Although Jeff Monson wisely avoided his go-to strategy of fucking dudes for free when he met Aleksander “Patient Zero” Emelianenko at M-1 Challenge 35 yesterday, he was able to come away with another one of his signature North-South submission victories. We wouldn’t exactly call the events leading up to said finish pretty — Monson’s wild, looping punches in the early going only looked passable when compared to the half-assed takedown attempts that followed them, but “The Snowman” did manage to sweep Emelianenko once things hit the ground in the first round and controlled the Russian for the rest of the fight thereafter.
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.
(Yeah, Putin’s gonna get a big kick out of that, buddy. / Photo via hookedonmma)
Nursing a three-fight losing streak following his shockingly unsuccessful run in Strikeforce, Fedor Emelianenko will reportedly return to action against heavyweight veteran Jeff Monson on November 12th in Russia. Monson announced the matchup last night on Twitter, adding that the fight will be promoted by M-1 Global and there will be a press conference on September 16th. (“Putin will be there. Gonna try and get pic with him in my ‘Communist’ t-shirt.”)
Following his unsuccessful UFC title challenge against Tim Sylvia in November 2006, Monson left the UFC to pursue a bout with Emelianenko for BodogFIGHT. Though the match was scheduled for March 2007, negotiations fell apart and Emelianenko wound up fighting Matt Lindland instead.
M-1 Challenge 26 was in Costa Mesa, California and on Showtime last night, but we forgot to mention it yesterday so you probably didn’t watch. That’s our bad; allow us to make it up to you. The promotion known chiefly for being the only negative thing most people can say about Fedor Ememlianenko has a roster full of names that are virtually unknown in the western hemisphere, but damn if they don’t produce some exciting fights.
The first video is a quick fight featuring Russian middleweight Arthur Guseinov versus American Team Quest product Tyson Jeffries. Things start out well for Jeffries; he easily takes the first ninety seconds of the fight. After that, Guseinov gets in touch with his inner Shlemenko for a second, AND IT’S AAAALLLLLL OVER!!1!!!!1!!one1!
Come on in past the jump and we’ll run down the rest of the broadcast; we’ve lined up the videos just like you like them. Thanks to MrSfc16 for doing all the capture work.
Can we just call it even now? We love you, Nation.
“At this time it is all rumor with no truth. It’s not anything M-1 has considered at all,” M-1′s head of PR Eric Nicholls told MiddleEasy last month. “Should it be decided that Fedor would consider dropping to 205, M-1 would make an official announcement.”
Well, it looks like Nicholls was just pretending that things were business as usual at M-1 as Fedor has now admitted that he is considering dropping down a weight class.
(The photo above was paper-clipped to the front of M-1′s memo to tournament participants that drug testing will be mandatory for the GP. Subtle.)
When Dana White’s favorite Crazy Russian, Vadim Finkelstein speaks, the MMA world listens, mostly just because he usually has a lot of bizarre demands to make. In a recent interview the head of M-1 did with Russian sports news site Sports.ru, Finkelstein touched on a lot of topics including the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix, Fedor’s contract status and his recent statement he made about mandatory drug testing in the later rounds of the tournament.
Check out what Vad-Fink had to say after the jump.
M-1 Global president and Fedor Emelianenko puppet master Vadim Finkelchtein responded today via MMAJunkie, to several claims made in an open letter addressed to him by Alistair Overeem’s manager and trainer Bas Boon, including an assertion the longtime Russian promoter has strong proven ties to the Mafia in his country.
In the letter, Boon recalled an incident from a few years ago involving Finkelchtein’s right hand man, Apy Echteld, in which the latter allegedly threatened to use his mob contacts to have a Seattle-based promoter killed because of a soured business deal. Finkelchstein say that a nearly identical claim was made by Boon in the past, however that time the story involved a Dutch promoter.
At long last, we present the video of Wednesday’s grappling exhibition between Fedor Emelianenko and Shinya Aoki at DEEP/M-1 Challenge 3rd Edition. As you’ll see, the whole thing was really just a good-natured joke, with both fighters putting on a display that was more slapstick than combat. (But man do Emelianenko’s throws look smooth when they’re done with a 160-pound training dummy.) Fun stuff. Now let’s see the UFC do this with Lesnar and Penn…
Damn. We never would have guessed nose spray, but now that we hear it we can’t help but feel like we shouldn’t be so surprised to find out that certain chemical treatments commonly used in Russia might contain anabolic steroids.
The statement itself is a true marvel of linguistic acrobatics, as it manages to express support for Sidelnikov while also conveniently distancing M-1 from any hint of wrongdoing. For example: