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Alexander Volkov: Mikhail Zayats is now hungry for battles, I’m looking forward to his triumphant victory.

M-1 Challenge 82, Aug. 5, in Helsinki, Finland
(MMA heavyweight star Alexander Volkov recently spoke about the preparation of his teammate, Mikhail Zayats (22-8-0, M-1: 12-5-0), for his M-1 Challenge 82 main event fight vs. Marcus “Caveman” Vanttinen (24-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), August 5,  in Helsinki, Finland.  This Q & A story appeared online at mixfight.ru.)

 (L-R) — World-class Russian MMA fighters Sergei Kharitonov, Mikhail Zayats and Alexander Volkov from a recent training session

You have been training on the same team for so many years. How would you describe Mikhail as an athlete?

Volkov: “He works very hard as a fighter, completes all workouts to the end, and is among the last to leave the gym.”
 
What did you learn from him during sparring and training sessions?
Volkov: “How to work to the utmost extent, both in training and in combat. When I watch Mikhail train, he inspires me to work harder and not to be lazy.. We always have small competitions while training and we push each other to work even harder.”
 
Which of you is more helpful to preparing for battle?
Volkov: “When Michael had no fights, he helped me a lot, of course. In my training camp, he was like a wrestling coach, helping me work on physical exercises as well. I would say that during these last few years, he was more involved in my training than I was in his. But, now he has an upcoming fight and I’m fully involved in his preparations. Moreover, his future opponent is 6 ft. 4 inches tall. So, I imitate his opponent’s style to help Misha prepare for the fight.”
 
What prediction do you have Mikhail Zayats’ upcoming fight?
Volkov: “I personally hope for the best. I expect him to end his fight with a bright victory, by knockout or submission. Although this won’t be an easy fight for him because his last fight was a while ago (Feb. 28, 2014,). I know from my own experience that even a one-year gap between two fights can make it very hard to show your best fighting qualities. Mikhail has a huge motivation now. He is very hungry for battles and victories too. So, I’m waiting for the triumphant victory of Mikhail Zaytz.”
.

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M-1 CHALLENGE EVENT CALENDAR:
M-1 Challenge 82: August 5, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland

Undefeated Movsar Evloev New M-1 Challenge Bantamweight Champion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Sergei Kharitonov defeats Geronimo Dos Santos
 
Joe Riggs wins M-1 Global debut
 
M-1 CHALLENGE 81 RESULTS

INGUSHETIA, Russia (July 23, 2017 – Undefeated Movsar Evloev is the new M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion after he defeated defending champion Pavel Vitrukin the M-1 Challenge 81: Battle in the Mountains 6 main event, last night in the Republic of Ingushetia.

The international MMA event – fighters represented 11 different countries — coincided with the 25th anniversary celebration of the Republic of Ingushetia.

(L-R) — M-1 Global promoter Vadim Finkelchtein &
new M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion Movsar Evloev.

Evloev (8-0-0, M-1: 8-0-0), who was the interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion, is a Russian fighter whose entire pro career has been in M-1 Global competition. Last night, he won a five-round decision over defending M-1 Challenge bantamweight titlist Vitruk (14-3-0, M-1: 8-3-0), the Ukrainian-born fighter who fights out of Russia.

Movsar Eloev (R) defeated Pavel Vitruk
In the co-featured event, Russian heavyweight star Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov (26-6-0, M-1: 5-0-0) continued his M-1 dominance, using an ankle lock to force Brazilian veteran Geronimo “Mondragon” Dos Santos (39-19-0, M-1: 0-1-0) into a submission.

Sergei Kharitonov (R) was too much for Geronimo Dos Santos

American middleweight Joe “Diesel” Riggs (44-17-0, M-1: 1-0-0), fighting out of Phoenix (AZ), won his M-1 debut in impressive fashion, using his ground-and-pound attack for powerful third-round knockout of Russian Samoilov (19-11-1, M-1: 10-6-0).

The M-1 debut of Canadian welterweight Spencer “Judge” Jebb (12-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0) wasn’t successful as Russian Ingishhan Ozdoev (5-3-0, M-1: 4-3-0) used a spinning wheel kick to KO Jebb midway through the opening round.

In the main card opening fight, Brazilian heavyweight Kleber “Orgulho” Raimundo Silva (14-7-0, M-1: 1-0-0) won a three-round decision over Konstantin “Lacplesis” Gluhuv (31-17-0, M-1: 2-6-0), of Latvia.

On the preliminary card, Russian welterweight Khamzat Sakalov (7-2-0, M-1: 6-0-0) took a decision from French welterweight Charles-Henri Tchoungui (9-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Kazakhstan bantamweight Arman Ashimov (9-2-1, M-1: 1-0-0) punched out previously undefeated Russian Gadzhimurad Aliev (6-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0) in the second round, and unbeaten Russian welterweight used knees and punches to stop SpaniardAlberto Vargas (4-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0) in the first round.

Georgian light heavyweight Giga Kukhalashvile (7-3-0, M-1: 1-0-0) knocked out previously unbeaten Nurbek Islailov (3-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Kyrgyzstan, in the first round on punches, while Russian welterweight Movsar Bokov (2-1-0, 2-1-0) took out Ukrainian Igor Onoprienko (1-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0) with punches in the opening round.

Russian lightweight Alik Albogahiev (3-0-0, M-1: 3-0-0) and Georgian welterweightAmiran Gogoladze (4-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0) both used first-round, rear naked choke holds to defeat their respective opponents, Russian Filip Narizhny (6-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0) and Russian Ibrahim Sagov (1-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0).

Complete results below:

MAIN CARD
MAIN EVENT – M-1 CHALLENGE BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Movsar Evloev (8-0-0, M-1: 8-0-0), Russia
WDEC5
Pavel Vitruk (14-3-0, M-1: 8-3-0), Russia
(Evloev won M-1 Challenge bantamweight title)
HEAVYWEIGHTS
Sergei Kharitonov (26-6-0, M-1: 5-0-0), Russia
WSUB1 (2:13 – ankle lock)
Geronimo Dos Santos (39-19-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil
MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Joe Riggs (44-17-0, M-1: 1-0-0), USA
WTKO3 (0:24 – punches)
Dmitry Samoilov (19-11-1, M-1: 10-6-0), Russia
WELTERWEIGHTS
Ingiskhan Ozdoev (5-3-0, M-1: 4-3-0), Russia
WKO1 (2:25 – spinning wheel kick)
Spencer Jebb (12-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Canada
HEAVYWEIGHTS
Kleber Raimundo Silva (14-7-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Brazil
WDEC3
Konstantin Gluhuv (31-17-0, M-1: 2-6-0), Latvia
PRELIMINARY CARD
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Giga Kukhalashvili (8-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Georgia
WTKO/KO1 (0:59 – punches)
Nurbek Islailov (3-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Kyrgyzstan
WELTERWEIGHTS
Khamzat Sakalov (6-3-0, M-1: 6-0-0), Russia
WDEC3
Charles-Henri Tchoungui (9-6-1, M-1: 0-1-0), France
Akhmadkhan Ozdoev (4-0-0, M-1: 4-0-0), Russia
WTKO1 (2:45 – knees & punches)
Alberto Vargas (4-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Spain
Movsar Bokov (2-1-0, M-1: 2-1-0), Russia
WTKO1 (3:43 – punches)
Igor Onoprienko (1-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0, Ukraine
Amiram Gogoladze (4-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Georgia
WSUB1 (0:53 – rear naked choke)
Ibrahim Sagov (1-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Russia
LIGHTWEIGHTS
Alik Albogahiev (2-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Russia
WSUB1 (1:36 – rear naked choke)
Filip Narizhni (6-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Russia
BANTAMWEIGHTS
Arman Ashimov (9-2-1, M-1: 1-0-0), Kazakhstan
WKO2 (1:08 – punch)
Gadzhimurad Aliev (6-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Russia
        
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M-1 Challenge 82: August 5, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland

M-1 Challenge: Markus “Caveman” Vanttinen Promo Video

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (July 18, 2017) – Finnish MMA star Markus “Caveman” Vanttinen will headline the first M-1 Global show held in Finlandin nine years, August 5, at M-1 Challenge 82, at Hatwall Arena in Helsinki. .
M-1 Challenge 82 will be streamed live from Helsinki, Finland, in high definition on www.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
Vanttinen (24-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), will take on  Russian light heavyweight prospect Mikhail Ragozin (8-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0).  in the M-1 Challenge 82 main event.
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M-1 CHALLENGE EVENT CALENDAR:
 
M-1 Challenge 81: July 22, 2017 in Ingushetia, Russia
M-1 Challenge 82: August 5, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland
M-1 Challenge 82, August 5, in Helsinki

SERGEI KHARITONOV vs. GERONIMO DOS SANTOS M-1 CHALLENGE 81 PROMO VIDEO


M-1 Challenge 81
will be streamed live from Ingushetia, Russia in high definition on www.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
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M-1 CHALLENGE EVENT CALENDAR:
 
M-1 Challenge 81: July 22, 2017 in Ingushetia, Russia
M-1 Challenge 82: August 5, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland

M-1 Global returns to Finland for first time in 9 years

 

M-1 Challenge 82, August 5, in Helsinki

Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland
Home for M-1 Challenge 82
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (June 28, 2017) – M-1 Global, one of the largest mixed-martial-arts organizations in the world, has announced its return to Finland for the first time in nine years, August 5, as top fighters from Finland, Russia, America and across Europe will compete in M-1 Challenge 82.
M-1 Challenge 82 will be streamed live from Helsinki, Finland in high definition on www.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
Hartwall Arena, the largest ice hockey arena in Finland, will host M-1 Challenge 82. The famous venue seats between 12,000 and 15,000 spectators, pending the event, and it has hosted the 1997, 2003 and 2012 World Ice Hockey Championships.
Past M-1 Challenge events have featured leading Finnish fighters over the years such as Marcus “Caveman” Vanttinen (pictured on left), Juha-Pekka Vainikainen, Niko Puhakka, Janne Tulirinta, Toni Valtonen and Lucio “Spartan” Linares. Some of these fighters will be competingAugust 5 at M-1 Challenge 82.
M-1 Global’s newest signed fighter, Vanttinen (24-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), is a veteran member of the Team Finland. The 29-year-old Vanttinen faces Russian light heavyweight prospect Mikhail Ragozin (8-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0) at M-1 Challenge 82 main event.
Mikael “Hulk” Silander (16-5-0, M-1:0-0-0), 31, has an appropriate nickname. Powerfully built and possessing explosive physical force, he puts pressure on his rivals from the first second of the battle, using his grappling skills to his full advantage. Having won 15 of his 20 fights, Silander is matched against M-1 Challenge title challenger Viali Branchuk (22-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), of Ukraine,
Finnish fan-favorite Janne “Jamba” Elonen-Kulmala (15-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0) makes his M-1 Global debut versus Brazilian bantamweight Heliton dos Santos (15-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0). Elonen-Kulmala will be fighting in front of his hometown fans in Helsinki.
Valtonen (27-15-0, M-1: 6-2-0) returns to M-1 action against Ukrainian heavyweight Boris “Bora” Polezhay(16-6-0, M-1: 1-1-0. Valtonen has been an MMA fighter for 14 years and for much of that time-period he has been one of the stars of Finnish MMA-promotion, Fight Festival, which was successful at the 2009 M-1 World Championship Challenge. Valtonen fought in KSW and Shooto competitions. Another Helsinki native on the M-1 Challenge 82, Valtonen figures to have tremendous support at Hartwell Arena.
Son Le “Buddah” Binh (5-2-0, M-1: 1-1-0), 28, lives and trains in Gothenburg, representing the Finnish team, East Front. The 28-year-old first competed in MMA competition only five years ago, but he has since had a total of eight amateur and professional fights. Although relatively inexperienced, his strong performances have resulted in him being Sweden’s No. 3 ranked bantamweight.
Binh is always in great physical shape and he has very good stamina. All eight of his fights went the distance but none were boring. In a contest against another Swedish prospect, Bilal Musa, Bing fractured his leg at the beginning of the second round, yet fought through the paid to earn victory by way of a three-round decision. In his very interesting M-1 debut against Emin Guseyov, who has an excellent strike technique. Binh used his wrestling and grappling skills, which he was taught by coach Babak Nejad, who also trains UFC star Anthony Johnson, to win a three-round decision.
      
Negotiations with several other leading fighters in Finland are also being concluded and their fights against foreign fighters will be announced shortly. Fighters from the United States, Brazil, France, Portugal, Sweden, Russia, Ukraine and Poland are also expected to compete on the M-1 Challenge 82 event.
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M-1 CHALLENGE EVENT CALENDAR:
 
M-1 Challenge 81: July 22, 2017 in Ingushetia, Russia
M-1 Challenge 82: August 5, 2017 in Helsinki, Finland

Sensational heavyweight showdown announced for “M-1 Challenge 81: Battle in the Mountains 6” Sergei Kharitonov vs. Geronimo Dos Santos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22 in Ingushetia
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (June 28, 2017 – M-1 Global has announced a sensational heavyweight shodeown between two International stars, Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov and Geronimo “Mondragon” Dos Santos, at the July 22nd M-1 Challenge 81: Battle in the Mountains 6, to be held in the Republic of Ingushetia.
The international MMA event will coincide with the 25th anniversary celebration of the Republic of Ingushetia.
The M-1 Challenge bantamweight championship fight between defending champion Pavel Vitruk (14-2-0), and interim titlist Movsar Evloev (7-0, M-1: 7-0) had been previously announced for M-1 Challenge 81.

The two giant heavyweights fighting on the card are each world ranked by Fightmatrix, both preferring early endings as they have 40 combined knockouts. This exciting duel is a fitting addition for such a grand tournament like M-1 Challenge 81: The Battle of the Mountains 6.
Russian strongman Kharitonov (24-6-0, M-1: 4-0-0) is coming off a devastating, one-punch knockout of American Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the opening round of their main event fight, June 15 in China, at M-1 Challenge 80. Kharitonov (pictured below on right vs. Kenny Garner) has stopped 15 of his 24 victims to date.
The fifth-highest rated Brazilian heavyweight in world ranking, Santos (39-18-0, M-1: 0-0-0) looks like a frightening bodybuilder, displaying 290-pounds of cut muscle on his 6′ 3″ frame. In his 57 pro MMA fights around the world, he has 39 victories, 25 coming by knockout. Although this will be his M-1 debut, Santos has fought several times in Russia, reaching the final of the Ahmat Grand Prix, where he lost to Zelimkhan Umievu. Last December, he dropped a unanimous decision to Evgeny Erokhin atMFP: Cup of the Eastern Borders 2. Santos is returning once again to Russia on July 22 to take on an MMA monster in Kharitonov, hoping to defy the legendary Russian mixed martial artist.
Additional fights will soon be announced
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Pavel Vitruk to defend M-1 Challenge bantamweight title vs. Interim titlist Movsar Evloev

M-1 Challenge 81: Battle in the Mountains 6, July 22 in Ingushetia
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (June 16, 2017 – M-1 Global has announced that M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion Pavel Vitruk will defend his title against interim titlist Movsar Evloev, July 22 in the M-1 Challenge 81: Battle in the Mountains 6 main event, in the Republic of Ingushetia.
The international MMA event will coincide with the 25th anniversary celebration of the Republic of Ingushetia.
Vitruk (14-2-0), fighting out of Moscow, bounced back strong from a sub-par 2016 with impressive victories over Sergei Morozov and then Vitaly Branchukom to become the first M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion.
Vitruk, though, was unable to make his first title defense until now, due to an injury, opening the door for Evloev (7-0-0) to become the interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion and Vitruk’s mandatory challenger.
Fighting at home in Ingushetia, Evloev has improved in each fight, adding in physical strength and using technology. He knocked out Alexei Nevzorov in the second round at M-1 Challenge 76 to become interim champ.
Evloev looked very impressive in his last few fights and it appears his undefeated streak will be extremely difficult to snap. Vitruk, however, has much more experience than his challenger with twice as many professional fights, including several stiff tests he passed with flying colors.
Vitriuk vs. Evloev promises to be an uncompromising battle as both fighters are more than worthy of owning the coveted M-1 Challenge championship belt.  The two warriors are true masters of the martial arts.
Additional fights will soon be announced
     
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Sergei Kharitonov puts  Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou To sleep in opening round

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Ivan Buchinger retains 
M-1 Challenge featherweight title
OFFICIAL M-1 CHALLENGE 80 RESULTS
HARBIN, China (June 16, 2017) – MMA heavyweight star Sergei Kharitonov continued his dominance in M-1 Global competition, knocking out Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou midway through the opening round of last night’s M-1 Challenge 80 main event, held in Harbin, China.
Cameroon-native Sokoudjou (18-8-0, M-1: 0-1-0), fighting out of the United States, was nailed on the chin by a straight right thrown by Kharitonov (25-6-0, M-1: 4-0-0), who immediately jumped on top of his fallen foe, firing two more powerful hammer-punches to the head, until the referee halted the action.
But it really was a classic one-punch KO by Kharitonov, who remains undefeated in  M-1 Global competition at 4-0-0.
or go here to view:
 
M-1 Challenge featherweight champion Ivan “Buki” Buchinger (32-5-0, M-1: 7-1-0), of Slovakia, successfully defended his title, submitting Russian challenger Timur Nagibin (9-3-0, M-1: 5-2-0) in round three via a rear naked choke.
German featherweight Sascha Sharman (13-3-0, M-1: 1-1-0) did the same to his opponent, Musu “Iron King” Nuertiebieke (7-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of China, except Sharman finished the show at the 1:03 mark of the opening round.
Australian welterweight Corey “Major” Nelson (18-6-2, M-1: 0-0-1) and Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko (43-12-1, M-1: 9-2-1) fought to a three-round majority-draw, while Russian featherweight Mikhail Korobov (11-3-1, M-1: 1-2-1) also used a rear naked choke to submit Asirkebai Jinensibieke (12-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0) in the first round.
On the preliminary card, Russian middleweight Artem Kazbanov (8-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Chinese welterweight Kuerbanjiang Tuluosibake (2-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0) and Russian lightweight Adam Tsurov (7-5-0, M-1: 6-2-0) all won three-round unanimous decisions, respectively, against Nosherwan “Savage” Khanzada (3-4-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Ukrainian Makim “Mad Max: Melnik (3-4-0, M-1: 1-2-0) and previously undefeated Fu Kangkang (4-1-1, M-1: 0-1-0), of China.
Brazilian light heavyweight Carlos “Cachorrao” Edueardo (16-4-0, M-1: 2-0-0) stopped previously undefeated German, Rene Hoppe (7-1-0, M-1: 2-1-0), in the first round on the advice of the doctor.  Georgian bantamweight Ivbragim Navruzov (4-0-1, M-1: 1-0-1) took a three-round split decision from Huyixibai Huyixibai (14-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of China.
Once again, M-1 Global promoted a true international event as the 20 competing athletes represented 10 different countries:  Russia, United States, Slovakia, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Georgia and China.
Complete results below:
 
 
OFFICIAL RESULTS
(all winners listed first)
 
MAIN CARD
MAIN EVENT –  HEAVYWEIGHTS
Sergei Kharitonov (25-6-0, M-1: 4-0-0), Russia
KO1 (Punches – 2:39)
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (18-8-0, M-1: 0-1-0), USA
M-1 CHALLENGE FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSIP
Ivan Buchinger (32-5-0, M-1: 7-1-0), Slovakia
WSUB3 (Rear Naked Choke – 3:24)
Timur Nagibin (9-3-0, M-1: 5-2-0), Russia
(Buchinger retains M-1 Challenge featherweight title)
FEATHERWEIGHTS
Sascha Sharma (13-2-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Germany
WSUB1 (Rear Naked Choke – 1:03)
Muso Nuertiebieke (7-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), China
WELTERWEIGHTS
Alexander Butenko (43-12-1, M-1: 9-2-1), Ukraine
D3
Corey Nelson (18-6-2, M-1: 0-0-1), Australia
FEATHERWEIGHTS
Mikhail Korobov (11-2-1, M-1: 1-2-1), Russia
WSUB1 (Rear Naked Choke – 1:18)
Asirkebai Jinensibieke (12-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), China
PRELIMINARY CARD
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Carlos Eduardo (16-4-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Brazil
WTKO1 (Doctor Stoppage – 1:06)
Rene Hoppe (7-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Germany
MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Arten Kazbanov (8-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Russia
WDEC3
Nosherwan Khanzada (3-4-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Pakistan
BANTAMWEIGHTS
Ibragim Navruzov (4-0-1, M-1: 1-0-1), Georgia
WDEC3
Huyixibai Huyixibai (14-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), China
WELTERWEIGHTS
Kuerbanjiang Tuluosibake (2-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0, China
WDEC3
Makim Melnik (3-4-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Ukraine
LIGHTWEIGHTS
Adam Tsurov (7-5-0, M-1: 6-2-0), Russia
WDEC3
Fu Kangkang (4-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), China
         
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M-1 Challenge 80 weights, pictures & video from China

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
M-1 CHALLENGE 80
 
OFFICIAL WEIGHTS FROM HARBIN, CHINA
MAIN CARD
MAIN EVENT – HEAVYWEIGHTS — 3 X 5
(L) Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov (24-6-0, M-1: 3-0-0), Russia 266 ½ lbs.
vs.
(R) “The African Assassin” Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (11-5-0, M-1: 2-1-0), USA 230 lbs.

M-1 CHALLENGE FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSIP – 5 X 5
(L)Ivan “Buki” Buchinger(31-5-0, M-1: 6-1-0), Champion, Slovakia 144 lbs.
vs.
(R) Timur Nagibin (9-2-0, M-1: 5-1-0), Challenger, Russia 144 lbs.
FEATHERWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Sascha Sharma (12-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Germany 143 lbs.
vs.
Muso “Iron King” Nuertiebieke (7-2-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 146 lbs.
WELTERWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko
(43-12-0, M-1: 9-2-0), Ukraine 165 lbs.
vs.
Corey “Major” Nelson
(18-6-1, M-1: 0-0-0), Spain 168 lbs.
FEATHERWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Mikhail Korobov (10-2-1, M-1: 0-2-1), Russia, 143 lbs.
vs.
Asirkebai Jinensibieke (12-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 146 lbs.
PRELIMINARY CARD
 
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Rene Hoppe (7-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Germany 204 lbs.
vs.
Carlos “Cachorrao” Eduardo (15-4-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Brazil 204 lbs.
MIDDLEWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Arten Kazbanov (7-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Russia 185 lbs.
vs.
Nosherwan “Savage” Khanzada (3-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Pakistan 184 ½ lbs.
BANTAMWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Huyixibai Huyixibai (14-4-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 135 lbs.
vs.
Ibragim Navruzov (3-0-1, M-1: 0-0-1), Georgia 132 lbs.
WELTERWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Kuerbanjiang Tuluosibake (1-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0, China 169 ½ lbs.
vs.
Makim “Man Max” Melnik (3-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Ukraine 167 lbs.
LIGHTWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Adam Tsurov (6-5-0, M-1: 5-2-0), Russia 154 ½ lbs.
vs.
Kangkang Fu (4-0-0, M-1: 0-0-0), China 153 lbs.
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WHEN:            Thursday, June 15, 2017

WHERE:           Harbin, China
 
PROMOTER:    M-1 Global
LIVE STREAM: www.m1global.tv (12.00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT in USA)
        
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Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brandon Halsey 3? Only if it’s a light heavyweight fight

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (June 9, 2017) — World-class MMA middleweights Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko and Brandon “Bull” Halsey have fought twice with each opponent imposing their wills from the opening bell to secure a quick victory.
Will they complete a rare MMA trilogy? Only if it’s a light heavyweight fight, according to Halsey.
“I’d take the fight in an instant at 205 (lbs); I can’t make it down to 185,” Halsey said. “I think the fans would really love to see this fight. I’d be healthy, he’d be healthy. It would last more than 30 seconds. It would be a war!”

The two-fight split outcomes, which totaled only 56 seconds, calls for a “rubber match” to determine which one is the better fighter.
Shlemenko-Halsey 1 was held September 26, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) as the Bellator 126 main event, in which Shlemenko defended his Bellator middleweight title. Halsey, a former Division I, All-American wrestler at California State University at Bakersfield, started strong and used his wrestling skills to win only 35 seconds into the match, by way of a technical submission via a rare-naked choke. The gifted American become the new Bellator middleweight champion.
Last Thursday night at M-1 Challenge 79 in Saint Petersburg, Shlemenko-Halsey 2 was the main event. Shlemenko stormed out of his corner, blasting powerful kicks and punches on Halsey;s body, until the referee halted the action at the 21-second mark for a stunning technical knockout triumph for the rugged Russian.

“We have to see how confident he is about himself,” Halsey continued. “He has to feel really good right now, breaking my rib on his first kick, and punching me out on the ground. He must feel great about it. I don’t see why he wouldn’t want to do it again. I felt great about our first fight after I choked him unconscious in 30 seconds. I thought I could do it again, even with significant health problems. He must think he can do it again, even if we move up one weight class. Otherwise, what kind of champion is he, right?

“I believe that this trilogy fight could be a war, maybe something that will go down in the M-1 history books. The ball is in Shlemenko’s court. I’ll do the travelling. I’d come back to Russia and fight in front of his fans. The question is will he come up one weight class and fight me (at a weight) where I’m healthy? If he says no, well, then that’s on him. I know fight fans will be disappointed if he doesn’t take the fight just because he’s a little small, but that’s something he’s going to have to think about.
“Look, if Fedor (Emelianenko) can walk around at 230 and fight guys that have 50-70 pounds on him, I don’t know why Shlemenko can’t win a fight at just 20 pounds heavier. Right? M-1 Global is a great outfit and I’m very glad to be fighting for them. They’ve got some studs at 205 that I’d love to a fight. And I know I’ve got a lot to prove after that embarrassing loss, so I’ll take whoever they want to give me. If I get my head smashed in again, well, at least it will be more entertaining, but if I smash some guy’s head in, well, that’s what I expect and I can’t imagine anything less.

“I’ll take the next couple of weeks to get my health back, then start training. I’ll be ready to fight whoever they put in front of me this time. No more getting my ass kicked by the weight cut. That’s all behind me now. Let’s see what happens.”

According to Halsey, he never should have agreed to fight Shelemnko in their rematch.

“For the last two years,” Halsey explained, “I’ve been struggling and I think it’s time to let people know what’s been going on. My stubbornness and pride got the better of me. Against the advice of my coaches, many of my trainers, my mentors and friends, I’ve tried to stay down at 185, while my body long outgrew that weight class. I believed I knew better than everyone else. I thought that I would simply will myself to the weight and believed that, because I was the champion at 185 and that I had won nine straight fights at 185, going up to 205 would be cowardice, laziness and weakness. And I was wrong.

“I was recently finally released from the hospital. I had several things wrong with me: renal failure from my kidneys shutting down from the weight cut, blood clot threatening my heart, broken rib causing internal bleeding, extreme hypotension (low blood pressure). The broken rib was from the fight, but the rest is from the weight cut. My doctors have told me that 185 is not a weight that I can safely make anymore. I hate to admit it but that’s the truth.

“Shlemenko is a good fighter and right now we are one and one. I got him in 30 seconds, he got me in 25. Neither was a very good fight for the loser. And while he did break my rib with that very well-placed kick, I don’t feel like he beat me. The scale beat me before I ever got into the ring.

“I do believe we should finish this trilogy and find out who is the best, once and for all, but it’s going to have to be at 205. I understand if Shlemenko is nervous about fighting me at 205; he is small. In that case, I welcome a fight with whoever M-1 Global wants me to fight. If Shlemenko accepts the fight, as he did with Tito Ortiz, I hope we can finally have a war that lasts more than 30 seconds. If he doesn’t, I’m sure fans will be disappointed to know he refused the fight just because of his size.”

M-1 Global TV announcer Sean Wheelock not only called the original Shlemenko-Halsey fight, he also worked their rematch last week in Russia.
“In the first fight,” Wheelock offered his unique, first-hand perspective, “Halsey came out and implemented his wrestling skills, hitting a takedown, took the back, and locked in a power rear-naked choke. Shlemenko is not one to tap-out, so he went to sleep (technical submission), which is what Halsey does best. Their last fight was the opposite, though, as Alexander Shlemenko came out right away with a body kick to the liver, then he went to work, eliminating Halsey’s grappling and takedowns.
“They’re two of the best fighters in the world. Both did what they do best to win, taking away what their opponent does best. I think a third fight would be great. I love doing commentary for both fighters; I’d happily call 50 Shlemenko-Halsey fights. A third fight would be very interesting.”
Shlemenko’s (56-9-0, 1 NC, M-1: 6-0-0) ground-and-pound vs. Halsey’s (9-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0) wrestling-and-grappling in their trilogy fight. Who do you like in Shlemenko-Halsey 3? Keep in mind, though, the only chance of their trilogy fight is if Shlemenko agrees to fight Halsey at 205 pounds. Stay tuned!
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M-1 Challenge 80 – June 15, 2017 in Habin, China