Just in time to ride the Affliction publicity Fedor Emelianenko’s team Red Devil defeated Holland in the M-1 Challenge 2008 finals 4-1. Kirill Sidelnikov has already graduated from being the Red Devil heavyweight as he faces Paul Buentello in Affliction 2 while his replacement for this show Alex Oleinik did well by defeating Jesse Gibbs. Holland was hampered slightly with late replacement David Haagsma but Red Devil’s Dmitri Samoilov arguably gave the fight to Jason Jones with a point deduction for a foul that netted Holland their only victory. Overall this was a good show highlighting the best up-and-comers from countries usually overlooked.
No matter what one thinks of the team concept or ring events it was impressive M-1 managed to pull off the feats they did this year. Ten teams of five fighters representing eight nations, events in eight countries on four continents, and rescheduling the finals two weeks after the original date in a different country should earn the promoters some kind of work ethic award. The real challenge will be living up to the standard set by this year as M-1 are currently scheduled to hold their second show in Seattle at the end of February including the inaugural Brazil team.
This event was streamed live on Sherdog Sunday morning and by far was the most impressive to date. This show is not however to be confused with HDNet’s schedule of M-1 Challenge broadcasts. HDNet aired Spain vs. Team World Friday night, air a “road to the finals” best of this weekend, and the finals themselves January 30th. HDNet are dropping their airing of M-1 Challenge but as of this time no word is available on if Sherdog will continue to stream the events. Sherdog are rumored to be streaming the upcoming PFC show January 22nd and are definitely streaming the upcoming UWC show February 21st.