In front of a capacity crowd at the Druzhba arena in Moscow, Russia, Luigi ‘The Italian Tank’ Fioravanti delivered on his promise of bringing the fight to Arthur Guseinov and hand delivered his opponent a solid taste of good ‘ol fashioned dirty boxing. Sinking in a suffocating rear-naked-choke submission, Fioravanti secured the victory at the :35 second mark in the overtime round after the judges declared the bout a controversial draw after the scheduled 15 minutes. 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.
At the start of the fight, Fioravanti was clearly the antagonist as the hostile crowd had it out for the staunch American fighter but tides quickly turned around after Guseinov’s questionable antics throughout the bout. Early in the first frame, Guseinov was responding well to Fioravanti’s pressure and was able to mount a successful counter-offensive which eventually sent The Italian Tank to the canvass; normally this is a good thing, however, Guseinov fired off a definitive illegal kick to the head of his downed opponent. The referee immediately intervened and gave Fioravanti the necessary time to recover and handed Guseinov a yellow card and a point deduction for the blow.
Hell bent on returning to action, Fioravanti fired back with repeated takedowns; operating effectively from the top, the former US Marine punished Guseinov with shoulder checks to the face and heavy–leather body shots that quickly wore out his opponent.
With Guseinov clearly gassed from having to defend a much larger opponent, he and his corners deliberately delayed answering the bell between rounds which had Fioravanti yelling from the blue corner. To add to the appalling behavior, Guseinov enticed Fioravanti to touch gloves; as a sign of good sportsmanship, Fioravanti went to respond and ended up eating a cheap-shot spinning back-kick to the midsection which immediately set the crowd singing a chorus of boo’s.
With heart, Fioravanti drove forward and closed out the third round pushing the action and should have won a clear decision, however questionable judging reared its ugly ahead again as the bout was scored a draw. With an overtime round needed to decide the outcome, Guseinov continued to delay to the point where the referee in charge was close to calling the fight but Guseinov eventually made his way off his chair and took his position.
Knowing that the judges scoring had been suspect in previous bouts, Fioravanti rushed in to secure the take down, pounded Guseinov with hammer-fists and took his back. With the RNC secured, Guseinov was forced to tap, handing the victory to Fioravanti. With back to back impressive wins, Fioravanti will look to make his return back to confines of the M-1 Global ring in 2011.
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.
About M-1 Global:
Founded in 1998, M-1 Global has established itself in the realm of mixed martial arts (MMA) as the premiere entity for discovering and developing the world’s next-generation of superstar fighters. With offices in St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles and affiliates in Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Tokyo and Paris, the M-1 brand stages its M-1 Selection and M-1 Challenge events worldwide and its co-produced Strikeforce events in the United States; captivating the live, television and broadband audiences with its superior production values and match-ups. 2011 marks a breakthrough year for this MMA powerhouse. With two Selections tournaments across Eastern & Western Europe and North America and a full calendar of Challenge events, M-1 Global’s World Champions will rank amongst the greatest in the sport and the contention system will fuel spectacular cards around the world.
M-1 Global’s greatest asset is the number one heavyweight fighter in mixed martial arts history, Fedor Emelianenko. With daily coverage on all MMA-related websites in the world, and articles in Time Magazine, LA times and New York times, Fedor and M-1 Global make a lifetime match serving as the catalyst to grow MMA in the 21st century.