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Gugenishvili in action, as the Ukrainian has withdrawn from his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
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
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.