Amsterdam, Holland: M-1 Global officials officially announced Wednesday that the sixth installment of the 2009 "M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction" will take place on Saturday, July 4 in Seoul, South Korea.
M-1's international crew and staff will accompany a troupe of 30 fighters representing six different countries as they prepare to go head-to-head in three separate best-of-five series'.
Slated to headline the event will be host country South Korea, which is currently third the M-1 Challenge's Group B division with a 1-1 team record and a 3-7 individual record. Led by middleweight sensation Jae Young Kim, South Korea will attempt to defend its home turf vs. Team Brazil.
Currently the second place team in Group B, Brazil not only wants to win the team challenge vs. South Korea but also has its eye on a dominant victory so that it can position itself to supplant Group leader USA West in hopes of rallying to make the post-season.
Kim, who sent shock waves through the M-1 Challenge following his upset over Team Imperial's Mikhail Zayats during the '09 M-1 Challenge opener this past February, is set to take on Leandro Silva, 13-5.
Silva made a successful M-1 Challenge debut this past May in Sao Paulo, where he recorded a unanimous decision victory over Team Imperial's Dmitry Samoilov.
In addition, the other four fighters who contributed to Brazil's 5-0 rout over Imperial this past May are all returning. At lightweight, undefeated prospect Hacran Dias (11-0-1) will take on South Korea's Yui Chul Nam.
Dias holds notable wins in his career over Marcos dos Santos and Marcio Soares and won his M-1 Challenge debut against Imperial's Amirkhan Mazihov following a first round submission victory courtesy of a rear naked choke.
At welterweight for Brazil will be its unofficial captain, former IFL superfight competitor Eduardo Pamplona. One of the most charismatic fighters currently competing in Brazil, Pamplona has seen his record improve to 11-2 by going 2-0 in the M-1 Challenge this season. Pamplona TKO'd USA West's Dylan Clay during the '09 season opener and recorded a majority decision vs. BodogFIGHT veteran Erik Oganov in May.
The light heavyweight division will see South Korea's Doo Hee Lee make the move down from heavyweight in order to take on Brazil's Alexander Machado. Machado made his professional debut during the May M-1 Challenge event and shocked pundits by recording a unanimous decision upset over Zayats.
With Lee shifting to light heavyweight, it has cleared the way for South Korea to add a fighter who is perhaps the country's greatest heavyweight prospect, Hae Joon Yang. Since turning pro, Yang has accumulated a 2-0 record with both wins coming by way of first round TKO. One of those wins took place against his fellow countryman and teammate, Lee.
The man looking to hand Yang his first professional loss is Brazilian heavyweight Joaquim Ferreira, a fighter that is no stranger to handing rising prospects their first career loss. With an impressive record in his own right of 8-2, Ferreira submitted previously-unbeaten Russian heavyweight prospect Maxim Grishin in May and is the only fighter ever to defeat current UFC heavyweight sensation Junior dos Santos.
In addition to the South Korea vs. Brazil headlining challenge match, the July 4 M-1 Challenge event will also see Team USA West take on Russia Imperial while Bulgaria will face Finland. Complete rosters and matchups for both fights will be revealed in the coming days on www.M-1Global.com.
The initial lineup is as follows:
South Korea vs. Brazil
Lightweight (-70 kg/154 lbs.) - Nam Yui Chul (KOR) vs. Hacran Dias (BRA)
Welterweight (-76 kg/167.2 lbs.) - Do Hyung Kim (KOR) vs. Eduardo Pamplona (BRA)
Middleweight (-84 kg/184.8 lbs.) - Jae Young Kim (KOR) vs. Leandro Silva (BRA)
Light Heavyweight (-93 kg/204.6 lbs.) - Doo Hee Lee (KOR) vs. Alexander Machado (BRA)
Heavyweight (+93 kg/+ 204.6 lbs.) - Hae Joon Yang (KOR) vs. Joaquim Ferreira (BRA)
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