21 June, 2007 became the day in MMA history, when MMA event was held not on the solid ground for the first time. It was the first Battle on Neva event organized by M-1 promotion. Ring and the seats were sent on the huge pontoon, near from one of the most beautiful embarkments in the center of St.-Petersburg.
In the main event of the evening Alexander Emelianenko was supposed to fight against the experienced Gilbert Yvel, but he refused to accept the challenge, so huge heavyweight Jessie Gibbs with many titles in karate and jiu-jitsu took his place.
Very soon Dutchman became one of the brightest stars at M-1 Challenge world championships in 2008 and 2009 and won in many high-level battles. But first he had to take on intimidating opponent Alexander Emelianenko who already was the star of Pride FC events and fought in Russia for the third time in his MMA career.