Nate “The Train” Landwehr connected on a picture-perfect strike to Andrey Lezhnev’s chin on the American’s way to his first successful title defense
ATYRAU, Kazakhstan (December 17, 2018) – M-1 Challenge featherweight champion Nate “The Train” Landwehr made a successful first title defense last night, knocking out veteran Andrey “Iron” Lezhnev in the third round, in the M-1 Challenge Battle in Atyrau main event in Kazakhstan.
As always, Landwehr allowed his opponent to work aggressively in the opening round, but he got caught by a strong left hook, dropped to the canvas, and he was nearly finished. Landweh displayed a granite chin and survived, but Lezhnev controlled the action on the ground in the second round. However, Lezhnev started to show fatigue and in the third round, Landwehr started working more aggressively, landing numerous shots and eventually finishing off Lezhnev on the ground.
In the co-featured event, Kazakhstan bantamweight Sergey Morozov (14-4-0) thrilled the hometown crowd, stopping previously undefeated Bakytek Duishobaev (6-1-0), of Kyrgyzstan, in the opening round.
Popular Russian welterweight Danila Prikaza (11-2-1) recorded a second-round knockout of Brazilian Eduardo “Camelo” Ramon (15-5-0). Undefeated Brazilian flyweight Kayek “Chuck” Alencar improved to 9-0-0 with a third-round submission of local fighter Talgat Zhumagaliyev (1-2-0) in the Fight of the Night. Alencar was dropped several times and his left eye closed during the final round, due to punches landed by Zhumagalivev, but Alencar showed tremendous heart and perseverance to win.
Polish light heavyweight Rafal “Kijana” Kijaczuk (6-0-0) registered an impressive first-round technical knockout of Russian Giga Kukhalashvili (9-5-0). Polish light heavyweight Rafal “Kijana” Kijaczuk (6-0-0) turned in an impressive performance, registering a first-round technical knockout of Russian Giga Kukhalashvili (9-5-0). After this dominant fight, Kijacuk challenged M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Khadis Ibragimov, positioning himself to be considered the top contender.
The highlight of the undercard was former M-1 Challenge featherweight champion Dalgiev’s opening-round TKO triumph over Bayaman Nurmamat (5-2-0), of Kyrgyzstan. Dalgiev, of Russia, made a successful transition from the featherweight to lightweight division.
Kazakh middleweight Murad Abdurakhmanov (6-1-0) knocked out American foe Brandon “The Juggernaut” Bell (6-7-0) via a front kick in round three. Former Pankraton world champion Abylay Tolesh (5-1-0), of Kazakhstan, punched out 20-year-old Russian prospect Sergey Klyuev (6-3-0), also in the third round.
Russian featherweight Mikhail Kuznetsov (7-4-1) decisioned local favorite Nurbek Kabdrakhmanov (1-1-0), and Kazakh bantamweight Assu “Zulifikhar” Almabaev (9-2-0) choked out Kirill “Foma” Fomenkov (5-2-0), of Russia, in the second round.