Notching his third straight win after bringing the fight to Arthur Guseinov at M-1 Challenge XXII, Luigi ‘The Italian Tank’ Fioravanti is feeling pretty festive this holiday season. “These last fights have been steadily building confidence and I want to keep this rolling,” said the Orlando, Florida native and famed American Top Team fighter who’s fought a lengthy list of notables
With some good ‘ol fashioned dirty boxing and grueling ground and pound, Fioravanti was able to sink in a suffocating rear-naked-choke submission on Guseinov at the :35 second mark of the bout’s overtime round. With the judges declaring the bout a controversial draw after the scheduled 15 minutes, the former US Marine refused to let anyone other than himself decide the final outcome. “I felt good in the fight but really struggled to get situated with the time difference in Moscow. Obviously I would have liked to have finished the fight earlier but I’m still feeling great about the submission win.” The performance was a testament to Fioravanti’s conditioning and heart and is well deserving of the shared M-1 Challenge XXI Fight of the Night honor.
As the clear-cut antagonist in Guseinov’s native country, the scene resembled a throwback to Rocky IV with the crowd laying into the American fighter from the get go. But as Guseinov continued to execute questionable antics, such as delivering a definitive illegal kick to the head of his downed opponent and deliberately delaying answering the bell between rounds, the once hostile crowd was quickly in favor of Fioravanti’s unbreakable will. “It was an amazing feeling to hear the crowd start cheering for me. Having his home-town crowd take my side was a perfect answer to such a poor display of sportsmanship.” Adding to the appalling behavior, Guseinov enticed Fioravanti to touch gloves; as Fioravanti went to respond, he ended up eating a cheap-shot spinning back-kick to the midsection which immediately set the crowd singing a chorus of boo’s.
Now riding a three fight win streak, Fioravanti will look to make his return back to confines of the M-1 Global ring in 2011. “M-1 Global has treated me extremely well. The executives are amazingly cool and down to earth and really go out of their way to help their fighters. I can’t wait to get back in the ring for them. Not only is it an incredible experience fighting but the opportunity to see new places around the world is a great perk. ”
Like many of today’s talented fighters, Fioravanti is more than just a mixed martial artist, he served his country with pride and honor. Joining the Marines directly after high school, Fioravanti was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and began training in various martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and kickboxing while stationed in California and Iraq.
After spending five months in Iraq, Fioravanti continued training and began his professional career in early 2004 with his successful debut against future TUF 9 competitor, Kiel Reid, via first-round submission at Obaktagon Challenge 1. Not looking to slow down after his first fight, Fioravanti put his foot on the throttle and quickly racked up an impressive string of victories and has fought such notables as Chris Leben, Jon Fitch, Luke Cummo, Dave Menne and Diego Sanchez. Seems ‘The Italian Tank’ is steadfast in his tracks once again.
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 defend their titles and contenders jockey for position. Feeding the contention system will be two Selection tournaments in 2011 with details being announced shortly.
With M-1 Challenge champions established in all five weight classes, a true contenders system will fuel events throughout 2011, driving M-1 Global’s growth as a leading brand in the US and international markets.
Go to www.M-1Global.com for additional information.