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American fighters Morrison & Monson invade Russia Apr. 4

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (March 26, 2014) – American fighters Lee “American Bulldog” Morrision (13-3-0, 4 KO/TKO, 4 SUB) and Jeff “The Snowman” Monson (49-17-1, 3 KO/TKO, 29 SUB) will be featured April 4 on M-1 Challenge 47: Battle in the Heart of the Continent, airing free worldwide on, live from Orenburgzhe Sport Hall in Orenburgh, Russia.

Morrison challenges unbeaten M-1 Challenge featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (8-0-0, 1 KO/TKO, 5 SUB) in the main event, while Monson takes on French heavyweight Chaban Ka (6-3-1, 0 KO/TKO, 5 SUB) in a rematch of their 2011 fight that ended in a draw.

Morrison, fighting out of Okanogon, Washington, is unbeaten in his last eight fights, dating back nearly three years. The 28-year-old was a collegiate wrestler at North Dakota College and Menio College in California. He was 8-0 as an amateur MMA fighter before turning pro in 2007. Morrison made his M-1 Global debut in his last fight (Oct. 20, 2013), winning a hard fought split decision over Mikhail Malyutin at M-1 Challenge 42, earning Fight of the Night honors, as well as the No. 1 contender position for Morrison.

The 29-year-old Gafurov is a jiu-jitsu world champion from Ukraine who lives in Russia. He won the inaugural M-1 Challenge featherweight championship Nov. 15, 2013, choking Vugar Bahshiev into a submission at M-1 Challenge 35. In his first and only title defense to date, Gaforov stopped Yuri Ivlev by way of punches in the second round, last November at M-1 Challenge 41.

Monson was a standout wrestler in college at Oregon State and Illinois. He went on to become the two-time ADCC Submission Wrestling and No Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion. The 43-year-old veteran has fought in Russia three times (3-3-0), including a loss by decision to the great Fedor Emelianko, as well as a win by submission north-south choke) over Fedor’s younger brother, Alexander Emelianko.

The 6′ 2″ Ka has split a pair of Russian fights, losing by first-round submission (strikes) to Marcin Tybura in 2013 at M-1 Challenge 41, after winning his M-1 Global debut earlier that year to Alexei Kudin by first-round submission (choke) at M-1 Challenge 38.

M-1 Challenge 47 will also be broadcast live on Russia 2, the terrestrial channel, throughout Russia and the Commonwealth of Individual States (CIS), as well as across the Middle East on Abu Dhabi Sports Channels.

Providing chief support on the undercard in a Special Heavyweight Attraction is a potential show-stealing clash between two of the most exciting European heavyweights, undefeated Marcin “Tybur” Tybura (9-0-0, 3 KO/TKO, 4 SUB) and dangerous Maro “Gladiator” Perak (23-3-1, 12 KO/TKO, 7 SUB). Tybura was scheduled to challenge M-1 Challenge champion and fellow Polish heavyweight, Damian Grabowski, at M-1 Challenge 46. Grabowski, however, had to withdraw due to a neck injury and Tybura was rescheduled to fight Apr. 4. The high-regarded Perak, fighting out of Croatia, accepted the most significant challenge of his career to fight Tybura.

Revenge seeking lightweight Ivan “Buki” Buchinger (25-4-0, 6 KO/TKO, 15 SUB) vacated his Cage Warriors title and joined M-1 Global to become its first Slovakian champion. His plans call for a rematch Apr. 4 against veteran lightweight Sergey Golyaev (23-10-0, 6 KO/TKO, 12 SUB) and then a move down in weight to M-1’s stacked featherweight division. Buchinger has won 13 of his last 16 fights and Golyaev was one of three who defeated Buchinger during the aforementioned period, needing only 21 seconds to become the first to knockout Buchinger.

Another American invader fighting on the loaded M-1 Challenge 47 event is Floridian welterweight Julien “J-Smoove” Williams (4-1-0, 0 KO/TKO, 4 SUB), who tangles with an unbeaten Russian, Rasul Abdulaev (3-0-0, 1 KO/TKO, 0 SUB). Williams makes his M-1 debut after going 2-0 in Bellator competition. He faces 2013 National and European amateur MMA champion Abdulaev, a physically strong individual who prefers to fight on the ground.

Also fighting on the undercard is lightweight prospects Kamil Maron (4-1-0, 0 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) vs. Georgy Fursov (2-1-0, 1 KO/TKO), as well as Brazilian light heavyweight Luis Fernando “Hulk” Miranda (11-1-0) vs. undefeated Ukrainian National MMA champion Vasily Babich (7-0-0).

Poland-native Maron, unlike many Alexander Nevsky-trained fighters who are well-prepared for stand-up battles, has won three of four fights by submission. Fursov is a young, Russian fighter trying to establish himself.

Miranda has a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and only one of his fights has gone the full distance. Babich is a strong puncher and kicker who stopped highly-regarded Russian prospect Artur Alibulatov by TKO.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

The M-1 Challenge series has traditionally introduced a new wave of potential MMA stars, showcasing elite athletes from Russia and across Europe. M-1 Global is the No. 1 European MMA organization, as well as one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1998. Superstar Fedor Emelianenko, considered by many to be the greatest fighter in MMA history, has been the face of M-1 Global around the combat sports world for the past decade.

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