New Jersey’s Tom Gallicchio (file photo) challenges for M-1 gold Saturday. | Joe Harrington/Sherdog.com


Russian promotion M-1 Global is officially set to lead off its 2011 campaign, as all but one competitor for Saturday’s M-1 Challenge 23 “Guram vs. Grishin” made weight Friday in Moscow.

Only New Jersey-based Brazilian Plinio Cruz missed his mark, initially weighing in at 187.25 pounds for his middleweight matchup with Russian striker Magomed Sultanakhmedov (185). According to a statement from the promotion, Cruz was granted an additional two hours to shed the weight.

The show, which takes place at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall, will be headlined by a heavyweight title bout between unbeaten champion Guram Gugenishvili (244) and challenger Maxim Grishin (227). The nine-fight main card streams live on M-1 Global’s official website (www.m-1global.com) beginning Saturday at 11 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT.

In the bill’s other title tilt, 170-pound ace Shamil Zavurov (168) looks to follow up on a 9-0 year in 2010 when he defends against incoming M-1 Selection Americas welterweight tournament champion Tom “Da Tank” Gallicchio (169).

On the undercard, former middleweight champion Rafal “Kulturysta” Moks (168) drops to welterweight to take on Rashid Magomedov (170), while Russian lightweight standout Yuri Ivlev (153) will attempt to rebound from his first loss since 2008 against tough Chechen Mairbek Taisumov (155). Leading off the streamed portion of the card is a light heavyweight affair pitting once-beaten Polish prospect Tomasz “Giraffe” Narkun (202) against Russia’s Shamil Tinagadjiev.

M-1 Challenge 23 “Guram vs. Grishin” Weigh-in Results:

M-1 Challenge Heavyweight Title Bout
Guram Gugenishvili (244.25) vs. Maxim Grishin (227.5)

M-1 Challenge Welterweight Title Bout
Shamil Zavurov (168.25) vs. Tom Gallicchio (169.25)

Rashid Magomedov (170) vs. Rafal Moks (168.75)
Yuri Ivlev (153.25) vs. Mairbek Taisumov (155)
Magomed Sultanakhmedov (185) vs. Plinio Cruz (187.25)*
Magomedrasul Khasbulaev (155.5) vs. Daniel Weichel (155)
Arsen Abdulkerimov (234.5) vs. Goncalo Salgado (308)
Igor Savelyev (201) vs. Byron Byrd (205.5)
Shamil Tinagadjiev (203.5) vs. Tomasz Narkun (202.5)
Maxim Bulakhtin (195.75) vs. Magomed Ismailov (195)
Vusal Bayramov (155) vs. Nikolai Kaushansky (152.75)

*Cruz was given an additional two hours to make weights.

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