Garner Replaces Injured Guram at M-1 Challenge 26
M-1 heavyweight champion Guram
Gugenishvili has suffered a training injury to his left arm and
wrist and will not defend his title at
M-1 Challenge 26, the promotion announced Thursday.
Stepping in to face Pat Bennett in
Gugenishvili's stead will be
American Top Team product Kenny Garner.
Headlined by a lightweight title showdown between Jose
Figueroa and Daniel
Weichel, M-1 Challenge 26 goes down July 8 from The Hangar at
the O.C. Fair and Events Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., and will air
“As unfortunate as late training injuries are, they’re part of the
sport. No one is more disappointed about the change in
circumstances than Guram himself. He was absolutely gutted when
breaking the news to us,” said M-1 official Evgeni Kogan in the
release. “We hope Guram makes a swift recovery so he can return to
action as soon as possible.”
A winner of four of his last five, Garner faced both Gugenishvili
and Bennett in 2010, knocking out the American in “M-1 Selection
2010 -- The Americas Finals” in September before falling by
submission to the Ukrainian at M-1 Challenge 21 just a month later.
Most recently, “Deuce” knocked out Danny
Lockhart in April, finishing his foe in just 2:52.
A member of Team Bombsquad, Bennett recently rebounded from his
2010 loss to Garner -- only the second of his career -- to outpoint
Volkov at M-1 Challenge 22 in December. Bennett's first loss
came in just his second career bout at the hands of reigning
Bellator heavyweight king Cole Konrad.
Bennett followed that defeat with back-to-back wins, besting
Nick Smiley and Mehdi Hassan
in the first two rounds of the “M-1 Selection 2010 -- The Americas”
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