Tonight in Costa Mesa, Calif., two heavy hitters will meet when Pat Bennett and Kenny Garner clash for the second time in a bout that could see the winner face reigning M-1 Global heavyweight champion Guram Gugenishvili down the line.
That could potentially come when Gugenishvili makes his U.S. debut at M-1's next U.S. show in October.
Bennett originally was scheduled to meet Gugenishvili on this show, but Gugenishvili had to pull out due to injury. In his place stepped Garner, who defeated Bennett by first-round TKO in M-1's American heavyweight tournament final last year.
Here are what the combatants, along with M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan had to say about tonight's fight (11 p.m. ET/Showtime):
How do you see the fight going?
Kenny Garner: It's going to the be the first time, and you can put this in your history books, that you were there when you saw the best MMA fighter, the best MMA heavyweight fighter in the world, put on the best show you've ever seen before. This is going to go down in the history books of how good of an MMA fighter I am. I can't wait to see everybody looking at me to see me beat his brains out. I'm just excited all the fans that come out to see me fight just like they're going to be excited to see me fight. Now have a nice day.
Pat Bennett: This seems to be one of his favorite lines. I don't think it's feasibly possible to beat someone's brains out with the ref standing there. So it's kind of funny. But I can guarantee that's not happening. I'm ready for it to go three rounds, but I'm going to play it smart, I'm going to push the pace and the opportunity is going to arise. It's going to be coming out on top whether it's ref stoppage, knockout, submission, three rounds, whatever. Whatever it is.
Evgeni Kogan: It's a rematch that needed to happen. Kenny thinks he's going to be able to do again what he did last year in the finals of Selection by knocking Pat out, even sooner than he did last time. Pat thinks he's going to same to Kenny. I think that fight's going to be fireworks. That's the fight I least expect would get to the 15-minute mark.