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M-1 Global announces M-1 Challenge event to air LIVE on Showtime

Friday, October 14, 2011
From The Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona

NEW YORK (September 15, 2011) – M-1 GLOBAL announced today an upcoming mixed martial arts (MMA) event titled M-1 Challenge: Guram vs. Garner II featuring the rematch between current M-1 Global Heavyweight (265 Lbs.) Champion Guram Gugenishvili (11-0) and 2010 M-1 Selection Americas Tournament heavyweight winner Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner (7-3). The bouts from the new 5,550 seat Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona will air LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, October 14 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast).

In co-main event action, Light Heavyweight (205 Lbs.) Champion and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist Vinny Magalhaes (8-5) will make his first title defense against versatile Russian fighter Mikhail Zayats (14-5).

Tickets are priced at $35, $45, $75 and $100 and can be purchased at www.GCUArena.com, charge by phone at 602-639-8999 or visit the GCU Arena Box Office located at 3300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85017

“Our Champions are hungry to defend their titles and this is shaping up to be our strongest, most exciting card of the year.” said Vadim Finkelschtein, co-founder of M-1 GLOBAL. “This marks our third event with SHOWTIME; there’s no better TV network for M-1 than SHOWTIME and no better market to seriously compete in than the U.S.”

“Garner has been extremely vocal about wanting a rematch with Guram and he’s put the work in to get this opportunity,” said Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global’s Director of operations. “This is a great title fight between two fierce opponents.”

Ranked as the sport’s #1 Heavyweight prospect by Bloody Elbow, Gugenishvili has left a long list of opponents in his wake of destruction since coming on the scene in July, 2009. The winner of the inaugural 2010 M-1 Selection Eastern European tournament and Europe’s leading MMA promotion’s reigning heavyweight champion, Guram’s most notable characteristic is his agility; at 6’4” and 250lbs, he moves around the ring lightly, maintaining precise offensive ring positioning.

Gugenishvili was sidelined from his July title defense after suffering a wrist injury during a training session; now recovered and ready for action, Guram is more than accepting of Garner’s challenge, “Garner knows where to find me if he wants my belt; I will defend it.”

Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner’s first run-in with Guram was in October 2010 and it ended unpleasantly, being choked unconscious via standing guillotine in the second round. Since then Garner has won back-to-back bouts via knockout.

Garner is best known for his relentless self-marketing which he backs up with one-punch power as evidenced by his five knockout wins. Hidden behind the heavy leather is also a potent submission arsenal and solid wrestling base which makes this rematch a potentially explosive outing for both men.

“I always said I’d get another chance to claim MY belt!” said Garner. “I made a mistake in my last fight with Guram and I know it. It cost me my title. This time out – no mistakes! This is my opportunity to chase down my belt! I’ve been training hard and I’m not losing to Guram; he’s not making it out of the first round.”

For information on M-1 Global, go to the official M-1 website, www.M-1Global.com and M-1 Global facebook fan page. Mauro Ranallo will call the action from ringside with Pat Miletich serving as analyst. The telecast will be produced by Chuck McKean and directed by Craig Farrell. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins, Jr.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video, photos and much more, please visit http://sports.sho.com

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