One of the many reasons this video from Thursday’s M-1 Challenge 25 event is handy is because a guy with a reverb-y announcer voice actually explains who Vinny Magalhaes and Viktor Nemkov are before they fight for the organization’s vacant light heavyweight title. Sure, maybe they use an “alternate” spelling of Magalhaes’ name in the graphic at the beginning, but we’re not sweating the small stuff. The other cool thing is that the play-by-play announcers just carry on a conversation with each other, almost as if they don’t know we’re listening. And did we mention the pre-fight choreography? Simply amazing.
The bad news is that all that silliness means the actual fight doesn’t even start until the 7:50 mark. But whoa, holy shit, check out that M-1 belt being toted around the ring at 6:22. Shit looks like they just glued some scrap metal onto an old piece of leather.
In case you forgot – or the witty banter between the broadcasters is too subtle for you – Magalhaes is the Xtreme Couture jiu jitsu wizard who advanced to the finals of “The Ultimate Fighter” season eight before getting knocked silly by Ryan Bader. He began his MMA career just 4-5, but has since broken off a streak of four consecutive wins (including the one above) and is now the proud owner of the beautiful and stylish M-1 championship.
By comparison, Nemkov is a 24-year-old sambo practitioner from (where else?) Stary Oskol who came into this bout with a 10-2 record, all but a pair of his fights coming at M-1 shows. Seems like a pretty cool guy too, if the photo on his Wikipedia page is any indication.
We wish we could put the full-on CagePotato stamp of approval on Magalhaes’ performance here, saying he looks like he’s turned himself into a complete fighter who might be on the verge of a UFC return. Unfortunately, even though he pulls off the win, Vinny comes away looking very much like the guy we saw on TUF. The striking is just passable, many of the takedown attempts downright ponderous and his gas tank doesn’t exactly appear unlimited, either. When he manages to get things to the mat however, he turns the fight into a regular clinic with what the announcers call “all the Brazilian jiu jitsu magic that he does so well.”
If you don’t feel like watching the full fight – what, you got somewhere to be? – just skip to the 25:00 minute mark to see Magalhaes pull off the gogoplata from the mount. Pretty impressive, even if the rest of the performance isn’t.