Gugenishvili Injured Again; Grishin Meets Garner at M-1 Challenge 27


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American fans will have to wait a bit longer to see M-1 Global heavyweight champion Guram Gugenishvili in action, as the Ukrainian has withdrawn from his Oct. 14 title defense against Kenny Garner due to an injury suffered in training.

M-1 Global announced the news on Friday, and Sherdog.com confirmed details surrounding the injury with a source close to the fighter shortly thereafter. Stepping in to replace the heavyweight champion on just one week’s notice will be former title challenger Maxim Grishin.

According to Sherdog’s source, Gugenishvili (Pictured, File Photo) was going through his last few days of hard training at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts when disaster struck. As the champion shot for a takedown, his training partner accidentally dislocated Gugenishvili’s elbow while defending the maneuver. The severity of the dislocation is not yet fully known.

Gugenishvili was initially supposed to make his U.S. debut on July 8 against Pat Bennett at M-1 Challenge 26, but he was forced out of that bout with an injury, as well. Garner stepped up in his stead, pressuring Bennett with an aggressive standup attack before knocking out his countryman in the second round. Bennett has faced Gugenishvili once before, losing to the 25-year-old in 2010 in a clash of M-1 Selection champions.

Grishin was bested by Gugenishvili in March, falling by rear-naked choke just over three minutes into the action-filled contest. Following that defeat, the Russian won back-to-back contests, knocking out Vladimir Kuchenko at M-1 Challenge 25 before submitting Stanislav Mirzamagomedov on May 22.

M-1 Challenge 27 goes down Oct. 14 from Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix. Airing on Showtime, the main draw may now be headlined by a light heavyweight title conflict between Vinny Magalhaes and Mikhail Zayats, though no official announcement has been made.

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