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M-1: Fedor vs Rizzo Event Recap

M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo emanated from the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, delivering a return to form from the former king of heavyweight MMA. Also on the card was a changing of hands for the M-1 heavyweight title and another great showing from a young prospect in a lightweight championship bout.

The man who once ruled the heavyweight division with an iron fist, Fedor Emelianenko (33-4), once again obliterated his opposition as he faced off with Brazilian legend Pedro Rizzo (19-9). After his failed run in Strikeforce, Fedor has opted to return to the tactical form as opposed to the wild brawling fans had become accustomed to seeing. “The Last Emperor” sat back and picked his shots, crushing Rizzo with an overhand right followed by his trademark ground and pound. After just 84 seconds, referee Yuji Shimada was forced to halt the bout.

Emelianenko is now on a three-fight win-streak since his Strikeforce release.

The M-1 Heavyweight Championship changed hands in a back-and-and forth tilt that saw Kenny Garner (11-3) outlast Guram Gugenishvili (11-1) for the better part of three rounds. The sloppy grappling match saw both men take dominant positions and lock in submissions on several occasions. In the end, The American’s heart was just too much as the Georgian failed to answer the 4th bell.

M-1 saw their lightweight championship defended as Musa Khamanaev (11-3) blew the doors off of Daniel Weichel (28-7) with a deep heel hook. Khamanaev got an early takedown, controlling position until he dropped back, locking up the leg, and forcing the German to tap at 1:48 of round 1.

Jeff Monson (46-13-1) continued to roll as he quickly submitted Denis Komkin (13-8). “The Snowman” dove for a takedown and pulled guard, calmly reversing to get on top. After locking up his signature North/South choke, the American Top Team heavyweight once again had his hand raised in the first period.

It proved to be a contentious lightweight affair when unbeaten prospect Marat Gafurov (4-0) met veteran striker Mairbek Taisumov (17-4). Mairbek controlled much of the fight’s tempo on the feet, forcing the undefeated Ukrainian to shoot for desperate takedowns, landing a few but putting together little offense of note. In the end, the judges rendered a split decision victory for Gafurov, essentially robbing “Beckan” of a win.

In a somewhat sloppy lightweight grappling match, Renat Gasanov (1-1) found himself outmatched against Mikhail Malyutin (22-10). Gasanov came out aggressive and was immediately taken to the ground. After flailing his legs about, failing to secure any submissions, the Azerbaijani fighter found himself with his arm pinned behind his back in a hammerlock. Hard punches from the Russian eventually put him out, forcing referee Keith Peterson to halt the bout at 3:16 of the opening stanza.

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