Breaking Down Damkovsky vs. Ivlev, Lightweight’s Look to Explode at the M-1 Ukraine European Battle

After losing his lightweight title to Jose Figueroa, Artiom Damkovsky (8-5) needs to shake off the most brutal loss of his career and the path to redemption begins with a faceoff against Russian submission-specialist-turned-striker, 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

Damkovsky has proven to be an extremely resilient fighter who executes tactical game plans using an incredible combination of power, speed and skill to wear out his opponents. He’ll need to have all facets of his game firing in order to bring a competitive fight to Ivlev.

Ring positioning will need to be controlled, enabling Damkovsky to be the aggressor so he can maintain effective spacing where he can unleash the stinging leg kicks, spinning back-fists and jumping knees he’s known for. He needs to capitalize on and leverage his reach; use it to establish an offensive and counter with explosive, powerful combinations.

Even though the Belarusian officer has shown an innate ability to take his opponents down easily, going to the canvas with Ivlev may not be the best idea; Ivlev is durable enough to withstand Damkovsky’s G&P and has a definitive advantage in the submission game. Damkovsky’s chance for victory comes standing up.

Ivlev was seemingly unstoppable through 2009/10 as he racked up six consecutive victories, five by way of explosive knock out or punishing TKOs; he’s a crafty, heavy-handed striker with exceptional submission skills and is intent on shaking off a recent 2-fight skid with a commanding win over the former lightweight champion.

Possessing what many claim as Olympic-level judo and world-class sambo skills, Ivlev has to be considered the favourite heading into Saturday’s bout thanks to his versatility; he packs an arsenal of submissions which are far superior to Damkovsky’s and his striking is precise with knock-out power. The challenge with keeping this fight standing is the fact that Damkovsky possesses a durable chin, is capable of weathering heavy shots and then turning the tables to mount his own offensive.

With the reputation of being one of the most-feared submission technicians in the 155lb weight class, don’t be surprised if we see Ivlev look to go to the mat and bust out a joint-jacking submission. Either way, from the feet or from the canvass, Ivlev needs this win in order to have any shot at mounting a run at the lightweight title.

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 needs be wary of Ivlev’s striking and submission arsenals and mount strategic 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.

Ivlev is in full control of his fighting future on Saturday night; a win proves this talented, versatile fighter can bounce back from a pair of tough losses in the fashion that he is known for and that the all-around impressive mixed martial artist is truly deserving of a future title shot. A loss puts him in jeopardy of becoming a fallen star.

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.

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 & will use this site to continue to bring the latest news from the world of MMA to all our loyal followers.