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Kenny Garner to fight Sergei Kharitonov in M-1 Challenge 53: Battle in the Celestial Empire

PETERSBURG, Russia (Nov. 7, 2014) – Former M-1 Global interim heavyweight champion Kenny “Deuce” Garner(14-7-0, 8 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) has stepped up to fight Russian heavyweight Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov (21-5-0, 11 KO/TKO, 9 SUB) November 25 in a Heavyweight Super Fight, replacing injured Satoshi Ishii (12-3-1, 1 KO/TKO, 4 SUB), in M-1 Challenge 53: Battle in the Celestial Empire, airing on www.M1Global.TV, live from Wukesong Arena in Beijing, China.

M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura (11-0-0, 4 KO/TKO, 5 SUB), of Poland, defends his title against Estonia’s undefeated challenger Denis Smoldarev (8-0-0, 3 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) in the main event.

Veteran knockout specialist Konstantin Gluhov (28-14-0, 21 KO/TKO, 4 SUB), of Latvia, takes on former M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Damian “Polish Pitbull” Grabowski (19-2-0, 6 KO/TKO, 6 SUB), of Poland, in a Special Heavyweight Attraction.

Garner is an experienced American fighting out of Port St. Lucie, Florida. He won the M-1 Challenge interim heavyweight championship Oct. 14, 2011 at M-1 Challenge: 27, by way of a fifth-round submission (strikes) over Maxim Grishin. Garner successfully defended his title June 21, 2012 at M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Rizzo, when Guram Gugenishvili was unable to continue fighting in the third round after suffering an injury. Six months later, Gugenishvili won the rematch by fourth-round knockout (strikes). In 2013, Garner lost by second-round submission (choke) to then new champion Grabowski at M-1 Challenge 44.

After suffering his fourth consecutive loss in M-1 Challenge competition, Garner received permission to rehabilitate his career and get back on the winning track in America, where he won his last two fights against Matt Kovacs (arm-bar submission) and Scott Barrett by decision.

Fighting on the main-card is unbeaten Ukrainian featherweight Pavel Vitruk (11-0-0. 2 KO/TKO, 2 SUB) against Jungle Fight champion Rafael Miranda (9-4-0, 2 KO/TKO, 5 SUB), of Brazil, while Chinese fan favorite and 4-times Wushu Sanda champion Muslim “King of Wushi Sanda” Salikhov (5-1-0) has been matched against Brazilian striker Victor Kratos Sckoteski (5-1-0).

In a recently added fight on a loaded card, Russian featherweight Nikita “Piranha” Chistyakov (4-1-0) faces Honggang “The Master” Yao (10-4-0). A winner of a several tournaments, Chistyakov represents the famed Alexander Nevsky club, using his outstanding wrestling techniques to his advantage.

Yao is an experienced fighter who will be a huge favorite fighting at home in China. He has been a multiple champion in Chinese wrestling tournaments (47-8 career record), specializing in traditional Chinese wrestling, Shuaijiao.

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

M-1 Challenge 53 will be streamed in high definition on www.M1Global.TV, live from China. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all of the action on their computers, as well as on Andriod and Apple smart phones and tablets.

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