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Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


-- M-1 Global


Kansas City, MO - The M-1 Challenge held its weigh-ins Thursday at the Argosy Casino & Hotel in Kansas City in anticipation of Friday's 15-bout card at the Memorial Hall. However, a last-minute change prevented all 30 fighters from weighing in.

Extreme Challenge middleweight champion Ryan Sturdy, 9-2-1, was added to the event last when injury struck the World Team. Sturdy, the first-ever American to compete for the World Team, agreed to move up to light heavyweight to fight Abdullah Ahmady of Turkey. But the matchup was scrapped after Kansas Boxing Commission officials had concerns with Ahmady's record and a ruling was made to pull him from the card.

With Ahmady removed from the event just 24 hours from the start of Friday'show, M-1 matchmakers were left scrambling in order to ensure the World Team vs. Turkey matchup could be contested as a best-of-five matchup as originally planned.

The match was saved after former EliteXC fighter John Doyle agreed to take the fight vs. Sturdy on 24 hours notice. Doyle, a fighter who once accepted a fight vs. Rafael Feijao on eight days notice, expressed no hesitation when he received the call to fight while working his first day of a new job.

Doyle will not be able to arrive in Kansas City until Saturday morning and thus, was not present at weigh-ins. Both M-1 and the Kansas Boxing Commission have granted Doyle an extension due to the extenuating circumstances. Joining Doyle as a last-minute addition to the card is Lloyd "Kadillac" Marshbanks, who was re-added to the Team USA East roster after the Kansas Boxing Commission informed M-1 on Wednesday that Mike Ottman would not receive medical clearance to fight.

Marshbanks is listed as 16-8 on Sherdog's fight finder but many industry insiders claim that he is really 50-8 with many of his additional fights having taken place in Mexico. Marshbanks earned the nickname "Kadillac" after winning a fight at a backyard BBQ. Known to some as the original Kimbo Slice, Marshbanks accepted a Cadillac as payment after his defeated opponent could produce the previously agreed upon purse.

Marshbanks will be taking on Finland heavyweight Toni Valtonen, one of the best fighters currently competing in the M-1 Challenge. The Marshbanks vs. Valtonen matchup could prove to be a crucial one if the two teams are tied 2-2 going into their matchup. With both Team USA East and Finland currently tied for first place in Group C with 1-0 records, whichever team wins tomorrow night could potentially clinch a post-season birth.

In addition to the best-of-five series between USA East vs. Finland and the World Team vs. Turkey, a third team challenge match between England and France will also be taking place.

Team England made its M-1 Challenge debut on April 29 and defeated Japan in Tokyo by a 4-1 score. Prior to the fight vs. Japan, team captain and lightweight competitor Ian Butlin predicted a 5-0 victory. And during a recent interview with www.M-1Global.com, Butlin once again predicted that his team will go 5-0.

Butlin will be taking on French lightweight Mahktar Gueye while British knockout specialist Simon Phillips is set to take on France's Gael Grimaud in a welterweight encounter. Phillips, a former amateur boxer in Britain, needed just 20 seconds in April to defeat Hidehiko Hasegawa via KO.

At welterweight, England's Matt Thorpe will take on Christophe Dafreville of France while Johan Romming steps in at light heavyweight for France against England's Danny Giblin, who was added to the team several weeks ago as an injury replacement for Tom Blackledge.

Finally, at heavyweight, England's Rob Broughton has his sights on recording his second consecutive M-1 Challenge victory when he faces French heavyweight Soufian Elgarne. Kansas Boxing Commission officials had concerns about the Broughton vs. Elgarne matchup due to the fact that Broughton has established himself as a top heavyweight with wins over the likes of UFC heavyweight Neil Grove, former PRIDE heavyweight James Thompson, and British heavyweight prospect Martin Thompson. However, when apprised of Elgarne's classification as one of the greatest amateur wrestlers in France's, a decision was made to allow the bout to take place as scheduled.

Full weigh-in results are available below with pictures also available at www.M-1Global.com.

World Team vs Turkey:

1. Lightweight (154 lbs./-70 kg.) - Romano De Los Reyes (World - 153 lbs.) vs. Akin Duran (Turkey - 154 lbs.)
2. Welterweight (167.2 lbs./-76 kg.) - Diego Gonzales (World - 166.76 lbs.) vs. Faith Dogan (Turkey - 166.1 lbs.)
3. Middleweight (184.8 lbs./-84 kg.) - Nathan Schouten (World - 182.6 lbs.) vs. Ahmed Bayrak (Turkey - 181.72 lbs.)
4. Light Heavyweight (204.6 lbs./-93 kg.) - Ryan Sturdy (World - 203.72 lbs.) vs. *John Doyle (Turkey - NA)
5. Heavyweight (204.6-plus lbs./+93 kg.) - Michael Kitta (World - 239.14 lbs.) vs. Liron Wilson (Turkey - 222.2 lbs.)

England vs France:

6. Lightweight (154 lbs./-70 kg.) - **Ian Butlin (England - 155.76 lbs.) vs. Makhtar Gueye (France - 153.78 lbs.)
7. Welterweight (167.2 lbs./-76 kg.) - Simon Phillips (England - 166.76 lbs.) vs. ***Gael Grimaud (France - NA)
8. Middleweight (184.8 lbs./-84 kg.) - Matt Thorpe (England - 183.9 lbs.) vs. Christophe Dafreville (France - 183.48 lbs.)
9. Light Heavyweight (204.6 lbs./-93 kg.) - Danny Giblin (England - 202.84 lbs.) vs. Johan Romming (France - 202.18 lbs.)
10. Heavyweight (204.6-plus lbs./+93 kg.) - Rob Broughton (England - 269 lbs.) vs. Soufian Elgarne (France - 256.96 lbs.)

USA East vs Finland:

11. Lightweight (154 lbs./-70 kg.) - Renato Migliaccio (USA - 152.68 lbs.) vs. Niko Puhaka (Finland - 154 lbs.)
12. Welterweight (167.2 lbs./-76 kg.) - Anthony Ford (USA - 165.66 lbs.) vs. Janne Tulirinta (Finland - 166.98 lbs.)
13. Middleweight (184.8 lbs./-84 kg.) - Valdir Araujo (USA - 183.26 lbs.) vs. Lucio Linhares (Finland - 184.8 lbs.)
14. Light Heavyweight (204.6 lbs./-93 kg.) - Rodney Wallace (USA - 204.38 lbs.) vs. Marcus Vanttinen (Finland - 203.72 lbs.)
15. Heavyweight (204.6-plus lbs./+93 kg.) - Lloyd Marshbanks (USA - 248.6 lbs.) vs. Toni Valtonen (Finland - 233.64 lbs.)

* John Doyle will be allowed to weigh-in Saturday morning due to being a late addition to the card.

** Ian Butlin met the Kansas Boxing Commission weight requirements but did not meet M-1's. However, Team France waived their right to protest Butlin's failure to make weight due to England agreeing not to file a protest for Gael Grimaud not weighing in on Friday.

*** Kansas Boxing Commission officials issued a weigh-in extension for Grimaud until Saturday morning due to Grimaud arriving in the U.S. later than scheduled due to a flight cancellation.


M-1 Global (www.M-1Global.com) has been one of the leading Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organizations in the world for over a decade. International MMA stars who have fought under the M-1 banner have included Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Aleksander Emelianenko, Keith Jardine, Alistair Overeem, Yushin Okami, Ben Rothwell, Mike Pyle, Melvin Manhoef, Roman Zenstov, Denis Kang, Martin Kampmann, Amar Suloev, and Chalid Arrab, to name a few.

Billed as the "World Cup of Mixed Martial Arts," the M-1 Challenge is a full season of MMA events sponsored by partner Affliction that showcases some of the best up and coming MMA fighters in the world. Broadcast to over 80 countries around the world, including HDNet in the United States, the M-1 Challenge pits teams of five fighters representing their respective countries against each other for international bragging rights and the title of M-1 Challenge Champions.

The "M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction" affords MMA prospects all over the world an opportunity to test their skills, gain valuable experience at the international level, and become future stars in the sport of MMA. Fighters who succeed on the M-1 Challenge's international breeding ground will earn the opportunity to participate in major MMA events presented by M-1 Global and their promotional partners such as Affliction Entertainment.