M-1 Global today officially announced the addition of a middleweight title bout to M-1 Challenge 24 “Damkovsky vs. Figueroa,” completing the Showtime-televised main card of the March 25 event.
Magomed Sultanakhmedov and Tyson Jeffries will square off for the vacant M-1 Challenge 185-pound strap, given up by inaugural champion and now-welterweight Rafal Moks shortly after his 17-second heel-hooking of Sultanakhmedov in December.
Emanating from the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., M-1 Challenge 24 will mark the Russian promotion’s debut on its new premium cable home. The show is headlined by a lightweight title tilt between champion Artiom Damkovsky and 2010 M-1 Selection Americas tournament winner Jose Figueroa.
Also set for the main portion of the card is a bout pitting M-1’s top 155-pound prospect, Alexander Sarnavskiy, against Floridian Josh Bacallao; a 205-pound matchup featuring UFC veteran Vinny Magalhaes and 6-0 Jake Doerr; and a middleweight contest between Indiana-based “Vanilla Gorilla” Mark Palbykin and Russian knockout artist Arthur Guseinov.
Fresh off a second-round smashing of Plinio Cruz at M-1 Challenge 23 on March 5, Sultanakhmedov now looks to claim the belt that many expected him to win last year. Moks’ upset submission of the “White Wolf” snapped a seven-fight win streak, six of which came by way of knockout. The 26-year-old Dagestani tore through the 2010 M-1 Selection Eastern Europe middleweight bracket with a trio of stoppage wins, including one over then-unbeaten Pavel Kusch.
A native of Gresham, Ore., Jeffries won the 2010 M-1 Selection Americas 185-pound tournament in September with a third-round triangle-choking of Mike Geurin. All but one of the Team Quest product’s seven professional wins have come by way of submission.