Gugenishvili, who had moved the final phase of his training camp to Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, was injured on Wednesday evening during wrestling drills. Guram landed badly on his elbow while training with a sparring partner, preliminary tests on Friday resulted in him not being cleared to fight, with additional tests being scheduled to determine the full extent of the injury. Guram is expected to be sidelined for at least four to six weeks, and might not be able to return to the ring for three to five months in order to fully recover. Company officials stated that they are optimistic that Gugenishvili would be able to defend his title and make his Stateside debut later this year.
In the meantime, moving into an interim title bout with Kenny Garner (7-3) is the Russian Red Devil Sport Club heavyweight, and sparring partner of Fedor Emelianenko, Maxim Grishin (11-5).
“This is tremendously unfortunate, as it is now the second time this has happened. No one is more disappointed about the change in circumstances than Guram himself. He was absolutely gutted when breaking the news to us,” said M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan. “We hope Guram makes a swift recovery so he can return to action as soon as possible.”
Maxim Grishin, feared for his fast striking abilities, has won his last four bouts, with three of them by TKO, defeating Julio Cezar de Lima, Samir Akhmetov, Stanislav Mirzamagomedov, and Vladimir Kuchenko. He lost to Guram in March of 2011 by submission (Rear Naked Choke). Grishin, has been a professional MMA competitor since 2008, and has fought all over the world.
Maxim was expecting to challenge the winner of upcoming Gugenishvili vs. Garner bout for the title.
He trains with the Red Devil Sport Club, the training facility of Fedor Emelianenko and other top Russian fighters. As part of the Red Devil Sport Club, Grishin has also trained in Stary Oskol at the St. Alexander Nevsky Sport Palace with Kirill Sidelnikov, Dmitry Samoilov, Viktor Nemkov and Alexei Nazarov.
M-1 Challenge XXVII: Garner vs. Grishin will feature bouts from the new 5,500 seat Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix and will air live on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast).
The Oct. 14 event is headlined with the five-round, heavyweight interim title bout between the 2010 M-1 Selection Americas Tournament heavyweight winner Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner (7-3) and M-1 Global Eastern European Heavyweight Champion Maxim Grishin (11-5).
In co-main event action, M-1 Global light heavyweight (205 lbs.) champion and ADCC Submission Wrestling World Champion Vinny Magalhaes (8-5) will make his first title defense against versatile Russian fighter Mikhail Zayats (14-5).
M-1 Global XXVII Final Card
1) Kenny Garner vs. Maxim Grishin
2) Vinny Magalhaes vs. Mikhail Zayats
3) Arthur Guseinov vs. Eddie Arizmendi
4) Tom Gallicchio vs. Daniel Madrid
5) Yasubey Enomoto vs. Josh Thorpe
6) David Morgan vs. Silvester Villereal
7) Mike Chavez vs. Joe Martinez