Artiom Damkovsky Returns to Action at M-1 Ukraine European Battle, Former Lightweight Champion Eager For Redmeption

After losing his lightweight title to Jose Figueroa in a one-sided beating, Artiom Damkovsky (8-5) returns on a quest to clamor back into title contention; the Belorussian officer’s first roadblock to his ultimate goal is the versatile submission specialist, Yuri Ivlev (16-7). The pair of talented fighters meet as a special attraction bout at the M-1 Ukraine European Battle on Saturday June 4th. Fans can capture the action from inside the National Circus Arena in Kiev starting at 11am EST / 8am PST via LIVE streaming telecast on the official M-1 Global website ( and M-1 Global facebook fan page

The 25 year old Belarusian captured the inaugural M-1 Lightweight Championship bout with a victory over Mairbek Taisumov at M-1 Challenge XXI, one of the card’s most exciting battles and later named as M-1’s Most Exciting Fight of 2010; Damkovsky weathered a first-round storm to comeback and punish Taisumov in the third with jumping knees and outside leg-kicks. While trying to fend off the relentless attack, Taisumov took an unintentional finger to the eye which the ringside physician deemed enough to warrant a stoppage and declaring Damkovsky the victor. Unable to defend his title against Figueroa, the loss marked his defeat in six outings.

Since making his professional debut against Vladimir Ermolaev at Shooto Belarus – Bushido in July 2006, Damkovsky struggled through adversity early in his career as he continued to develop his talents; his turn around came with a victory against Hiroyuki Abe and he hadn’t looked back since, creating a run that capped off 2010 with incredible performances through the 2010 Eastern Europe M-1 Selection tournament. His ‘Cinderella story’ torrent through the brackets included back-to-back-to-back decisions, marking Damkovsky’s battles as the toughest passes to championship status across the tournament brackets in any region.

Inside the gruelling tournament structure, Damkovsky showcased an incredible combination of power, speed and skill that he uses effectively to wear out his opponents. He possesses a keen awareness for ring positioning which enables him to unleash stinging leg kicks and spinning back-fists and to engage in taunting cat-and-mouse counters; with an innate ability to take down his opponents with ease, it’s not uncommon for Damkovsky to put his opponents on the ground just to stand back up to his feet as if to say ‘I can take you down any time. Now get up and let’s go.’

Although only 5’8”, Damkovsky possesses a substantial reach and its clear this talented prospect understands how to effectively use this advantage. Being able to sit back and counter with explosive, powerful striking comparable to a welterweight, the Belarusian has shown to be extremely tactical in his game plan and apt in his defence; he’s also proven to critics that he has a durable chin capable of taking the heaviest of shots and then continue on relentlessly.

No matter where this fight goes, Damkovsky is in for a fight against an opponent with more experience fighting tougher competition. The former lightweight champ will need be wary of Ivlev’s striking and submission arsenals while mounting his offensives off effective counter punching; ironically, Damkovsky needs to prepare a game plan for a long drawn out battle that will likely not go to the judges.

LIVE broadcast coverage of the M-1 Ukraine European Battle will be available to viewers worldwide on the official M-1 Global website ( and M-1 Global facebook fan page starting at 11:00am EST / 8:00am PST.

The 2011 European M-1 Selection tournament second quarterfinal round will be held July 16th, 2011; entitled Battle on the Neva River 5, the event will hail seaside in St. Petersburg, Russia.

M-1 Global is now in full-swing preparation for its fourth mega-event of 2011 scheduled for Friday July 8th from inside the United States. M-1 Challenge XXVI is headlined with undefeated, #1 Ranked heavyweight prospect Guram Gugenishvili (11-0) putting his belt on the line for the second time against decorated American wrestler, Pat Bennett (4-2). In co-main event action, newly crowned Lightweight Champion, Jose Figueroa (10-4) makes his first title defense against feared German submission specialist, Daniel Weichel (26-7).

About William Smith

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