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Klidson Abreu moves up to heavyweight for M-1 debut against Anton Vyazigin

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Brazilian talent Klidson Abreu is in for a big challenge.

The former Brave light heavyweight champion has signed with M-1 Global three months after defeating company’s former titleholder Viktor Nemkov in RCC, and is slated to make his promotional debut against Anton Vyazigin at M-1 Challenge 99 in Nazran, Ingushetia, Russia, on Nov. 17.

Abreu was hoping to continue fighting at 205 pounds, but found out earlier this week that the bout will take place in the heavyweight division.

“I was training hard because I knew that I was close to getting a fight in Russia, and I found out this week that it would be at heavyweight,” Abreu told MMA Fighting. “I spoke with my manager, my coach Andre Dida, and we decided to take it.

“At first I was told it would be at 205, and then they said it would be at heavyweight, but I don’t want to hear any Russian saying I’m running from a fight. Let’s do it at heavyweight and then I’ll go back to my regular division and, God willing, go after the M-1 light heavyweight belt. That’s my goal.”

Abreu (13-2) is on a five-fight finishing streak, which includes winning and defending the Brave CF title. The last time Abreu fought at heavyweight was in October of 2015, when he submitted UFC Argentina newcomer Johnny Walker in Brazil.

Vyazigin (11-2, 1 no-contest), who competed at heavyweight his entire career, weighed 272.5 pounds for his last fight, a no-contest against Sergei Kharitonov. Vyazigin finished seven of his opponents in the first round, four of them in under a minute.

M-1 Challenge 99 will be headlined by flyweight champion Aleksander Doskalchuk against Mikael Silander, the company announced Monday.

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