Breaking Down M-1 Challenge XXIII’s Welterweight Title Clash; Zavurov Aims to Break ‘Da Tank’

M-1 Challenge XXIII’s co-main event pits current champion, Shamil Zavurov against the always-tough-as-nails, 2010 M-1 Selection Americas tournament winner, Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio. 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 on Saturday March 5th starting at 11:00am EST / 8:00am PST.

Hailing from Dagestan, Russia, Shamil Zavurov is the owner of the inaugural M-1 Challenge welterweight belt and one of Europe’s top welterweight prospects sporting an impressive 18-1 record. The crafty Russian’s only defeat came over a year ago when he lost a close split-decision to Rashid Magomedov; the gritty RussFighters team standout is up to the test that Gallicchio represents in his first outing as the promotion’s champion.

Zavurov has won almost every competition available to him in sound, devastating fashion; a 3-time world champion in Combat Sambo, 2-time champion of the CIS in hand-to-hand combat, winner of international tournaments in wrestling and Wushu Sanda and champion of Dagestan in Wushu Sanda, Zavurov has amassed more than 50 victories in combat Sambo and 50 victories as an amateur / semi-professional MMA fighter. Flying under the radar of North American fans until recently, Zavurov has built a vault of experience.

Gallicchio rides in on a three-fight streak, has won six of his last seven and is looking to dethrone Zavurov in a highly explosive and entertaining fight in the fashion that he’s known for. Throughout 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 Reggie Pena, Aaron Meisner and Len Bentley which earned a ‘fight of the night’ award and a ‘submission of the night’ honourable mention. With his persistent work ethic and relentless drive inside the ring, there is no questioning where ‘Da Tank’ garnered his nickname.

Other than Zavurov’s additional combat sport experience, the pair matchup extremely well in physical size and fighting style but Zavurov will need to chip away at, and eventually break, Gallicchio’s un-teachable relentless, mental toughness. This battle can very well go deep into the championship rounds.

However long this fight does last, come March 5th when these two electrifying warriors face off in the biggest fight of their careers, fans can expect a tilt that delivers on its ‘fight of the night’ expectations; Zavurov drives to make a successful first defense and Gallicchio aims to bring the belt home to US soil.

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.