To Russia with ‘Deuce’: Kenny Garner Catapults into M-1 Challenge XXI Heavyweight Title Fight

New York City, New York (September 29, 2010) – With Maxim Grishin suffering a knee injury and being forced to withdraw, media darling Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner will now step up into an immediate shot at the M-1 Challenge heavyweight title against the undefeated and feared Georgian wrestler, Guram Gugenishvili. M-1 Challenge XXI: Guram vs. Garner will crown M-1 Global’s first-ever champions in the lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight divisions and is set to go down on October 28 at the glamorous Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“Although unfortunate for Grishin, having Garner fill in on short notice makes for a spectacular matchup that was already slated to happen,” says Evgeni Kogan, Director of Operations for M-1 Global. “Garner is the first of our Americas Selection champions to come to Russia and he has the historic opportunity to become M-1 Global’s first-ever heavyweight champion. Garner will make an immediate impact with the Russian fans.”

“I’ve always wanted to represent the United States. This is my chance to fulfill a dream,” says Garner. “I’m heading to Russia with one goal – to bring home the belt. I told everyone I was going to be the champ and here I come. Thank you M-1 and have a nice day.”

Matchups include:

Alexei Nazarov (9-3) vs. Alexei Belyaev (10-4) Welterweight

Alexander Sarnavsky (10-0) vs. Victor Kuku (7-5-1) Lightweight

Rashid Magomedov (6-2) vs. Igor Araujo (18-5) Welterweight

Dmitry Samoilov (8-5-1) vs. Gadzhimurad Omarov (5-0) Light Heavyweight

* Additional undercard bouts to be announced

Lightweight Title Fight:

Artiom Damkovsky, M-1 Selection Eastern Europe 2010 champion (10-4) vs.

Mairbek Taisumov, M-1 Selection Western Europe 2010 champion (12-2)

Middleweight Title Fight:

Magomed Sultanakhmedov, M-1 Selection Eastern Europe 2010 champion (28-4) vs.

Rafał Moks, M-1 Selection Western Europe 2010 champ (5-2)

Heavyweight Title Fight:

Kenny Garner, M-1 Selection Americas champion (5-2) vs.

Guram Gugenishvili, M-1 Selection Western Europe champion (9-0).

The Welterweight and Light Heavyweight championship bouts will be awarded at M-1 Challenge XXII, December 11th in Atlantic City, New Jersey, establishing M-1 Challenge champions in all five weight classes. Once the two events pass, a true contenders system will be established to fuel events throughout 2011, driving M-1 Global’s growth as a leading brand in the US and international markets.

2011 includes a full slate of M-1 Challenge events held in the United States and Europe. These are the mega-event spectaculars where Champions will be crowned, titles defended and contenders’ positions on the ladder will be determined. Feeding the stable of fighters will be two Selection tournaments in 2011 with details being announced shortly.

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