M-1 Challenge 82 Helsinki Fight Card and Preview

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M-1 Global is back in Finland after nearly 9 years.  The card M-1 Challenge 82 goes down tomorrow at the Hartwall Arena in the first time MMA will be in the largest ice hockey arena in Finland.  There are 6 Finns on the card including the comeback of Marcus Vänttinen, Mikael Silander, Juho Valamaa, Toni ValtonenJanne Elonen-Kulmala, and Patrik Pietilä.  There is also one Swede, with Swede Binh Son Le in the second fight of the night.

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Caveman Will Return to Cage Tomorrow

“The Caveman” from HardKnocks Helsinki returns to action in the main event in front of his home crowd. Looking for his 25th professional win.  Vänttinen last fought at Cage 29 in February 2015, and a TKO loss to German prospect Jarjis Danho ended his brief experiment as a heavyweight. After that devastating setback Vänttinen admitted to having motivational issues and took some time off. After healing up his body and mind Caveman has turned down a lot of fight offers, but he has been training and coaching regularly with the HardKnocks team. “I’ve been training the whole time, and now I have a feeling that it would be nice to fight again. There have been offers on the table all the time, this one made the difference, because I like M-1 as an organization. I’ve had some good fights with them and I have great memories from those trips,” Vänttinen says.  Read exclusive interview with Vänttinen.

UFC vet Anton Kuivanen was originally scheduled to be on the card, but a knee injury prevented this from happening.  See the full fight card below.

MAIN CARD

MAIN EVENT – LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Mikhail Zayats (22-8-0, M-1: 12-5-0), Russia vs.
Marcus “Caveman” Vanttinen (24-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), Finland

WELTERWEIGHTS — 3 X 5
Juho Valamaa (14-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland vs.
Aires Bendrouis (10-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Portugal

BANTAMWEIGHT — 3 X 5
Mikael “Hulk” Silander, (16-5), Finland vs.
Vitaly Branchuk, Ukraine (22-6)

WELTERWEIGHT — 3 X 5
Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko (43-12-3, M-1: 9-2-1), Ukraine vs.
Keith “The One” Johnson (12-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0), USA

LIGHTWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Pavel Gordeev (7-1-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Russia vs.
Michel “Sassarito” Silva (18-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil

BANTAMWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Janne “Jamba” Elonen-Kulmala (15-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland vs.
Heilton Davella (15-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil

PRELIMINARY CARD

HEAVYWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Toni Valtonen (27-15-0, M-1: 6-2-0), Finland vs.
Boris “Bora” Polezhay (16-6-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Ukraine

MIDDLEWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Ruslan Shamilov (2-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Russia vs.
“Motown” Moses Murrietta (5-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0), USA

MIDDLEWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Alberto Vargas (4-2-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Spain vs.
Akhmadkhan Ozdoev (3-0-0, M-1: 3-0-0), Russia

LIGHTWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Arnaud Kherfallah (3-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0), France vs.
Patrik Pietilä (8-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Finland

BANTAMWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Son Le “Buddah” Binh (5-2-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Sweden vs.
Oleg Lichkovakha (7-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Russia by way of Lithuania

MMAViking.com will be reporting live on the M-1 event, so come back for more articles, play-by-play, and photos.