Which Warrior Walks With the M-1 Middleweight Strap: Sultanakhmedov and Jeffries Wage War for Gold

Magomed ‘The White Wolf’ Sultanakhmedov returned to grace in front his home country crowd with a commanding Fight of the Night performance over Plino Cruz at M-1 Challenge XXIII. Proving to be one the promotion’s most-feared warriors, he next collides with Tyson ‘The Anti-Hero’ Jeffries at M-1 Challenge: Damkovsky vs. Figueroa LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, March 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The battle from with the confines of the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia mark’s ‘The White Wolf’s” second opportunity to seize the 185-pound strap and the ‘Anti-Hero’s’ first dance under the championship spotlights.

Since making his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2003, 26 year old Tula, Russia native, Magomed Sultanakhmedov has quietly amassed a respectable 15-5 record battling in the European circuit, allowing him to build a vast vault of experience and refine his technique. As the primary favourite to win his weight class in the 2010 M-1 Selections Eastern European tournament, he delivered on these expectations and culminated the M-1 Selection middleweight brackets this past July with a devastating TKO victory over Alexei Belyaev.

A world champion in karate and kick-boxing, as well as a veteran tournament participant for M-1, Dream and K-1 Hero ’s, many have compared his style to the great Mirko Cro Cop of the past, a great left-handed fighter with a sound defense and able to deliver deadly kicks at will.

Knowing Jeffries and his camp have been studying tape and taking extremely close notes, Sultanakhmedov has been devising a game plan to combat the Team Quest protégé’s exceptional wrestling, boxing and defensive skills; the Team Highlander fighter is fully intent on keeping this fight on the feet to exploit his distinct striking advantage. The feared Russian striker will have 25 minutes to tactically tear apart his opponent in front of a capacity crowd and to those tuning in from across North America.

The flipside of the coin has Portland, Oregon native and Team Quest fighter Tyson ‘The Anti Hero’ Jeffries taking out Sultanakhmedov, laying rights to the middleweight belt and marking himself as a hot-topic in North American mixed martial arts forums.

Coming from a team known for producing impeccable fighters with sound wrestling foundations, this young protégé has produced hard-fought, exciting tilts and possesses all the qualities and skills necessary to be a successful champion. As a Sport Fight veteran, Jeffries has built a 7-4 record with the assistance of notable teammate Chael Sonnen and Olympic silver medalist coach Matt Lindland

On route to winning the 2010 M-1 Selections Americas tournament middleweight brackets, Jeffries utilized his submission skills and striking abilities to subdue and systematically dismantle opponents. With an impenetrable steadfast defence and effective counter-punching, Jeffries is also cognizant to secure exceptional ring positioning which enables him to constantly cut-off his opponents and continually push the action.

He’s a patient fighter capable of sitting back and effectively countering while setting up the takedown; he also exhibits a veteran’s composure when timing his opponent’s offensives which allows his to set up a magnificent overhand right. Adding to his versatility, Jeffries is comfortable fighting off his back and has a repertoire of submissions.

Watching Jeffries from the beginning of the last year’s M-1 Selection tournament, it is easy to conclude that his Finals bout against Mike Geurin was where he matured as a fighter; the battle took the night’s ‘fight of the night’ honours, is regarded as the highlight bout of the tournament and is also cemented as M-1 Global’s #3 fight of 2010. When Jeffries’ miraculous triangle is tied into the equation, it’s no wonder why this fight also captured the night’s ‘submission of the night’ award as well.

Jeffries and his camp have a tight-lipped game plan drawn up for the championship bout that could very well be one of the best fights to happen in 2011.

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.