Bacallao intent to wreck ‘Beckan’ at M-1 Challenge: Bennett vs. Garner

Josh ‘Iron Heart’ Bacallao has been given the opportunity to elevate his young career to the next level with his first trip to M-1 Global’s grandest stage. At M-1 Challenge: Bennett vs. Garner, Bacallao will face the amped-up fighting style of fierce European striker Mairbek ‘Beckan’ Taisumov. The action goes down from The Hangar in Costa Mesa, California, LIVE on SHOWTIME on Friday, July 8 at 11 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast).

A native of Lakeland, Florida, Josh Bacallao is ok with being considered the quiet and often over-looked opponent. Sporting a tight 6-2 record decorated with submission, TKO and decision victories, his strategy of canning the trash talk and simply putting up technically sound performances certainly speaks volumes for this young fighter when he prefers to keep to his silent side.

At 23 years of age, manger Ross Kellin of Champions MMA sings praise about Bacallao’s tenacity in the gym and his dedication to evolving his skills. “Josh puts everything on the table when it comes to the sport and becoming a holistic, well-rounded athlete. His core foundation comes from his high school wrestling background; his stand up is great; he has good jiu-jitsu. Josh is an exciting and humble fighter.”

Inside the ring Bacallao’s proven to be a strong, explosive fighter with dangerous hands, which is why he’s been invited back to fight with Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion, M-1 Global, after a difficult run through the 2010 M-1 Selection Americas tournament; a controversial fight with Josh Key ended in a no-contest, which advanced him in to the semi-finals where he next lost a tough spilt-decision to George Sheppard.

Speaking with Bacallao, a confident voice boomed through the phone; “My opportunity with M-1 is all I’m focussed on right now. I’m doing everything I can within my power to ensure I deliver a flawless performance – the outcome will take care of itself.”

Having maintained consistent activity throughout his career, Bacallao made four trips to the canvas through 2010 and a pair of outings in each of the previous two years but his outing on July 8th marks nearly a year-long hiatus, adding a little more pressure to an already challenging situation; Bacallao best shake off any ring-rust quickly if he wants to make his true impression felt and silence critics who have already counted him out.

M-1 Challenge: Bennett vs. Garner on Friday July 8th airs LIVE on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). The event is headlined by the rematch between the 2010 M-1 Selection Americas Tournament heavyweight finalists Pat Bennett (4-2) and Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner (6-3).

Tickets are priced at $75 for the front row and all other seats at $50 and can be purchased online at, or by calling Roy Englebrecht Promotions at (949) 760-3131.

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.

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.

2011’s full slate of M-1 Challenge events held in the United States and Europe are primed to be mega-event spectaculars where Champions defend their titles and contenders jockey for position for a coveted shot at the gold. Feeding the contention system will be two Selection tournaments in 2011 with details being announced shortly.

For information on M-1 Global, go to the official M-1 website, and M-1 Global facebook fan page.

For information on SHOWTIME Sports programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at

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