Magalhaes’ finish of Zayats. Props: MiddleEasy
There may be nothing worse for an MMA promotion than a lackluster title fight. If you’re promoting two fighters as the best fighters your promotion has to offer at their respective weight class and they fail to deliver an entertaining fight, everyone looks bad. The promotion looks foolish for claiming that a sub-par fighter is the best it has to offer, all of the other fighters in that weight class look laughably incompetent by default (after all, they weren’t skilled enough to challenge for the title), and fans in attendance feel cheated. Just in case you can’t figure out where this is going: Kenny Garner vs. Maxim Grishin as an interim heavyweight championship fight all but canceled out the rest M-1 Challenge 27.
This isn’t to say that last night’s M-1 event didn’t deliver the exciting finishes we’ve come to expect from them. In fact, none of the fights from the main card went the distance. The night started off with three first round submissions from Daniel Madrid, Yasubey Enomoto and Arthur Guseinov, respectively. The combined amount of time it took these three to submit their opponents? Two minutes and forty five seconds. Very nice, gentlemen.
But then it was time for Garner vs. Grishin. In a fight between two heavyweights who have never heard of a treadmill, Garner’s game plan involved some occasional strikes in order set up the clinch against the ropes with Grishin. Despite a lack of action, both men were exhausted by the end of the first round, leading to even more stalling and even slower punches as the fight continued. Because this was a title fight, fans were punished for whatever sins they have committed with two additional rounds. Despite almost finishing Garner with an armbar and a triangle choke in the championship rounds, Grishin tapped out from strikes during the fifth round. Kenny Garner is now the M-1 Global Interim Heavyweight champion, and coincidentally, I no longer consider interim championships significant. If you thought that fight was boring to read about, just imagine actually watching it.
In the main event, Light Heavyweight Champion Vinny Magalhaes took a break from training with Fedor for his upcoming clash with Jeff Monson in order to defend the title against Mikhail Zayats. Throughout the fight, Zayats was actually getting the better of Magalhaes. Zayats outstruck Magalhaes, and managed to stuff the ADCC gold medalist’s takedown attempts. But Mikhail Zayats picked the wrong time to drop his hands, and was dropped by the champion with a right head kick. Vinny Magalhaes now improves to 9-5-1 with the victory.
Main card results, courtesy of MMAFighting.com:
Vinny Magalhaes def. Mikhail Zayats via TKO (strikes) – Round 3 (1:13)
Kenny Garner def. Maxim Grishin via submission (strikes) – Round 5 (4:07)
Arthur Guseinov def. Eddie Arizmendi via submission (heel hook) – Round 1 (0:50)
Yasubey Enomoto def. Josh Thorpe via submission (triangle) – Round 1 (1:07)
Daniel Madrid def. Tom Gallicchio via submission (armbar) – Round 1 (0:48)