Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ is the place to be this Saturday night.  On September 18th, M-1 Global takes over the “city of lights” once again with their Global Selection Tournament.  This time around though, it is the Finals.  The card is stacked and the fighters are set and ready to do battle.  With that, let us get right into the lineup.

In the final contest of the heavyweight bracket, Kenny Garner (4-1) will look for a repeat performance of his last fight.  A dominant, one-sided affair against Andrei Kapylou, which saw Garner come away with a unanimous decision victory.  The aggressive ground and pounder will have his hands full this time though with a very tough Pat Bennett (3-1). 

Bennett, the Team Bombsquad striker, will need to keep this fight on the feet if he wants to be successful against Garner.  If Bennett gets taken down, he could very well be in a world of hurt.  You do not want to be on the receiving end of Kenny Garner’s ground and pound.  Expect Garner to try and take this fight to the mat quickly and violently to grind out a TKO or decision victory.  This should be an explosive match-up.

The light-heavyweight final will feature Byron Byrd (2-0) against Daniel Vizcaya (3-0).  Somebody’s “0” has got to go!  Not sure who originally quoted that, maybe it was our own Kevin Garvey.  Either way, it is highly appropriate for this contest.   Both fighters are solid performers and both are undefeated in their young MMA careers.

Byrd has won his previous two fights by KO/TKO and I expect him to come out looking for his third.  Vizcaya, on the other hand, won his first two fights by KO/TKO, but finished his third opponent with an Arm Triangle Choke.  Bottom line, this could end up being a slugfest so try not to blink during this fight, folks. 

The middleweight final could be your fight of the night.  Tyson Jeffries (7-4) put on a great show in the semifinals and earned his spot in the finals.  The Oregon native will need to be on top of his game Saturday night as he faces a very tough Mike Guerin (9-1), who has finished all but two of his opponents by KO/TKO or submission.

Guerin is a very well rounded fighter and is extremely dangerous wherever the fight takes place.  Whether it is on the feet or the mat, Guerin can put you away.  Jeffries will need a mistake free performance if he wants to be the tournament champion.  If Jeffries relies only on toughness, it could be a very disappointing night for him. 

Tom Gallicchio (14-5) will have the experience and the hometown crowd in his favor on Saturday night, when he squares off against Len Bentley (7-3) in the welterweight final of the tournament.  Gallicchio has been a around for a while and the majority of the NJ native’s victories have come by way of submission.  The problem there is, so have Bentley’s. 

What happens when two great submission artists meet face to face?  They usually keep the fight standing and put on a striking display.  That is what I expect to happen in this fight, but either way it will be entertaining for the fans.  Gallicchio is riding a two fight win streak and both fighters finished their respective opponents in the semifinals.  We will see how this one plays out on Saturday night.

Finally, we have the lightweight final match-up.  This one should be explosive as fast-handed George Sheppard (9-2) looks to continue his four fight winning streak Saturday night against Jose Figueroa (8-4) who has lost three of his last four fights.  Sheppard is a dangerous striker and would love to make quick work of Figueroa in the finals of the lightweight bracket.

Both fighters came away with decision victories against their semifinal opponents, but Sheppard’s was a bit closer.  This time around, I am sure Sheppard and Figueroa want a more dramatic finish.  Sheppard will likely try to keep this fight standing and use his striking to keep Figueroa at bay.  Neither fighter wants to leave this one to the judges, you can bet on that. 

Also on the card will be some exciting fights featuring former UFC vet, Luigi Fioravanti as well as a local favorite, Jose Rodriguez, and also Shane Primm.  Shane Primm and Mike Guerin had an absolute WAR on the semifinal card with Guerin getting the decision victory.  So it will be good to see Primm back fighting again.   The card is fantastic and the atmosphere will be electric.  So get your tickets for this event and head over to Bally’s Hotel and Casino this Saturday night!! 





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