Sleeper Cards: M-1: Breakthrough

Ken FossAnalyst IAugust 28, 2009

Overshadowed by UFC 102, the latest Strikeforce news, and whatever Frank Mir has to say it seems, is a card in a jam packed weekend of mixed martial arts that you should be aware of.

Weather your thing is high intensity prospects or established no-Gi Ezequiel choke specialists, there is something for everybody and it's well worth looking into and watching.


MAIN CARD (airing live on HDNET)

  • Mark Kerr (15-10) vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (4-0)

  • Fedor Emelianenko vs. Gegard Mousasi (exhibition sparring match)

  • Lucio Linhares (12-4) vs. Mikhail Zayats (8-3)

  • Rob Broughton (10-4-1) vs. Jessie Gibbs (7-2)

  • Karl Amoussou (10-2-1) vs. John Doyle (8-8)

  • Lloyd "Kadillac" Marshbanks (17-8) vs. Michael Kitta (5-3)

  • Ferrid Kheder (13-4) vs. Daisuke Nakamura (19-10)


PRELIMINARY CARD (live streamed on at 8:15pm EST)

  • Rogent Lloret (7-1) vs. Alexey Oleinik (24-4)

  • Tim Bazer (9-6) vs. Eric Marriott (13-1)

  • Josh Arocho (11-6) vs. Sean Wilson (18-9)

  • Rudy Bears (9-3) vs. Brendan Seguin (18-5)

  • Molly Ahlers-Estes (1-0) vs. Andrea Caplan (0-0)

M-1 Breakthroughs co-events maybe underwhelming, however the earlier card's depth—with some surprising talent tucked away on the preliminary card—really gives an event tucked away in Kansas some much needed legs and makes it something you should watch. So let's see the fights that should matter.


The Main Event: Mark Kerr (15-10) vs. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (4-0)

I'm always a fan of seeing King Mo fight.

His four Sengoku fights were amazing, and, even at 28, he seems like a prospect that could be ready to bust out and make a run in a major organization sooner rather than later.

However the man standing across the ring will be a fighter that has lost 10 of his last 13, is 41, has a list of demons longer than his odds in this fight, and is generally at this point considered a joke.

I'm happy Mark Kerr has finally gotten his life in order (so he says) from the days of "The Smashing Machine," but the inflated Kerr of today isn't even a shadow of the shadow of his dominant previous self.

To call this anything but a tune-up fight for Lawal would be a gross overestimate.

I'm going to root for Kerr not just because every time I think about what he was and what he became in "The Smashing Machine" I fall into a sort of melancholy, but because it would be a warm story (in a sport that has so few of them) to tell if he could pull this off.

If Mark Coleman can discover cardiovascular fitness at 42 and Dana White can bury hatchets, as far as I'm concerned, anything is truly possible.

Prediction: King Mo; TKO R2.


Fedor Emelianenko vs. Gegard Mousasi (exhibition sparring match)

Call me a sucker, but I love public sparring. I enjoyed Fedor's exhibition in Japan with Aoki, and as far as I'm concerned, its just good, clean, wholesome fun for the whole family.

They'll show up, sign autographs, do interviews, put on a fun show, and stay ready to fight in October—just good the whole way around.

I wouldn't mind seeing more of these at fan expos and the like; maybe not as co-main events, but this is a rare exception.


Lucio Linhares (12-4) vs. Mikhail Zayats (8-3)

Competitive fight, but one that you'd think favors Lucio Linhares. Zayats is not a fighter with a big gas tank and he's also not an overly-skilled guy. Even if he can bully Linhares, he's not going to be able to finish in all likelihood. I expect a stoppage in this fight.

Prediction: Lucio Linhares TKO R2.


Rob Broughton (10-4-1) vs. Jessie Gibbs (7-2)

What happens when two tough guys get into a ring and fight? A lot of skill-less wrestling.

Jessie Gibbs is the better of the two at getting take downs, so I expect him to grind out a couple of submission attempts and wind up with a win.

Prediction: Jessie Gibbs unanimous decision.


Karl Amoussou (10-2-1) vs. John Doyle (8-8)

Ugh...Karl Amoussou, in the eyes of many, is the best prospect Europe has to offer.

He's a breathtakingly exciting stand-up fighter with a solid to mediocre ground game and he's put in a position to showcase his skills in this fight.

Prediction: Karl Amoussou KO(spinning back fist) R1.


Ferrid Kheder (13-4) vs. Daisuke Nakamura (19-10)

For as painfully mediocre as Daisuke Nakamura is, he is pretty damn fun to watch.

He understands, from his days of Japanese Shoot Wrestling, how to put on a show. He'll go up against the solid judoka Kheder, and it's a good matchup for him.

Kheder is going to be able to take Nakamura down, but the real question here will be if the tenacity of Nakamura; which will have him looking for submission after submission will overwhelm the judo specialist even if he's in a dominant position.

You just think it's going to be tough for him to grind this victory out.

Prediction: Nakamura, Submission R2.


Rogent Lloret (7-1) vs. Alexey Oleinik (24-4)

Ezquiel choke magician Alexey Oleinik will look to cast his spell once again on fellow side choke user and Abu Dhabi qualifier Rogent Lloret.

Look for some high quality ground skill in a fight that could go either way.

Prediction: Oleinik, Unanimous Decision.'s live stream of the undercard starts at 8:15 PM, the main card will then be shown on HDNET, hope you'll join me.