M1 Global: Showtime Debut Features Excellent Fights

| March 28, 2011 | 12:58 pm | Reply

M1 Global made their Showtime debut Friday night to an excited crowd in Norfolk, VA and it was an impressive night of action, with two outstanding title fight clashes.  If this is the level of competition we can expect from M1 Global, expect the promotion to find a warm welcome stateside.

If you didn’t catch M1 Global’s Showtime debut Friday night, you missed out on a solid night of fights.  Vinny Magalhaes was on the card, and looked terrific.  You’ll remember Vinny from his successful stint on The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 losing in the final to Ryan Bader. 

On Friday Vinny met Jake Doerr and immediately dropped him in the opening seconds of the fight with an overhand right.  Doerr never made it back to his feet.  Vinny immediately followed him to the ground and instead of doing what you might expect and submitting Doer; Vinny opened up with a barrage of ground and pound and won the fight via TKO just over a minute into the first stanza.  For Vinny it was a dominant performance and it makes his record a very impressive 5-1 since he left the UFC.

There were two title fights on the card, including the main event, for the M1 Global Lightweight Championship.  American Top Team standout Jose Figueroa took on Artiom Damkovsky and it was an action packed fight.

For Jose, it was very much a fish in and out of water.  While standing he looked cautious and uncomfortable.  However when the fight went to the mat, he was in his element and was active and effective hurting Artiom and bloodying him in the first.  There were moments in the first where it looked like Artiom might get put away in the first round, but he survived.  He wouldn’t survive the second.

As the second round opened, Jose again took Artiom to the mat, passed his guard and worked into the mount.  Jose unleashed some serious shots to a fading Damkovsky, but the referee halted the action and called the bout at 2:28 of the second round.  Artiom Damkovsky’s corner argued the stoppage as being early, but it was a good stoppage and it saved Artiom from taking additional unnecessary punishment.

The other title fight was between Team Quest up and comer Tyson Jeffries and Magomed Sultanakhmedov (Sultan-Eck-Ma-Dov) was a great showcase for Magomed and put the incredible fighter in front of a huge Showtime audience.  If you haven’t seen Sultankhmedov fight before, you will see him again.  He uses body punches and kicks in a way I’ve not seen for a long time.  He literally broke Jeffries down with knees, punches and kicks for a round and a half and then finished him explosively with a series of knees and shots to the head.

The only moments when it seemed he wasn’t in total control was after a scramble, Jeffries ended up in full mount and tried to secure and arm triangle.  Sultankhmedov fought out of it, swept Jeffries and got to his feet; the end came some 40 seconds later.  Magomed Sultankhmedov is 7-1 fighting for M1 Global and is their Middleweight Champion.  He’s a budding superstar and definitely one to watch in the coming years.

In the lone fight of the night that was not action packed, Jason Norwood (11-1) used a never-ending series of takedowns to control the Mojo Horne (5-1) adding the first loss to the formerly undefeated fighter from Ohio.  It was not an interesting fight in the least, as Norwood took Mojo down time and again, did little while there and basically controlled the action for three rounds while the crowd in the arena let them know they weren’t loving the action with a chorus of boo’s.

After three rounds of less than stellar action, the judges awarded Norwood the unanimous decision with 30-27 scores across the board.  For Norwood, it was a win that puts him in the title picture at 185, and was dominant if not entertaining.

In the opening fight on Showtime, undefeated (4-0) upstart Russian Alexander Sarnavskiy took Beau Baker (7-4) from Virgina to school and handed out a report card full of D’s and F’s as he battered Baker with strikes and turned away every takedown the American attempted.  Baker however showed quite a chin and withstood the onslaught, actually appearing to have Sarnavskiy gassed as the first frame ended.

In the second, Beau was again unable to get the fight to the mat, and took some punishment standed, but after an awkward scramble, Alexander took Baker’s back and sunk in a Rear Naked Choke forcing the tap from Baker at 2:32 of the second round.

It was a great night of action for M1 Global and a successful debut on Showtime.  It will be interesting to see what kind of TV audience the show played to.

The preliminary results went like this:

Bryan Lasham defeated Marcus Daniels by TKO (:57 Round 1)

Bethany Marshall defeated Stacy Grant by Footlock (1:49 Round 2)

Colton Smith defeated Brian Nielson by Rear Naked Choke (4:19 Round 1)

Johnny Curtis defeated Bobby Gurley by Knockout (to body) :36 Round 1

George Sheppard defeated David Derby by TKO (1:50 Round 1)

Jessie Riggleman defeated Jason Hilliker by Guillotine Choke (3:13 Round 1)

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Category: M1 Global, MMA, Results

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