With welterweight Steve Carl still sidelined by leg surgery and lightweight Renato Migliaccio now on the shelf due to shoulder surgery, USA East has been forced to make multiple roster changes in anticipation of its Sunday, Aug. 16 M-1 Challenge matchup vs. Team Benelux.

The best-of-five series, scheduled to emanate from Studio 22 in Hilversum, Holland and will be televised live via Internet PPV on www.M-1Global.com (not available in the U.S. or Korea), is set to serve as the feature attraction of a two-day “mega-taping” of the M-1 Challenge scheduled from Aug. 15-16. All told, the weekend will feature 10 teams from the M-1 Challenge for a total of 30 fights.

USA East will look to defeat Benelux (a conglomerate of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) and clinch a semifinal playoff berth by winning Group C. However, a loss could cost USA East its slim lead over Finland and leave the squad without a post-season invitation.

With its season at stake, USA East has recruited fighters with UFC, WEC, and EliteXC experience in hopes of defeating Benelux on its home turf. EliteXC vets Charlie “The Spainard” Brenneman and John Doyle have both been added to the team along with former UFC and WEC competitor Logan Clark.

Additionally, WEC veteran Charles “The Reverend” Grigsby, 16-4, returns to USA East after missing its last team meet vs. Finland in Kansas City this past June due to prior commitments. Grigsby, who was victorious for USA East this past March during its opener in Bulgaria as a light heavyweight, will move to heavyweight and challenge Gewik Mousasi, the older brother of M-1 Global superstar Gegard Mousasi.

Brenneman, 8-1, will represent USA East as its new welterweight (167.2 lbs./-76 kg). Fighting out of “The Great Fighting City of Philadelphia,” Brenneman currently trains out of AMA with current UFC fighters Jim and Dan Miller and Frankie Edgar. He has also spent significant time at Matt Hughes’ H.I.T. Squad gym in St. Louis as a training partner for the former UFC welterweight champion.

The winner of season one of the Spike TV reality show Pros vs. Joes, Brenneman was successful in his lone fight under the EliteXC banner, earning a decision victory in January of 2007 against Drew Puzon. His lone career loss was a close decision to current UFC welterweight John Howard. Brenneman will have his M-1 Challenge debut cut out for him when he faces Benelux’s Raymond Jarman.

“Jarman recorded one of the best knockouts of the ’08 M-1 Challenge season this past May in Brazil,” said M-1 USA Vice President of Live Events Joe Kelly, referring to Jarman’s 35 second KO of Bulgaria’s Ivan Ivanov. “And Brenneman is one of the top American welterweight prospects you’re going to find competing right now. This is going to be a tremendous fight.”

Brenneman will not be making the 10-hour trek to Amsterdam alone, as he will be joined by fellow Philadelphia-based fighter John Doyle. After beginning his career with a 6-1 record and the Combat in the Cage light heavyweight title, Doyle was on the verge of superstardom. However, recent struggles have slowed his progression.

A fearless fighter who once accepted a fight on 10 days notice vs. Rafael Feijao, Doyle’s comeback began this past June during his M-1 Challenge debut as a last-minute replacement at light heavyweight for Team Turkey. Doyle impressed M-1 officials during the bout and earned an invitation to return as USA East’s middleweight (-84 kg/184.8 lbs.) representative.

“Being a professional fighter obviously carries the trait of being tough,” Kelly began. “However, Doyle takes it to another level. He fought in Kansas City on 24 hours notice, arriving on Friday morning and then fighting just hours later. John not only fought but he almost knocked out his opponent and ended up winning ‘Fight of the Night’ honors.”

Doyle has hopes of becoming a permanent fixture at middleweight for M-1 but must get past Benelux’s Richard Plug in order to land a regular spot. Plug, 8-4-1, an assistant trainer at the M-1 gym in Amsterdam, is returning to active competition for the first time since 2004.

With a combined 3-1 record while competing for the UFC and WEC, Clark earned big-time fights in Japan under the Sengoku banner against Kazuo Misaki and current middleweight champion Jorge Santiago. The Minnesota native has been tapped by USA East to move up from middleweight to challenge Jason Jones at light heavyweight.

“Logan is a tremendous talent who began his career with a 10-0 record,” said Kelly. “Needless to say, he’s an excellent addition to the M-1 Challenge. Jason was one of M-1’s true breakout stars in 2008 and the fight between him and Logan has a chance to be the best fight of the entire weekend. The audience attending live the the viewers watching the Internet PPV will more than get their money’s worth.”

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