Kharitonov-Garner 2 to headline M-1 Challenge 59 July 3 in Kazakhstan

Sergei Kharitonov-Kenny Garner rematch

To headline M-1 Challenge 59 plus

Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Michal Wiencek &

Luigi Fioravanti vs. Sergey Kovalev

July 3 in Astana, Kazakhstan

Kenny Garner and Sergei Kharitonov
(L) Kenny Garner and Sergei Kharitonov exchanged a lot o punches in their original at
M-1 Challenge 53 in Beijing,China/

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (June 18, 2015) – The much-anticipated Heavyweight SuperFight rematch between Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov and Kenny “Deuce” Garner will headline the July 3rd M-1 Challenge 59: Battle of Nomads 5 in Astana, Kazakhstan.


The 6′ 4″, 260-pound Kharitonov (22-5-0, 12 KO/TKO, 9 SUB), fighting out of Moscow, was a star in the United States-based Strikeforce, as well as Japanese MMA organizations Dream and PRIDE Fighting Championships. His victims have included reigning UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Alistar Overeem, as well as Pedro Rizzo, among the more notables.

Maxim Grishin

Garner, fighting out of Port St. Lucie, Florida, won the inaugural M-1 Challenge interim heavyweight championship Oct. 14, 2011 at M-1 Challenge: 27, by way of a fifth-round submission (strikes) against Maxim Grishin. Garner successfully defended his title June 21, 2012 at M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo, when Guram Gugenishvili was unable to continue fighting in the third round after suffering an injury.

Garner was a replacement for injured Satoshi Ishii this past November 25 against Kharitonov in Beijing. The rugged American dominated the opening round, even attempting to submit the tough Russian, who rebounded in the second round by keeping the fight in a stand-up mode. The fight was stopped in the third round with Kharitonov declared the winner due to safety concerns for Garner, who suffered serious cuts and other damage to his face and head.

M-1 Challenge 59 will be streamed live from Kazakhstan in high definition on www.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all of the action on their computers, as well as on Andriod and Apple smart phones and tablets.

Promising Kazakh welterweight prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov (2-0-0, 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB) will be showcased in his homeland against Polish foe Michal Wiencek (5-2-0, 2 SUB).

The 19-year-old Rakhmonov was the 2013 WMMAA welterweight champions, in addition to capturing top honors in the Asian and Kazakhstan championships. His amateur experience prepared for M-1 Challenge competition, in which he is undefeated in two fights, including his last a first-round knockout of Bartosz Chyrek this past May 2nd at M-1 Challenge 57.

Bartosz Chyrek

Wiencek, 21, was a winner at the Berserkers Grand Prix. In his last fight April 10 at M-1 Challenge 56, he won his M-1 Challenge debut in impressive fashion, choking out Rustam Gadzhiev in the third round.

Rustam Gadzhiev

Another interesting match has been announced as popular American middleweight Luigi “The Italian Tank” Fioravanti takes on undefeated Russian Sergey Kovalev


Fiorvanti (striking on right in this picture above) is coming off a decision loss this past February 21 to Nodar Kudukhashvili at M-1 Challenge 55. The Italian-American joined the U.S. Marines after graduating from high school. He started training in kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in California and Iraq while active in the military. Fioravanti holds a second-degree black belt in Pancrase Pankration.

Kovalev (5-0-0, 2 KO/TKO, 2 SUB) has been out of action more than two years due to an injury. His last fight was April 9, 2013 in his M-1 Challenge debut, in which he choked Gregory Babine into submission

All fights and fighters are subject to change. Additional fights to soon be announced.

Fight Network will air M-1 Challenge 59 live on Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Grande Communications, Shentel Cable and Armstrong Cable in the U.S., as well as nationwide in Canada, Roku devices across North America, and globally in more than 30 countries throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

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