Vinny Magalhaes successfully defended his M-1 light heavyweight title on Friday night with a spectacular third-round knockout of Mikhail Zayats.
A multi-time grappling champion, Magalhaes made no secrets about his desire to get Zayats to the ground, but his opponent did a very good job of avoiding much mat time with the Brazilian native.
Zayats kept the action primarily on the feet where he punished Magalhaes with crisp combinations and kept him guessing with stand-up through the first two rounds of the fight.
The third round however was a much different story.
Magalhaes uncorked a nasty head kick that blasted Zayats in spectacular fashion, and the M-1 champion followed up with a few more punches to finish the fight. Magalhaes has now won five fights in a row, with stoppages in all five bouts.
For a second straight time, M-1 heavyweight champion Guram Gugenishvili was unable to compete and defend his belt, so the promotion opted to do an interim title fight with top contender Kenny ‘Deuce’ Garner and Maxim Grishin.
While M-1 was able to crown an interim champion, the performance of both fighters may have had the organization second guessing their choice.
To his credit, Garner came out of the gate strong and the American Top Team fighter looked solid early on, as he has in many of his past fights as well. It was the clock and cardio, however, that backfired on Garner as the fight wore on.
Luckily for Garner, his opponent Maxim Grishin hit the treadmill even less and was completely gassed by the time the fight made it to the fifth round. Grishin fell to his back and Garner followed up with strikes, and while Grishin almost locked on a submission at one point, ultimately Garner continued his assault and got the stoppage.
Garner now gets the M-1 interim heavyweight title and can only hope that Gugenishvili can get healthy so they can finally square off for their rematch.
Arthur Guseinov followed up his last fight, where he landed one of the quickest and most devastating spinning back fists in MMA history, with another nasty finish as he put away Eddie Arizmendi with a heel hook just 50 seconds into the fight. It looked like Guseinov could get the stoppage with strikes after putting Arizmendi on his back early, but instead he dropped back for a heel hook and got the quick submission instead.
Yasubey Enomoto put away Josh Thorpe early as well landing a triangle choke at just over one minute into the first round, while Daniel Madrid finished Tom Gallicchio with an armbar with a similarly quick submission at just 48 seconds into the fight.
M-1 Global again put on an impressive card for their Showtime broadcast and got several big finishes to highlight the show. The heavyweight title fight was the only blemish on an otherwise quick and fast paced night of fights.
M-1 Global Full Results:
Vinny Magalhaes def. Mikhail Zayats by TKO (head kick and strikes) at 1:13, R3
Kenny Garner def. Maxim Grishin by submission (punches) at 4:07, R5
Arthur Guseinov def. Eddie Arizmendi by submission (heel hook) at 0:50, R1
Yasubey Enomoto def. Josh Thorpe by submission (triangle choke) at 1:07, R1
Daniel Madrid def. Tom Gallicchio by submission (armbar) at 0:48, R1
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