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Evloev stops Nevzorov to capture Interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
M-1 CHALLENGE 76 RESULTS

NAZRAN, Ingushetia, Russia (April 23, 2017) – Undefeated Movsar Evloev captured the Interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title in last night’s M-1 Challenge 76 main event at Nazran, Ingushetia, Russia.
Evloev improved his professional MMA record to 7-0-0, all in M-1 Challenge events, by knocking out Russian Alexey Nevzorov (12-3-0, M-1: 6-2-0) in the second round.
Evloev, who was coming off an impressive three-round decision over American Lee Morrison, took advantage of his opportunity to fight for the interim title, due to a long-term injury to reigning M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion Pavel Vitruk.
The judges were busy as seven of the other nine fights on the M-1 Challenge 76 card went the full distance.  Fighters represented six different countries on this highly-competitive card.
Russian featherweight Timur Nagibin (9-2-0, M-1: 5-1-0) and Kazakhstan bantamweight Sergey Morozov (7-2-0, M-1: 4-2-0) were both winners by way of three-round unanimous decision, respectively, over their Brazilian opponents Diego Davella (18-6-0, M-1: 1-1-0) and Fabricio “Bill” Sarraff (22-10-0 (M-1: 0-1-0).
German light heavyweight Rene Hoppe (7-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0) extended his unbeaten streak to seven in a row, taking a three-round majority decision over previously undefeated Ike Bochkov (2-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Russia.
Russian light heavyweight Abubakar Mestoev improved to 5-0-0 with his fifth straight win overall and in M-1 Challenge events with a three-round decision over Ukrainian Anatoly Lyagu (5-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0).
Russian bantamweight Emil Abasov (6-7-0, M-1: 3-0-0), who filled in at the weigh in due to the original opponent being too overweight, pulled off the upset of the night with a first-round technical knockout (punches) against Heliton Davella (15-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Brazil.
Fighting on the preliminary card, Russian Zalimbeg Omarov (8-2-1, M-1: 5-1-1), Russian welterweight Khamzat Sakalov (6-1-0, M-1: 5-0-0) and Russian heavyweight Evgeni Gioncharov (6-3-0, M-1: 1-0-0) were all winners by three-round decision, respectively, against Ukrainian Elnur Valiev (6-1-1, M-1: 0-1-0), Spaniard Javier Fuentas (9-5-0, M-1: 2-2-0) and Russian Daniil Arepyev (7-2-0, M-1: 0-2-0).
Russian welterweight Ingishkhan Ozdoev (3-3-0, M-1 3-3-0) stopped Alexey Valivakhin (8-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0) on punches in the second round.
Complete results & photo gallery below:
 
 
MAIN CARD
MAIN EVENT – INTERIM M-1 CHALLENGE BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Movsar Evloev (7-0-0, M-1: 7-0-0), Russia
WKO2 (Head Kick – 2:15)
Alexey Nevzorov (12-3-0, M-1: 6-2-0), Russia
(Evloev won interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title)
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS
Rene Hoppe (7-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Germany
WDEC3
Ike Bochkov (2-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Russia
FEATHERWEIGHTS
Timur Nagibin (9-2-0, M-1: 5-1-0), Russia
WDEC3
Diego Davella (18-6-0, M-1: 1-1-0,) Brazil
Emil Abasov (6-7-0, M-1: 3-0-0), Russia
WTKO1 (Punches – (2:39)
Heliton Davella (18-5-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Brazil
BANTAMWEIGHTS
Sergey Morozov (7-2-0, M-1: 4-2-0), Kazakhstan
WDEC3
Fabricio Sarraf (22-10-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Brazil
PRELIMINARY CARD
HEAVYWEIGHTS
Evgeni Goncharov (6-3-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Russia
WDEC3
Daniil Arepyev (7-2-0, M-1: 0-2-0,), Russia
WELTERWEIGHTS
Khamzat Sakalov (6-1-0, M-1: 5-0-0), Russia
WDEC3
Javier Fuentas (9-5-0, M-1: 2-2-0), Spain
Ingiskhan Ozdoev (3-3-0, M-1: 3-3-0), Russia
WTKO1 (Punches – 3:22)
Alexey Valivakhin (8-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Ukraine
FEATHERWEIGHTS
Zalimbeg Omarov (8-2-1, M-1: 5-1-0), Russia
WDEC3
Elnur Valiev (6-1-1, M-1: 0-1-0), Ukraine
LIGHTWEIGHTS
Abubakar Mestoev (5-0-0, M-1: 5-0-0)
WDEC3
Anatoly Lyagu (5-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Ukraine

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M-1 CHALLENGE EVENT CALENDAR:
 
M-1 Challenge 77: Nemkov vs. Markes – May 19, 2017 Sochi, Russia
M-1 Challenge 78: Divnich vs. Ismagulov – May 26, 2017 in Orenburg, Russia
M-1 Challenge 79: Shlemenko vs. Halsey – June 1, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia
M-1 Challenge 80: Kharitonov vs/ Lopes – June 15, 2017 in Habin, China

M-1 CHALLENGE 76 WEIGHTS & PICTURES 

OFFICIAL WEIGHTS
MAIN CARD
MAIN EVENT – INTERIM M-1 CHALLENGE BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP – 5 X 5
Alexey Nevzorov (12-2-0, M-1: 6-1-0), Russia 135 lbs. (61.3 kg)
vs.
Movsar Evloev (6-0-0, M-1: 6-0-0), Russia 135 lbs. (61.3 kg)
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Rene Hoppe (6-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0-), Germany203lbs. (92.1 kg)
vs.
Ike Bochkov (2-0-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Russia 203 lbs. (92.3 kg)
FEATHERWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Diego Davella (18-5-0, M-1: 1-0-0,) Brazil 147 lbs. (66.8 kg)
vs.
Timur Nagibin (8-2-0, M-1: 4-1-0), Russia 147 lbs. (66.8 kg)


Fabricio Sarraf (22-9-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Brazil 134 lbs. (60.8 kg)
vs.
Sergey Morozov (6-2-0, M-1: 3-2-0), Kazakhstan 1334 ½ lbs. (61.2 kg)
PRELIMINARY CARD
 
HEAVYWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Evgeni Goncharov (5-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Russia 253 lbs. (114.8 kg)
vs.
Daniil Arepyev (7-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0,), Russia 273 lbs. (123 kg)
WELTERWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Javier Fuentas (9-4-0, M-1: 2-1-0), Spain 169 lbs. (76.9 kg)
vs.
Khamzat Sakalov (5-1-0, M-1: 4-0-0),Russia 169 lbs. (76.7 kg)


Alexey Valivakhin (8-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Ukraine 169 lbs. (76.8 kg)
vs.
Ingiskhan Ozdoev (2-3-0, M-1: 2-3-0), Russia 169 ½ lbs.  (77.1 kg)
LIGHTWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Anatoly Lyagu (5-1-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Ukraine 158 lbs. (71.7 kg)
vs.
Abubakar Mestoev (4-0-0, M-1: 4-0-0), Russia 158 ½ lbs. (72 kg)
FEATHERWEIGHTS – 3 X 5
Elnur Valiev (6-0-1, M-1: 0-0-0), Ukraine 144 ½ lbs. (65.7 kg)
vs.
Zalimbeg Omarov (7-2-1, M-1: 4-1-0), Russia 145 lbs. (65.8 kg)


Heliton Davella (18-5-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Brazil 147 lbs. (66.8 kg)
vs.
Emil Abasov (5-7-0, M-1: 0-0–0), Russia 138 ½ lbs. (63 kg)
WHEN:             Saturday, April 22, 2017
WHERE:           Ingushetia, Russia
 
PROMOTER:    M-1 Global
LIVE STREAM: www.m1global.tv (11.00 a.m. ET / 8:00 a.m. PT in USA) 
         
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M-1 CHALLENGE EVENT CALENDAR:
 
M-1 Challenge 76: Nevzorov vs. Evloev – April 22, 2017 – Moscow, Russia
M-1 Challenge 77: Nemkov vs. Markes – May 19, 2017 Sochi, Russia
M-1 Challenge 78: Divnich vs. Ismagulov – May 26, 2017 in Orenburg, Russia
M-1 Challenge 79: Shlemenko vs. Halsey – June 1, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia
M-1 Challenge 80: Kharitonov vs/ Lopes – June 15, 2017 in Habin, China

Alexey Nevzorov & Movsar Evloev to fight for Interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title

M-1 CHALLENGE 76 MAIN CARD SET
 
This Saturday night in Ingushetia, Russia
MOSCOW (April 18, 2017) – The M-1 Challenge 76 main card is set, headlined by an Interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title fight, between top contenders Alexey Nevzorov and Movsar Evloev, for this Saturday night (April 22) in Ingushetia, Russia.
Nevzorov (12-2-0, M-1: 6-1-0) and Evloev (6-0-0, M-1: 6-0-0), both representing Russia, are fighting for the Interim M0-1 Challenge bantamweight championships due to a long-term injury to the reigning champion, Pavel Vitruk,
The Davella brothers from Brazil, bantamweight Heliton (15-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0) and featherweight Diego (18-5-0), will be in action against a pair of Russian opponents, respectively, Khamzat Dalgiev (8-1-0, M-1: 5-0-0) and Timur Nagibin (8-2-0, M-1: 4-1-0).
Another Brazilian fighter, Fabricio “Bill” Sarraff (22-9-0, M-1: 0-0-0), meets Kazakhstan bantamweight Sergey Morozov (6-2-0, M-1: 3-2-0), while German Rene Hoppe (6-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0-) meets Ike Bochkov (2-0-0, M-1: 0-0-0), of Russia.
Preliminary card match-ups include Ukrainian featherweight Elnur Valiev (6-0-1, M-1: 0-0-0) vs. Zalimbeg Omarov (7-2-1, M-1: 4-1-1), of Russia, Javier Fuentas (9-4-0, M-1: 2-1-0), of Spain, vs. Khamzat Sakalov (5-1-0, M-1: 4-0-0), Evgeni Goncharov (5-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0), of Spain, vs. Daniil Arepyev (7-1-0), M-1: 0-0-1) in a battle of Russian heavyweights, and Ukrainian welterweight Alexey Valivakhin (8-5-0, M-1: 0-0-0) vs. Ingiskhan Ozdoev (2-3-0, M-1: 2-3-0), of Russia.
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Busy May & June for M-1 Global

 

 

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (March 31, 2017) – M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein (pictured above) has announced five M-1 Challenge events to be held this May and June.
Below is a Q & A with the veteran MMA promoter:
Can you tell us about plans for upcoming M-1 Global events?
VF: “In the next 2-3 months we will promote an extremely full schedule of events. Through the middle of June, we will promote five – I’m not afraid to use these words – grandiose tournaments. April 22nd there’s an event being held in Nazran, which was arranged with the support of the local government, and dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Ingushetia. On May 19th, in collaboration with Rostec and Rosoboronexport corporations, we will hold a truly spectacular event in Sochi. Our traditional tournament in Orenburg is set for May 26th, which regularly takes place at the highest level with a crowded venue. On June 1st, we will hold another event in St. Petersburg as part of the International Economic Forum program. And already on June 15 – A major tournament will be held June 15th in Harbin, China,  during the program of the Russian-Chinese Expo. Both in St. Petersburg and China, we are included in the official program, so we will be participating in truly large-scale events.”
Fans are interested in fighters whose performances will decorate these tournaments. Can you reveal some of the competing fighters?
VF: “We will really surprise the audience at these events. A lot of negotiations are ongoing, including those with fighters who are the TopP-20 ranked fighters in the world. There will also be fights involving new fighters. Of course, we intend to make fights that fans have been waiting for a long time. One is the is the Idrisov vs. Buchinger rematch and, of course, probably the most anticipated fight in Russian MMA today, Shlemenko vs Emeev.”
The fight between Alexander Shlemenko and Ramazan Emeev had already been postponed twice. What prevents this fight from being canceled for the third time?
VF: “The desire of the two fighters can play the major role here. Everything has been done on our side. Alexander Shlemenko is ready for this fight. We’re waiting word back from Ramazan Emeev. This fight is interesting for fans and we will try to make it happen. People are starting to understand more and more about MMA and we are making fights that our fans want to happen. Not only does this apply to Shlemenko and Emeev. but for other popular fighters as well, including undefeated M-1 welterweight champion Alexey Kunchenko, top lightweight Artiom Damkovsky, Damir Ismagulov, Sergey Romanov and many others. We try to sign contracts with only fighters who want to be in spectacular fights. Look at the last events in Moscow. Were any of the 11 fights boring? No! Even in undercard matches we have fighters who deliver exciting fights and often early finishes. This is the hallmark of our promotion. We do not hold uninteresting events or boring fights.”
Today, many promotions sign fighters who were fired from UFC. Why are you not doing this?
VF: “Certainly in that way. If fighters are interesting to the Russian public and well known, we will sign him. Otherwise, I believe that it is wrong to sign, so to speak, cast-off fighters. This will not add credibility and strengthen our organization in the MMA world. We do that a different way. We build stars that UFC chases. It may be more difficult but M-1 is more respected by the West for doing it this way. Look, those fighters who leave M-1 for the UFC leave because they’ve been developed through serious schooling, as we do not feed them “tomato cans” opponents. We do not make easy fights for anybody. Marcin Tybura, Rashid Magomedov, Mairbek Taisumov, Alexey Oleinik, Islam Makhachev, Alexander Volkov, etc. All of them are our former fighters. They were not known at the beginning of their careers but now they are all doing excellent. Fighters of the other promoters who moved in UFC are often fired after a while because, here in Russia, they did not face tough opposition.”
How do you fight the departure of your fighters to the West? 
VF: “Here, I disagree with you. It used to be that way. Now, to the contrary, many fighters want to perform in M-1 because it is no less prestigious than performing for Bellator, where the emphasis is on the show. Example of this are Alexander Shlemenko, Sergei Kharitonov, and others. These warriors gladly come to us and agree to fight here because the opposition in M-1 is not weak. Of course, regarding the departure of the fighters to the West, money plays a great role. But there are fighters who are grateful to M-1 for fame they gained.  We paved the road to a greatness for them and, consequently, they do not rush to leave M-1 anywhere.”
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Alexey Nevzorov & Movsar Evloev to fight for Interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title

M-1 Challenge 76, April 22, in Ingushetia
MOSCOW (March 21, 2017) – M-1 Global has ordered an Interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title fight, due to a long-term injury to reigning champion Pavel Vitruk, between top contenders Alexey Nevzorov and Movsar Evloev at M-1 Challenge 76, April 22, in Ingushetia, Russia.
Representing the famed Alexander Nevsky OEMK Team in Stary Oskol, Russia, the home gym for living legend  Fedor Emelianenko, Nevsorov (12-2-0, M-1: 6-1-0) has won his last three fights, including a second-round stoppage of Andrey Lezhnev this past December at M-1 Challenge 73, and a three-round decision last September over Timur Nagibin at M-1 Challenge 70.
 
Nevorov (pictured above) will be dropping down in weight from featherweight to bantamweight to fight for the title.
Also Russian fighter, Evloev (6-0-0, M-1: 6-0-0) is coming off the best victory of his young career, positioning himself for this title shot with a three-round decision over his much more experienced foe, American opponent Lee Morrison (see pictured below), at M-1 Challenge 73.
Known for his tremendous physicality, coupled with an excellent grappling game and diverse striking skill set, Nevzorov has been tabbed as a future MMA star.
A featherweight match between Russian Timur Nagibin (8-2-0, M-1: 4-1-0) and Brazilian Diego D’Avila (18-5-0, M-1: 1-0-0) has also been announced for M-1 Challenge 76.
Nagibin is coming off an impressive third-round stoppage (punches) of Kurbanali Abdusalamov at M-1 Challenge 72 last November, while D’Avila won his M-1 Global debut last, choking out Zalimbeg Omarov for the M-1 Challenge 73 Submission of the Night.
         
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Rashid Yusupov defeats Stephan Puetz To retrain M-1 Challenge light heavyweight crown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Abukar Yandiev destroys Alexander Butenko
To become new M-1 Challenge lightweight champion
M-1 CHALLENGE 74 OFFICIAL RESULTS
 
 

 
Yusupov (7-0-0, M-1: 4-0-0), fighting out of Russia, remained undefeated with a brutal, bloody victory over former M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan “T-800” Puetz (15-3-0, 6-2-), of Germany, whose corner stopped the fight during the third round.

 

 
Wildly popular Russian fighter Yandiev (9-1-0, M-1: 3-1-0) immediately opened his title fight challenge with a powerful right-handed punch that floored defending champion
Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko (42-12-2, M-1: 9-2-0).  Yankiev relentlessly attacked veteran Butenko, firing more than 60 unanswered strikes on the fallen Ukranian veteran, until the referee mercifully halted the fight at 1:65 of the first round.


 

 
Kazakhstan-native Damir Ismagulov (10-2-0, M-1: 6-1-0), fighting out of Russia, stopped French welterweight Morgan Heraud (6-6-0, M-1: 1-0-0) on punches in the third round.  Belarussian lightweight Artium Damkovsky (23-10-0, M-1: 13-7-0) and Ukrianian bantamweight Vitaly Branchuk (22-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0) won three-round unanimous decisions, respectively, over Brazilian Erivan “Negao” Pereira (7-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0) and Frenchman Moktar “Le Kabyle” Benkaci (13-8-0, M-1: 2-2-0).
In the soccer club fans match, Dmitry Tebekin (5-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0) locked a guillotine choke on fellow Russian light heavyweight Artur Tulparova (1-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0) for a submission victory in the first round.
On the preliminary card, Swiss welterweight Pablo Ortman (7-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0) remained undefeated with a first-round submission win (triangle choke) over Ukrainian Vyacheslav “Bison” Bogomol (9-4-0, M-1: 0-2-0), Brazilian welterweight Bruce Souto (10-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0) submitted (rear naked choke) Russian Payzula Magomedov (2-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0) in the third round, Brazilian heavyweight Marcus Vinicius “Montanah” Lopes (11-5-0, M-1: 2-1-0) decisioned Russian Evgeni Myakinkin (14-8-1, 1 NC, M-1: 2-2-0), Ukrainian bantamweight Dmitry Orlov (13-6-0, M-1: 1-0-0) defeated Russian Mikhail Kuznetsov (4-3-0, M-1: 2-3-0) by way of a second-round submission (triangle choke), Russian bantamweight Vadim Malygin (8-2-1, M-1: 0-2-1) knocked out Brazilian Denes Carvalho (5-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0) in the third round.

Complete results and picture gallery below:

 
 
 
MAIN CARD
M-1 CHALLENGE LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Rashid Yusupov (7-0-0, M-1: 5-0-0), Russia
WTKO3 (corner stoppage – 3:26)
Stephan Puetz (15-3-0, M-1: 6-2-0), Germany
(Yusupov  M-1 Challenge light heavyweight title)
M-1 CHALLENGE LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Abukar Yandiev (9-1-0, M-1: 3-1-0), Russia
WTKO1 (punches – 1:65)
Alexander Botenko (42-12-2, M-1: 9-2-0), Ukraine
WELTERWEIGHTS
Damir Ismagulov (10-2-0, M-1: 6-1-0), Russia by way of Kazakhstan
WTKO3 – (punches — 1:31)
Morgam Heraud (6-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), France
LIGHTWEIGHTS
Artiom Damkovsky (23-10-0, M-1: 13-7-0), Belarus
WDEC3
Erivan Pereira (7-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil
BANTAMWEIGHTS
Vitalay Branchuck (22-6-0, M-1: 2-2-0), Ukraine
WDEC3
Moktar Benkaci (13-8-0, M-1: 2-2-0), France
SOCCER CLUB FANS
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT
Dmitry Tebekin (5-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Russia
WSUB1 (guillotine choke – 1:59)
Artur Tulparova (1-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Russia
PRELIMINARY CARD
HEAVYWEIGHTS
Marcus Vinicius Lopes (11-5-0, M-1: 2-1-0), Brazil
WDEC3
Evgeni Myakikkin (14-2-7, 1 NC, M-1: 2-2-0), Russia
WELTERWEIGHTS
Urs Pablo Ortmann (7-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Switzerland
WSUB1 (triangle choke – 1:26)
Vyacheslav Bogomol (9-4-0, M-1: 0-2-0), Ukraine
Bruce Souto (10-3-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Brazil
WSUB3 (rear naked choke – 2:40)
Payzula Magomedov (2-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Russia
BANTAMWEIGHTS
Dmitry Orlov (13-6-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Ukraine
WSUB2 (triangle choke – 1:36)
Mikhail Kuznetsov (4-3-0, M-1: 2-3-0), Russia
Vadim Malygin (8-2-1, M-1: 1-1-1), Russia
WKO3 (punches – 0:45)
Denes Carvalho (5-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil

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M-1 CHALLENGE EVENT CALENDAR:
M-1 Challenge 75 – March 3, 2017 – Moscow, Russia

MMA fighters & fans of rival Russian soccer teams Added to M-1 Challenge 74 card

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18 in St. Petersburg, Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (February 2, 2017) – The February 18th M-1 Challenge 74 card in St. Petersburg got even more interesting with M-1Global’s announcement that a fight between fans of arch-rival Russian soccer (non-American football) teams will square-off in full team colors.
In the main event, undefeated M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Rashid Yusupov (6-0-0, M-1: 4-0-0), of Russia, defends his title against former titlist Stephan “T-800” Puetz (15-2-0, M-1: 6-1-0), of Germany.
M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko (42-11-2, M-1: 9-1-0) faces challenger Abukar Yandiev (8-1-0, M-1: 2-1-0) in theM-1 Challenge 74 co-feature.
Billed as the first MMA fight part of a major event to feature MMA fighters who are also fans of two of the top soccer clubs in Russia, CSKA and Spartak, battling between the ropes to determine the strongest soccer fan under MMA rules, not in the street.
Light heavyweight Dmitry Tebekin (4-2-0, M-1: 0-0-0), representing CSKA, will throw-down against Spartak fan Arthur Reig Tjul’parov (1-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0).  Tebekin was the St. Petersburg Cup winner and vice-champion of St. Petersburg, while Tjul’parov was also vice-champion of St. Petersburg as well as the third-place finisher in the All-Russian Grand Prix
.
M-1 Challenge 74 will be streamed live from St. Petersburg in high definition onwww.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 of the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
Also fighting on the M-1 Challenge 74 main card, in addition to Yusupov-Puetz and Butenko-Yandiev, is former M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion Vitaly Branchuk (21-6-0, M-1: 1-2-0), of Ukraine, vs. Frenchman Moktar “Le Kabyle” Benkaci (13-7-0); two-time M-1 Challenge lightweight title challengerArtiom Damkovsky (22-10-1, M-1: 12-7-0), of Belarus, vs. undefeatedBrazilian Pablo “Negao” Pereira (7-0-0, M-1: 0-0-0), and Ukrainian welterweight Vyacheslav “Bison” Bogomol (9-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0) vs. unbeatenPablo Ortmann (6-0-0, M-1: 0-0-0), of Switzerland.
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Maksim Grabovich new opponent for M-1 Challenge welterweight champion  Alexey Kunchenko

M-1 Challenge 75, March 3, in Moscow, Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (January 23, 2017) – Undefeated M-1 Challenge welterweight champion Alexey Kunchenko will now be challenged by fellow Russian Maksim Grabovich, who has replaced injured Shavkat Rakhmonov, March 3, at M-1 Challenge 75 in Moscow.
M-1 Grand Prix middleweight champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (54-9-0. 1 NC, M-1: 4-0-0),the three-time Bellator champion, will headline M-1 Challenge 75 against an opponent to soon be announced.
Kunchenko (15-0-0, M-1: 7-0), fighting out of Tyumen, Russia, is a Muay Thai specialist who captured his M-1 Challenge welterweight title belt last April at M-1 Challenge 65, when defending titlist Murad Abdulaev retired during the fourth round.
In a non-title fight, Kunchenko won a three-round unanimous decision over Eduardo Ramon at M-1 Challenge at M-1 Challenge 70 last September.  His first title defense was December 5 at M-1 Challenge 72, in which Kunchenko won a 5-round unanimous decision over Abdulaev in a rematch.
Grabovich (5-2-0, M-1: 4-0-0), fighting out of famed Stary Oskol in Russia, has won his last three fights in addition to being undefeated in four M-1 Global matches.  His signature victory to date was last June at M-1 Challenge 68, in which Grabovich won a three-round unanimous decision in the Fight of the Night.
In other announced main card fights, American lightweight Keon “The Black Assassin” Caldwell (11-3-0, M-1: 0-0-0) makes his M-1 Global debut against former M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Maxim Divnich (12-2-0 (M-1: 6-2-0), while Russian welterweight prospect Sergey “Streetfighter” Romanov (10-1-0, M-1: 3-0-0) faces Russian veteran Magomed “The White Wolf” Sultanakhmedov (18-5-0, M-1: 10-1-0).
M-1 Challenge 75 will be streamed live from Moscow 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 74 – Feb. 18, 2017 – St. Petersburg, Russia
M-1 Challenge 75 – March 3, 2017 – Moscow, Russia

M-1 Challenge lightweight title fight Butenko vs. Yandiev added to M-1 Challenge 74

February 18 in St. Petersburg, Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (January 16, 2017) – M-1 Global has announced that M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko will take on challenger Abukar Yandiev (8-1-0, M-1: 2-1-0) in the M-1 Challenge 74 co-feature on February 18, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The previously announced main event pits undefeated M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Rashid Yusupov (6-0-0, M-1: 4-0-0), of Russia, defends his title against former titlist Stephan “T-800” Puetz (15-2-0, M-1: 6-1-0), of Germany.
M-1 Challenge 74 will be streamed live from St. Petersburg 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 of the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
Also announced is a fight between top bantamweights Vitaly Branchuk andMoktar “Le Kabyle” Benkaci will also be in action with the winner positioning himself for a potential title shot with M-1 Challenge bantamweight championPavel Vitruk in the not-too-distant future.
A strong Ukrainian with superior wrestling skills, Butenko (42-11-2, M-1: 9-1-0) is an eight-year MMA veteran who has found a welcomed home in M-1 Challenge competition and he has taken advantage of the opportunity. Riding a six-fight win streak, the 29-year-old Butenko captured the vacant M-1 Challenge lightweight title belt last June at M-1 Challenge 67, when he took a five-round unanimous decision over Artiom Damkovsky.
In his last action, at M-1 Challenge 71 in October, Butenko won a unanimous three-round decision against Rubenilton Pereira in a non-title fight.
Butenko’s first title defense will be against one of the most popular MMA fighters in Russia, the fighting powerhouse Yandiev, who also is a strong wrestler, plus a solid Judo background.  The rising lightweight star will be a certain fan favor because of his nationality as well as his style of fighting, resulting in first-round endings in all his pro fights to date.
Last June at M-1 Challenge 68, Yandiev used an armlock for a first-round submission of Tony Christodoulou, fought at a 177 ½ lbs. catchweight.
Like Butenko, Branchuk (21-6-0, M-1: 1-2-0) also fights out of Ukraine. The 25-year-old fighter is a former M-1 Challenge bantamweight title challenger, who was riding an eight-fight into his last fight, in which he lost by fourth-round submission (choke) to the aforementioned Vitruk (see accompanying picture to left).  In M-1 Challenge competition, Branchuk defeated Antun Racicone year ago, by way of a three-round split decision at M-1 Challenge 64.
  
Benkaci (13-7-0, (M-1: 2-1-0) is a grappling specialist from France.  Known and highly respected for his great conditioning and endurance, he lost a disputed three-round decision in his M-1 Challenge debut to Nikita Chistyakov 1-½ years ago, but the talented Frenchman bounced back to knockout his last two opponents, Vadim Malygin andAlexey Naumov, respectively, by knee and punch.
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Injured Shavkat Rakhmonov pulls out of Welterweight title fight vs. Alexey Kunchenko

 

M-1 Challenge 75, March 3 in Moscow, Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (January 9, 2017) – A serious knee injury requiring surgery has forced undefeated Kazakhstan challenger Shavkat Rakhmonov (7-0-0, M-1: 4-0-0) to withdraw from his first title fight, March 3 against unbeaten M-1 Challenge welterweight champion Alexey Kunchenko (15-0-0, M-1: 7-0-0), of Russia, at M-1 Challenge 75 in Moscow.
“I wanted this fight badly and put a lot of effort into preparation for it,” a dejected Rakhmonov explained.  “Unfortunately, I tore ligaments in my knee and, based on my medical exam, I will need surgery soon.   I apologize to all the MMA fans who were anticipating this fight.  I’ll do my best to return stronger than ever.”
Welterweight prospect Sergey “Streetfighter” Romanov (10-1-0, M-1: 3-0-0) takes on Russian veteran Magomed “The White Wolf” Sultanakhmedov (18-5-0, M-1: 10-1-0) on the M-1 Challenge 75 card.
M-1 Challenge 75 will be streamed live from Moscow 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 74 – Feb. 18, 2017 – St. Petersburg, Russia
M-1 Challenge 75 – March 3, 2017 – Moscow, Russia