If the story of M-1 Global’s alleged collapse was a labyrinth filled with axe-wielding minotaurs, spiked death traps and conveniently placed poison-tipped arrows, I would have never engaged in any of this. On July 3rd we interviewed M-1’s Global Director of Operations, Evgeni Kogan, and published the interview on July 5th. You’ve probably read it by now (it’s hard to miss that giant cassette tape in the middle of the front page). The next day, Micheal David Smith from MMAFighting published a story on the imminent collapse of M-1 claiming that his sources have verified that M-1 Global’s headquarters in Holland is on the verge of shutting down. Kogan responded by slamming Michael David Smith and then later refuted the claims of M-1’s collapse. Before everything reached the level of crisis mode, in our interview we asked Evgeni to name three guys on M-1 Global’s roster that he felt were up-and-coming prospects in the organization. Out of the three mentioned, Kogan named Pat Audinwood as one of M-1’s prospects.
“A guy from the US that we’re pretty excited about and is fighting on the Selections semi-finals on the 7th of August in Atlantic City is Pat Audinwood.”
Great. We now had an American we could finally root for in the upcoming M-1 Selections. Well, until MMAWeekly broke the news today that Pat Audinwood has not only signed a four-fight contract with the UFC, but he will debut against Aaron Riley at UFC 119. Unless there’s another Pat Audinwood with the nickname ‘Awesomely Awesome’ out there, then it looks like M-1 Global’s goldenboy has jumped ship in the course of only six days. Audinwood’s manager, Gary Marino, gave a brief explanation to The Garv as to why Audinwood choose to go with UFC.
“Oh, it feels great to be involved with the UFC. The UFC is the one number one organization . Pat had literally 4 contracts sitting on the table from other organizations. But we held out for the UFC because that’s where everybody wants to be. It’s everyone dream to fight in the UFC. It’s the Superbowl of MMA. When we see [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva’s name on the phone, it’s a beautiful thing.”
The last time Audinwood fought under the M-1 banner was on April 3rd of this year. Prior to our interview with Evgeni Kogan, we heard from a fairly reliable source that M-1 Global was not going to hold the Challengers series despite holding various ‘Selections’ fights across the world. We’re not sure if Pat Audinwood abruptly being signed by the UFC backs up this allegation, but as we said a few weeks ago, we’re all in for one bizarre M-1 roller-coaster ride this summer. [Source]