Costa Mesa, Calif. (July 7, 2011) - All 10 fighters competing in Friday's M-1 Challenge event at The Hangar at OC Fair & Event Center in Orange County, Calif., weighed in on Thursday at Hooters in Costa Mesa. Friday's five-fight telecast will air LIVE on SHOWTIME® at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
The main event will feature a rematch between the 2010 M-1 Selection Americas Tournament heavyweight finalists Pat Bennett (4-2), of Marcellus, N.Y., and Kenny ‘Deuce' Garner (6-3), of Port St. Lucie, Fla. Garner won the first bout in September of 2010 via first round TKO (punches).
In a featured bout, 2010 M-1 Selection Americas middleweight tournament winner Tyson ‘The Anti-Hero' Jeffries (7-4), of Troutdale, Ore., will face feared Russian striker Arthur Guseinov (7-2). As a marquee middleweight (185 Lbs.) bout, the clash sets the stage for Jeffries to battle back into title contention after suffering a crushing defeat against the division's newly crowned M-1 Challenge middleweight champ Magomed Sultanakhmedov.
In other featured fights, Mairbek Taisumov (14-3), of Austria, will square off with Josh Bacallao (6-2, 1 NC), of Lakeland, Fla., at lightweight and Daniel Weichel (26-7), of Germany, will face Beau Baker (8-4), of Harrisonburg, Va., in another lightweight matchup.
In the opening bout of the evening, American military hero Jason Norwood (11-2), of Fort Still, Okla., will fight Tucson, Arizona's Eddie Arizmendi (14-2), who hasn't lost a fight in three years.
Pat Bennett - 240 pounds
Kenny Garner - 256.6 pounds
Arthur Guseinov - 183.4 pounds
Tyson Jeffries - 184.8 pounds
Mairbek Taisumov - 155 pounds
Josh Bacallao - 154 pounds
Daniel Weichel - 155.5 pounds
Beau Baker - 156 pounds
Jason Norwood - 184.6 pounds
Eddie Arizmendi - 186 pounds
Quotes from the fighters in the full entry.
below is what the fighters had to say prior to Thursday's weigh in:
"I want it bad. I feel lucky to get rematch and the opportunity to get this one back. He's the type of dude that if you give him an inch, he'll take a mile.
"I know Kenny - he's a brawler and if doesn't land then he'll get in the clinch. I'm ready. I have an answer for everything he brings me.
"My dream path would be to get my two losses back. I'll be happy if I beat Kenny.
"Deep down, I think he knows I'm a much better fighter than I showed in our last fight. Every heavyweight has knockout power - that's just a fact of being a heavyweight. It doesn't matter who you're fighting, you just have to keep your hands up."
"You know I beat people's brains out? The must mean I left some last time that I need to take care of."
"I fought him and beat him so fast that I don't think he knows what happened.
"I got bigger, stronger and faster since we fought. If he's looking at our last fight then he's in trouble because I've gotten a lot better since then.
"I'm a born and bred wrestler, but I'd rather punch you in your face. My wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu is good but I've never really had to use it.
"As soon as I connect, start counting. I'll end the fight in six punches."
"It doesn't mean much that I beat (Magomed) Sultanakhmedov and that he beat Jeffries in his last fight. Whatever happens in the fight will happen. I just need to fight my fight and do what works for me.
"I had a good training camp and I'm ready to get back in there and get a win."
"I'm going to take whatever he gives me. If a spot is there to take him down I will.
"This would be a big win for me. A finish would be awesome, points are a little boring, but a win is a win.
"He's kind of wild so I have to watch out for any crazy punches.
"I sparred with Rampage Jackson for his fight with Lyoto Machida and he had zero takedowns against me."
"My background is freestyle wrestling but I can adjust to my opponent.
"I respect all fighters. His background is also freestyle wrestling, and he also has good standup. He's a complete fighter but I'm here to try to win. We will see."
"In Austria, I train people ranging from 6 years old up to 72 years old. Everyone loves MMA in Austria."
"I think he's a good fighter, a tough kid. I think he'll try and do the same thing he always does, throw his right hand. I know what I'm up against.
"I'm not worried about being submitted. I'm sure he'll keep trying to stand up.
"I enjoy striking and boxing but I'm not scared to fight on the ground. I enjoy the clinch."
"I'm a wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist. The last three months I've been training a lot on my striking and I feel really good about it.
"It's a different style of opponent - I've known about it for about four weeks. I've just had to switch the game plan a little bit. I'm prepared for him and have a good game plan.
"My MMA skills are getting more well-rounded. MMA is getting much more popular in Germany."
"I've been working with a striking coach so we've improved a lot on our striking in the last few weeks.
"I'll take anyone on short notice. You don't get anywhere waiting for opponents. But this one I had a lot of time to prepare for.
"I'm my own trainer so you need to be self motivated. It can get difficult but you still have to dial in and get it done.
"I think Weichel is getting more and more confident in his striking, but he's not a super striker. I know he's a good ground guy as well. I need to surprise him."
"We've been working on our boxing and being more active.
"I've been training and sparring with Tim Kennedy. I've learned a lot."
"He talks a good game but I don't think he's been tested. And he's never been victorious against a fighter of my caliber.
"Fighting in a cage is like a war. Getting your face kicked in isn't fun."
"I'm looking to knock him out. I think after I hit him he won't want to stand with me.
"I started out at 225 so it's a lot of weight to cut. I haven't fought at 185 since 2009.
"I like finishing fights in general - TKO, submissions, but if I had to choose I'd take a TKO or a KO.
"It's not weird fighting a military guy like Jason. Business is business.
"I haven't lost in three years and I've learned a lot since then. "
Mauro Ranallo will call the action from ringside with Pat Miletich serving as analyst. The telecast will be produced by Chuck McKean and directed by Craig Farrell. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins, Jr.