View Full Version : M-1 Challenge Preview: South Korea, Part I

Marco (scheids)
29-06-2009, 19:55
With a total of 15 fights scheduled for the next edition of the M-1 Challenge on July 4 in Seoul, South Korea, fight fans attending the event live at the Olympic Hall (click here for ticket information (http://ticket.auction.co.kr/Home/Perf/PerfDetailInfo.aspx?IdPerf=5606)) or on Internet PPV via M-1Global.com (http://www.m-1global.com/)(check the red widget on the right for cell phone ordering instructions) will get their money’s worth this coming Saturday.
With so many matchups set to take place during the best-of-five challenge matchups featuring Finland vs. Bulgaria, USA West vs. Russia Imperial, and host country South Korea vs. Brazil Naja, M-1Global.com (http://www.m-1global.com/) has highlighted the most anticipated matchups to watch going into the event.
And remember, with the exception of the United States and South Korea, you’ll be able to watch all of these fights on Saturday, July 4 via M-1Global.com (http://www.m-1global.com/) for as little as $5.00 (check the widget for exact pricing info for your country).

Yanko Yanev (Bulgaria/8-1) vs. Niko Puhaka (Finland/14-9) - Yanev began his M-1 Challenge career as an undefeat 8-0 fighter. However, after running into USA East’s Renato Migliaccio, it was clear the talented wrestler needed to step up his game. Yanev did just that during his second M-1 Challenge fight, needing just 2:23 of round 1 to submit Benelux’s Danny van Bergen with an armbar.
However, against Niko Puhaka, Yanev will have to rely more on his standup, as jiu-jitsu is Puhaka’s strongest suit. Even though he is coming off two consecutive losses, Puhaka represents Yanev’s toughest test to date.
Yanev needs to deliver to prove he is indeed able to hold his own with the best lightweights in the M-1 Challenge and also because Bulgaria’s best fighters are at the lighter weights. If Bulgaria is unable to win at the lighter weights, it stands little chance of pulling off the upset vs. Finland.
Ivan Ivanov (Bulgaria/5-2) vs. Janne Tulirinta (Finland/11-3) - Ivanov came to the M-1 Challenge as a much-talked about 5-0 prospect. However, he has lost both of his M-1 Challenge fights and desperately needs to avoid going 3-0 this season. A strong wrestler, Ivanov can pull off the upset if he can take Tulirinta down and control him from top position.
Tulirinta is the favorite because as good as his 11-3 record is on paper, he’s even better than that. Already a talented submission fighter, Tulirinta’s standup has made remarkable strides this season and is the best welterweight in this year’s M-1 Challenge. Despite having competed just 30 days ago, Tulirinta did not suffer a scratch during his 11 second TKO over USA East’s Anthony Ford.
Another win for Tulirinta will put him in position to take his career to an even bigger stage. A win will also put Team Finland one step closer to winning its best-of-five team challenge while preserving its post-season hopes.
Giva Santana (USA West/12-1) vs. Radmir Gabdullin (Russia Imperial/4-1) - Twelve of Santana’s 11 wins are via armbar submission. “The Arm Collector” is looking to add to that list and take Gabdullin’s arm back home with him to Team Oyama in Orange County, Calif.
Gabdullin, one of the next generation of Team Imperial fighters, is moving up from the M-1 Selection while Dmitry Samoilov prepares for a possible non-M-1 Challenge fight in August. With a strong Sambo background and all four of his pro wins coming via submission, Santana will not have an easy time on the ground.
As such, do not be surprised we if we see some of Santana’s improving standup, as his striking skills have begun to evolve thanks to a lot of sparring with USA West heavyweight Shane Del Rosario.
Shane Del Rosario (USA West/6-0) vs. Maksim Grishin (Russia Imperial/2-2) - There has been much upheaval in the world’s top ten heavyweight rankings with the likes of Brett Rogers, Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez, and Junior dos Santos pushing out established veterans such as Fabricio Werdum, Andrei Arlovski, and Tim Sylvia. But another name that could join Rogers, Lesnar, et. all as a new crop of top ten heavyweights is Shane Del Rosario.
With a perfect record of 6-0, Del Rosario has done nothing but win while competing for major promotions such as EliteXC and M-1. By increasing his record to 7-0 on July 4, Del Rosario will move another step closer in his evolution from a top heavyweight prospect to a legitimate title contender.
But a win over Grishin is hardly a given, as he is rates as one of the best prospects coming up in the new generation of Team Imperial fighters. If Grishin can pull off the upset, he could earn a permanent roster spot on Team Imperial’s M-1 Challenge roster for 2010.
Hacran Dias (Brazil Naja/11-0-1) vs. Yui Chul Nam (South Korea/12-2) - You’ll be hard pressed to find a blue chip prospect fighting out of Brazil with more upside right now than Hacran Dias. With a record of 11-0-1, Dias is good enough to compete in any organization in the world right now.
A Nova Uniao fighter, Dias made his M-1 Challenge in May during an event in Sao Paulo. Facing fellow M-1 Challenge rookie Amirkhan Mazihov, Dias needed just 3:58 to finish the fight courtesy of a rear naked choke.
Dias will look to improve his M-1 Challenge record to 2-0 and get Brazil Naja off to a strong start in its best-of-five series vs. home team South Korea when he faces Nam. Nam has an excellent record but is looking to record his first M-1 Challenge win following his decision loss to USA West’s Dave Jansen during the ‘09 season opener in Tacoma, Wash. this past February.
But based on Jansen’s standing as one of the top lightweight prospects in all of MMA, there is no shame in losing to Jansen.
Eduardo Pamplona (Brazil Naja/11-2) vs. Do Hyung Kim (25-5) - Kim returns to the South Korean team after not competing in its last meet at the M-1 Challenge event in Japan. One of the most charismatic fighters in all of the M-1 Challenge, Kim is a tremendous fighter who without question rates as one of the top prospects in this year’s competition. The Sunhu Gym product holds notable victories in his career over the likes of Mikhail Malyutin, Erik Oganov, and Farouk Lakebir.
After defeating Malyutin during the ‘09 M-1 Challenge season opener this past February in Tacoma as a lightweight, Kim is moving up to 170 for what looks on paper to be an amazing matchup against Pamplona. Kim is known for his star presence but Pamplona might have the most impressive entrance in the M-1 Challenge. For those more interested in more substantive facts, Pamplona is a jiu-jitsu black belt who formerly competed in the now-defunct IFL as a “superfighter.”
With just one loss in his last 12 fights, Pamplona is looking to take his career to the next level following impressive wins over notables such as Juliano Belgine, Daniel Acacio, Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons, and Jorge Pantino. A win over Kim could be exactly what he needs.

Bron; www.m-1global.com (http://www.m-1global.com)