With the UFC’s last offering being an international card for Memorial Day weekend and this week being the standard sausage-making material, it’s good to have other things to scratch the combat sports itch.
First batch of fisticuffs comes to us from Chelyabinsk, Russia, as M-1 presents M-1 Challenge 93. Top of the card sees Brazilian veteran Bruno Santos (17-6) fighting former Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko (57-10). This is Shlemenko’s first fight after his loss to Gegard Mousasi last October. Santos has mostly wrecked shop on the Brazilian circuit, and is a big hitter with most of his wins being by TKO or knockout - including his last two fights. Shlemenko should have his hands full with a strong striker like Santos, which means this fight should be a great challenge worth watching. Co-main event is former UFC, Strikeforce and Bellator fighter Joe Riggs (48-17-1) being tested against undefeated prospect Artem Frolov (10-0). Riggs has seven wins and one draw to his name after a tough loss in his final UFC outing against Chris Camozzi, including a finish over former fellow Fight Master alum Chris Lozano. Frolov has most wins via finish, including a TKO vs Luigi Fioravanti and his most recent win being over former UFC fighter Caio Magalhaes.
Also on the card is former UFC fighter Chris Kelades (12-3), also carving his niche in the international circuit as he faces Alexander Pletenko. Kelades went 2-2 in the UFC before returning to the regional scene and racking up three straight wins. Pletenko is a Sambo specialist with some serious submission chops and a very durable opponent.
M-1 Challenge 93 will be streaming via Fite.tv, with the prelims on for free and the main card available for $7.99, starting at 9:00am EST. Please note that it appears the prelims will stream after the main card on that site.
LFA is also back, with Brazilian talent Thiago Moises facing Jeff Peterson, who looks to make it seven in a row. Moises is a submission specialist that had his four fight win streak snapped when he lost his RFA title to Robert Watley last July. Peterson looks to get a crack at the belt himself if he manages to secure a win and he’s already defeated Mike Richman and Brandon Jenkins.
Speaking of Jenkins (11-6), he’s also on this card. His last fight didn’t go his way against then-champ, the aforementioned Robert Watley (who has since jumped ship to PFL). That said, he’s still worthy of the nickname “The Human Highlight Reel”. This card also features “Nasty” Nate Jennerman (11-3) and former Bellator fighter “Super Duper“ Bobby Cooper, as well as Bobby Lee (8-1) and Roufusport fighter Jordan Griffin (15-5).
LFA 41: Moises vs Peterson airs live on AXS TV as usual, with their standard 9:00pm EST start time.
See that picture up above? No, your eyes do not deceive you. That Royal Adonis you see up there is the one and only Zuluzinho (9-8), son of famed Brazilian brawler (and former Rickson Gracie opponent) Rei Zulu. Dude was an attraction, and he even fought Fedor back at peak-PRIDE in a wild circus match not atypical of the era.
And he will be unleashed yet again into the world as Imortal FC 9 graces us with having him in the headlining slot against Edvaldo de Oliveira (35-25). Edvaldo has spent most of his career at middlweight and light heavyweight, and will have to handle an opponnt well north of 400lbs. At age 40, Zuluzinho returns after a lengthy hiatus as his last fight was against Geronimo dos Santos in November of 2010.
More local talent will clash as Handerson Martins (8-2) inexplicably gets matched up with Jose Gomes (39-14, 1 draw) and Adilson Ferreira (10-5) gets a shot at another hulking light heavyweight in Caio Bittencourt (12-6).
Imortal FC 9 kicks off Saturday at 5:00pm EST, with no live viewing information available as of yet. Don’t worry, the internet is your friend.
Another curious card this weekend is Alliance MMA staging an event in Columbus, Ohio this Saturday night. Former UFC fighter (and local powerhouse) Dominique Steele (16-10) meets Travis Davis (6-1). Davis has been fighting professionally since 2010, with most of his wins being by way of submission.
This card also features the bantamweight and welterweight titles on the line, as well as two amateur championships.
The event begins at 7:30pm EST live at the Hollywood Casino in Columbus, OH. Once again, the internet is your friend on this one.
Island Fights also comes back for a Saturday night special, as Elvin Brito (9-6) is scheduled to meet Jacob Kilbern (5-1) in an immediate rematch from their previous Road to M-1 fight this past March.
American Top Team Miramar’s James Freeman will get a taste of veteran competition as he meets the infamous Charles Bennett (30-38, 2 draws). The Artist Formerly Known as Krazy Horse (and who prefers to go by “Felony” these days) has had a very rough patch since his RIZIN win over Minuro Kimura, having lost 8 fights in a row (and that’s not counting a shootboxing match loss). Still a lot of potential for wild violence.
Island Fights 48 streams live via UFC Fight Pass, starting this Saturday night at 9:00pm.