Friday night's M-1 Challenge 27 bout didn't go as planned for Vinny Magalhaes. He was given a very tough fight by Mikhail Zayats where it appeared that his inability to get and keep the fight on the floor would be his undoing. Zayats was able to land solid combinations, using a stiff leg kick to either open or close the flurries. Eventually Vinny was able to land a head kick that dropped Zayats and follow up with a flurry of punches to get the stoppage to retain his M-1 light heavyweight championship.
A time of celebration for Vinny turned into a time of frustration upon rewatching the fight. He took to Facebook to vent:
After rewatching the whole fight, i just realized that everytime i fought for M-1 against a Russian fighter, i was the hand picked guy... i mean, i am assuming that after seeing one of the M-1 directors rooting for my opponent everytime he'd hit me, but not having any reaction when i'd hit him nor when dropped him. Thanks M-1, i appreciate your business, you can have your belt back.
Vinny entered the cage as anywhere from a -400 to -500 favorite. He clearly wasn't "hand picked" for anything. He also was the favorite in his previous M-1 fight against Victor Nemkov. Some of his anger no doubt comes from M-1 acting as though he should train with Fedor Emelianenko for free.
But it is very bad form for a promoter to actively root for one fighter over another if they manage both men. I'm sure the Russian based M-1 wants a Russian guy to win their title, but they need to hide it a little at ringside. Their failure to do so has Vinny upset and looking to get out of their promotion:
M-1's behavior upsetting what may be their only marketable and recognizable fighter (outside of Fedor) is but one of many problems facing the promotion as they continue to look to make a name in America.