship, Gugenishvili demolished Jur Dekker, Valery Scherbakov and Alexander Romaschenko and is now standing on the next steps of his professional career where the level and calibre of competition gets tougher.

In the headline bout at M-1 Challenge XXI, American Top Team heavyweight, Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner became the latest victim to fall prey to the Georgian powerhouse, after being choked unconscious with a standing guillotine that earned Submission of the Night honours. With Guram delivering a solid performance, he now proudly wears the gold around his waist and is set to collide with Grishin in the marquee battle at M-1 Challenge XXIII.

The pair were originally set to meet at XXI however a training injury forced Grishin to withdraw. Now healed up and ready for action, Grishin, the definitive underdog, is destined to square off against Guram in hopes of dethroning the current champ.

Championship Bout

Heavyweight Division:
Guram Gugenishvili, M-1 Challenge Champion (10-0) clashes with Maxim Grishin, M-1 Selection Eastern Europe 2010 champion (7-4)

·Additional bouts to be announced shortly

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.