|ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (February 28, 2014) – Undefeated Estonian heavyweight Denis Smoldarev (6-0-0) earned a M-1 Global title fight shot by defeating Ante “Walking Trouble” Delija (8-2-0) in tonight’s main event, headlining M-1 Challenge 45, at Atmosphere Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Known as “The Brock Lesnar of Estonia,” the 6′ 5″, 266 ½ pound Smoldarev is now positioned to fight the winner of the M-1 Global heavyweight championship fight,March 14 at M-1 Challenge 46, between reigning champion Damian “Polish Pitbull” Grabowski (19-1-0) and challenger Marcin “Tybur” Tybura (9-0-0).
The 6′ 4″, 247-pound Delija had a successful throw and took Smoldarev’s back to start a great first round of action. Smoldarev moved to Delija’s guard, working from the top, and unleashed a volley of strong punches and leg kicks on the Croatian.
Smoldarev came out for the second round throwing a good left but Delija quickly went to the ground, taking Smoldarev’s back and transitioning to a heel hook. It wasn’t tight enough and then Smoldarev took the top position, firing strikes and then locked in an “Americana.” Delija let out a scream that the referee considered a verbal submission and ended the fight. Delijia protested to no avail.
M-1 Global lightweight champ Musa Khamanaev takes down Vladimir Nikolaev
M-1 Global lightweight champion Musa Khamanaev (14-3-0) outclassed Ukrainian fighter Vladimir Nikolaev (10-2-0) in their non-title fight. Khamanaev opened with a series of effective strikes and then, using his superior wrestling skills, the Russian took down Nikolaev whose nose was bloodied as he held on for his fighting life. Khamanaev overwhelmed Nikolaev, who was unable to escape, with strong strikes off his powerful ground-and-pound attack. The referee stopped the fight in the second round for a TKO win by Khamanaev.
In an upset, Russian middleweight Rashid Yusupov (3-2-0) won a decision over Brazilian veteran Charles “Gracie” Andrade (27-16-0). Yusupov, a striker, escaped a Kimura attempt by Andrade early in the first round and went on to dominate the first five minutes of the fight. Outside of one successful Andrade takedown, Yusupov spent most of the second round in Andrade’s closed guard. The trend continued in the final round as Yusupov started with a short stand-up and takedown, in which there was little activity until the final minute of the fight when both fighters were back on their feet. Yusupov landed some good strikes and kicks, highlighted by a spinning back-kick, to close the show.
Russian lightweight Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko (34-9-0) won a war of attrition in a battle of season veterans against Niko Puhakka (28-15-0), of Finland. Puhakka suffered a cut over his eye in the opening round that freely flowed during the entire fight. Butenko was unable to submit the game Finn but he was in complete control en route to a solid win by decision.
In an exciting match of skilled grapplers, Russian welterweight Ilya Doderkin (4-0-0) remained undefeated, as Nenad “Nino” Avramovich (0-2-0), of Spain, submitted in the second round. The action was fast and furious as the two fighters constantly changed positions until Doderkin suddenly slapped on a triangle hold, resulting in his impressive victory.
Striking prevailed over grappling as Sergei Andreev (6-2-0) took a decision from fellow Russian lightweight Rahman Makhazhiev (1-1-0). Throughout the fight, Andreev wanted to fight on his feet and go for a knockout, while Makhadzhiev preferred fighting on the mat to try for a submission.
Russian featherweight Yunus Evloev (13-6-0) outlasted his Ukrainian opponent,Vitali Branchuk (13-4-0), for a hard fought decision in a back-and-forth match from start to finish.
Oleg Misikov (2-0-0) used his physical superiority over fellow Russian lightweightIvan Getman (1-1-0) to a dominant first-round round stoppage. The referee halted the action early as Misikov landed powerful, unanswered strikes.
Russian lightweight Kurbanali Abdusalamov (3-2-0) ruined the professional debut of Alejandro Kratz-Ferrer (0-1-0), trapping the Spanish fighter in a mount position and punching away until Kratz-Ferrer tapped out in the opening round.
Ukrainian lightweight Oleg Khachaturov (1-1-0) won his first professional fight by decision as his ground-and-pound attack was too much for pro-debuting St. Petersburg fighter Alexander Korneev (0-1-0) to handle.
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Full results and photo gallery below.
DENIS SMOLDAREV (6-0-0), Estonia
ANTE DELIJA (8-2-0), Croatia
RASHID YUSUPOV (3-2-0), Russia
CHARLES ANDRADE (27-16-0), Brazil
ILYA DODERKIN (4-0-0), Russia
NENAD AVRAMOVICH (0-2-0), Spain
MUSA KHAMANAEV (14-3-0), Russia
VLADIMIR NIKOLAEV (10-2-0), Ukraine
ALEXANDER BUTENKO (34-9-0), Ukraine
NIKO PUHAKKA (28-15-0), Finland
SERGEI ANDREEV (6-2-0), Russia
RAHMAN MAKHAZHIEV (1-1-0), Russia
OLEG MISIKOV (2-0-0), Russia
IVAN GETMAN (1-1-0), Russia
KURBANALI ABDUSALAMOV (2-2-0), Russia
ALEJANDRO KRATZ-FERRER (0-0-0), Russia
OLEG KHACHATUROV (1-1-0), Ukraine
ALEXANDER KORNEEV (0-1-0), Russia
YUNUS EVLOEV (13-6-0), Russia
VITALI BRANCHUK (13-4-0), Ukraine
Musa Khamanaev (L) vs. Vladimir Nikolaev (R)
Charles Andrade (L) and Rashid Yusupov (R) square off
Alexander Butenko pounds Niko Puhakka
Nenad Avramovich on top of Ilya Doderkin in exciting clash of grapplers
Sergei Andreev kicks Rahman Makhazhiev
Yunus Evloev escaped from this hold to defeat Vitali Branchuk
Oleg Misikov congratulates Ivan Getman (black shirt) after their fight
Kurbanali Abdusalamov (R) kicks Alejandro Kratz-Ferrer
Oleg Khachaturov (R) attacks Alexander Korneev (on mat)
|ABOUT M-1 GLOBAL: Founded in 1998, M-1 Global has established itself in the realm of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as the premiere entity for discovering and developing the world’s next-generation of superstar fighters. With offices in St Petersburg, Amsterdam and Los Angeles and affiliates in Seoul, Tokyo and Paris, the M-1 brand has staged more than 150 events worldwide, including the M-1 Selection, M-1 Challenge and M-1 Gobal and M-1 Global HWGP events, in addition to co-promoting Strikeforce events and M-1 Global on the Showtime network in the United States. Captivating live, television and broadband audiences with its superior production values and matchups, M-1 Global events have featured some of the sport’s top names, including Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Aleksander Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem, Keith Jardine, Ben Rothwell, Melvin Manhoef, Roman Zentsov, Yushin Okami, Mike Pyle, Denis Kang, Martin Kampmann, Amar Suloev, Chalid Arrab and Stephan Struve. 2014 promises to be another sensational year of world-class competition with a full calendar of Challenge events fuelled by a talent-rich contention system ranking M-1 Global’s Champions amongst the greatest in the sport. M-1 Global’s greatest asset is renowned heavyweight fighter, Fedor Emelianenko.
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