Season 2 Of M1 Challenge Set To Begin Airing On HDNet May 15th




Amsterdam, Holland — The U.S. season premiere of the 2009 “M-1 Challenge Presented by Affliction” ( is scheduled for Friday, May 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET on HDNet ( and will feature the season debut of the 2008 M-1 Challenge Cup Champions, Fedor Emelianenko's Team Imperial. And when viewers tune in for the premiere, they will be treated to one of the most dramatic fights in M-1 Challenge history.

Formerly known as Russia Red Devil, Team Imperial returned to action at the '09 season opener in Tacoma, Wash. earlier this year having brought back all five of members of its championship roster.

Led by top lightweight prospect Mikhail Malyutin and light heavyweight ace Mikhail Zayats, Team Imperial's road to a second consecutive title will not be easy. With this year's M-1 Challenge expanding from ten teams to 16, Imperial finds itself in a deep Pool B with USA West, Team Brazil, and a vastly improved South Korean team.

Imperial's quest for a second championship during Friday's premiere will come against a South Korean team led by returnees heavyweight Sang Soo Lee and lightweight Do Hyung Kim. The premiere will also feature the incredible M-1 Challenge debut of light heavyweight newcomer Jae Young Kim.

With an 11-6 record at the time, Kim was considered a massive underdog heading into his 205 pound encounter with Zayats, who went 4-0 in M-1 Challenge play in 2008, with notable wins over jiu-jitsu black belt Lucio Linhares of Finland as well as Holland's David Haagsma in the '08 finals. Overall, Zayats was a stellar 8-1 heading into the '09 opener vs. Kim.

In addition to the exciting Zayats vs. Kim fight, viewers will also see heavyweights Lee and Alexy Oleinik go head-to-head along with a bout featuring two of the M-1 Challenge's best lightweights, Malyutin and Do Hyung Kim.

Lee made headlines last year after recording a first round submission victory over striking standout Roman Zentsov in a “superfight” held at an M-1 Challenge event in Seoul, South Korea. Zentsov, a veteran of PRIDE and BodogFIGHT, was forced to tap at 4:33 of round 1 and has not competed since.

During Friday night's premiere, Lee will once again find himself in the ring against a top Russian competitor in Oleinik, who competed on U.S. soil last year during YAMMA's heavyweight tournament held in Atlantic City, N.J.

Oleinik was added to the Team Imperial roster just prior to the '08 finals after Kirill Sidelnikov was promoted to Affliction and M-1's “Day of Reckoning” event this past January. An underdog vs. Holland's Jessie Gibbs, Oleinik proved himself to his teammates after submitting Gibbs with an Ezekiel choke at 3:42 of round 2. Who will keep their win streak alive? Tune into HDNet at 8 p.m. ET on Friday to find out.

With commentary provided my Affliction and M-1 pay-per-view announcers Sean Wheelock and Jimmy Smith, Friday's premiere also includes a welterweight matchup featuring Imperial's Erik Oganov vs. South Korea's Myeon Ho Bae and a middleweight contest between Dmitry Samoilov of Imperial and Hyun Gyu Lim of South Korea.

With a total of 16 teams featuring fighters from Russia, the U.S., Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Finland, and Benelux, the 2009 M-1 Challenge will be available in the U.S. each and every Friday at 8 p.m. ET on HDNet starting Friday, May 15.


Want to advertise your site in this space? E-mail the website staff today!

Latest MMA News

Alexander Gustafsson Discusses His Big Win, And Marriage Proposal, After UFC Stockholm

Earning a round of applause from the assembled media in Stockholm, Sweden, Alexander Gustafsson took time out after his UFC Fight Night 109 victory...
UFC Fight Night 109

UFC Fight Night 109 Bonuses: Main Event Awarded ‘Fight of The Night’

UFC Fight Night 109 is history and the bonuses have been revealed. Earlier today (May 28), Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira headlined the event inside...
Alexander Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson Sleeps Glover Teixeira After Five-Round Striking Clinic

In the main event of UFC Fight Night 109 from Stockholm, Sweden, native son and No. 1-ranked UFC light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson meets...

Live Stream: UFC Fight Night 109 Post-Fight Press Conference in Stockholm

Once UFC Fight Night 109 has come to a conclusion, check out the post-fight press conference. The presser takes place inside the Ericsson Globe in...
Volkan Oezdemir

Volkan Oezdemir Demolishes Misha Cirkunov With Single Punch

In the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 109 from Stockholm, Sweden, top light heavyweight prospect Misha Cirkunov meets Volkan Oezdemir in the center...
Peter Sobotta

Peter Sobotta Obliterates Ben Saunders With Crushing Knee

In our third-straight welterweight match-up on the main card of UFC Fight Night 109 from Stockholm, Sweden, Ben Saunders takes on Peter Sobotta inside...
Omari Akhmedov

Omari Akhmedov Edges Out Abdul Razak Alhassan With Split Decision

Welterweight action continues from Stockholm, Sweden at UFC Fight Night 109, as Omari Akhmedov takes on Abdul Razak Alhassan inside the Octagon now: Round 1: Akhmedov...

Nordine Taleb Beats UFC Newcomer Oliver Enkamp With Decision Win

Next on the docket for UFC Fight Night 109 from Stockholm, Sweden is a welterweight match-up between Oliver Enkamp and Nordine Taleb: Round 1: Taleb is in...
Jack Hermansson

Jack Hermansson Bulldozes Through Alex Nicholson For First Round Stoppage

Kicking us off on tonight's (Sun. May 28, 2017) main card for UFC Fight Night 109 is a middleweight clash inside the Octagon between...
Bojan Velickovic

Video: Bojan Velickovic Makes Nico Musoke do The Stanky Leg Before Finishing Him

Bojan Velickovic pulled through in a tough contest today (May 28). In the first bout on the FOX Sports 1 portion of the UFC Fight...