Three M-1 Challenge title fights
Showcased at M-1 Challenge 102
Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Tiago Varejao Lacerda
Sergey Morozov vs. Alexander Osetrov
Nate Landwehr vs. Viktor Kolesnik
June 28 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (May 28, 2019) — M-1 Global has announced a tripleheader of M-1 Challenge title fights to be held June 28 at M-1 Challenge 102 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Kazakh Power will be on full display. Undefeated M-1 Challenge welterweight champion Shavkat Rakhnonov (11-0, M-1: 6-0), of Kazakhstan, defends his title against Brazilian challenger Tiago “Bahia” Varejao Lacerda (28-6-1, 1 NC, M-1: 2-1), while Rakhnonov’s fellow countryman, Sergey Morozov (14-4, M-1: 7-3), battles unbeaten Russian prospect Alexander Osetrov (5-0-1, M-1: 4-0-1) for the vacant M-1 bantamweight crown.
M-1 Challenge featherweight titlist Nate “The Train” Landwehr (12-2, M-1: 4-0) puts his title on the line against Russian challenger Viktor Kolesnik (15-3-1, M-1: 4-1-1) in a much-anticipated rematch.
M-1 Challenge 102 will be live-streamed from Kazakhstan 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. M-1 Challenge 102 will also be is available onwww.FITE.TV(preliminary card is free, $7.99 for the main card).
Rakhmonov captured his welterweight title at the previous show, M-1 Challenge 101, on his home turf in Kazakhstan, defeating Danila Prikaza by way of a second-round stoppage on punches to extend his remarkable win streak to 11. The popular Kazakh fighter will face a very experienced Brazilian finisher, Tiago “Bahia” Varejao Lacerda (28-6-1, 1 NC, M-1: 1-1), in his initial title defense.
Never forced to go the full distance during his fantastic MMA pro career, Rakhmonov has finished all 11 opponents to date with six knockouts and five submissions on his impressive record.
Rakhmonov finishes off Prikaza
The 29-year-old Lacerda pulled off an upset in his M-1 Global debut last year, winning a close, yet sensational victory over always dangerous Sergey Romanov. Tiago then lost another close fight by split decision to Maksim Grabovich, brutally TKOing his Chinese opponent, Kurbanjiang Tuluosibake, in his last match. Varejao has an 82-percent finish rate and he will be ready to take on the Rakhnonov in M-1 Challenge 102 main event.
Earlier this year, M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion Movsar Evloev relinquished his M-1 title belt to sign a UFC contract. The 135-pound division in M-1 Global is stacked with great athletes and two of the best will fight for the vacant belt on June 28th in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan.
In the co-featured event, Kazakh veteran fighter Morozov, who will be in his second title fight, faces Osetrov, a student of famed Russian champion Alexander Shlemenko, has won four of five M-1 fights along with one draw.
In his first title shot, Morozov lost to Evloev on his home soil in the mountains of Ingushetia. Morozov has won three fights in a row since then and now he has an opportunity to become the only the second M-1 Challenge champion ever from Kazakhstan.
The 22-year-old Osetrov has won all his fights by decision, In the last fight, he defeated the elder brother of the former champion, previously unbeaten Salem Evloev, to earn this title shot. If Osetrov wins the title, he will join his teammate, Roman Bogatov, on the list of M-1 Challenge champions.
The third title fight of M-1 Challenge 102 is a rematch of the 2017 Fight of the Year, in which Landwehr won a split decision over Kolesnik. Both fighters have since won two fights each, all four ending early, and now they are preparing for a huge rematch.
Nate Landwehr (L) and Viktor Kolesnik went toe-to-toe in a bloody war
Landwehr, 30, made his M-1 Global debut on September 23, 2017 at M-1 Challenge 83 in Kazan, Russia. The entertaining Tennessean knocked out Mikhail Korobkov (13-3-1) in second round. Up next was the aforementioned bloody war with Kolesnik, in Moscow, less than two months later at M-1 Challenge 85, when “The Train” won a split decision, snapping Kolesnik’s 13-fight unbeaten streak in the process.
Landwehr’s first title fight was against defending champion Khamzat Dalgiev (10-1), who had shocked the MMA world eight months earlier, upsetting M-1 Challenge featherweight titlist Ivan Buchinger, whose title reign lasted more than three years, by way of a shocking opening-round knockout punch.
Fighting for the first time in an M-1 Global main event, Landwehr successfully challenged Dalgiev at M-1 Challenge 95, punching his way to a second-round stoppage for the M-1 Challenge featherweight crown, on July 21, 2018.
Landwehr’s first title defense was this past December in Kazakhstan at M-1 Challenge Battle at Atyrau in Kazakhstan versus Andrey “Iron” Lezhnev (18-8-0), of Ukraine, who had won nine of his last 10 fights, including the last three in a row, and he had been stopped only once in 25 professional MMA fights.
Kolesnik rebounded from his loss to Landwehr by submitting his Brazilian opponent, David Souza, via a guillotine choke only 44-seconds into the opening round, followed by a victory against another American, Daniel Swain, who was unable to continue fighting after being on the receiving end of numerous leg kicks while he was prone on the ground.
Additional matches will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Twitter & Instagram:
Upcoming M-1 Challenge Events:
June 28 – M-1 Challenge 102: Rakhmonov-Lacerda, Morozov-Osetrov, Landwehr-Kolesnik
USA MEDIA CONTACT:
Bob Trieger, Full Court PRESS, 978.590.0470, email@example.com, @FightPublicist
ABOUT M-1 GLOBAL: Founded in 1997, M-1 Global has established itself in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as the premier entity for discovering and developing the world’s next-generation of superstar fighters. With its office in St Petersburg, Russia, the M-1 brand has staged more than 200 events worldwide, including M-1 Selection, M-1 Challenge, M-1 Global and M-1 Global HWGP events, in addition to co-promoting Strikeforce events and M-1 Global on the U.S. network, Showtime. Captivating live, television and broadband audiences with its superior production values and match-ups, M-1 Global events have featured some of the sport’s top names, including legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem, Keith Jardine, Ben Rothwell, Melvin Manhoef, Sergei Kharitonov, Aleksander Emelianenko, Roman Zentsov, Yushin Okami, Mike Pyle, Denis Kang, Martin Kampmann, Amar Suloev, Chalid Arrab and Stephan Struve. 2019 is off to another sensational year of world-class competition, featuring a full calendar of Challenge events, fueled by a talent-rich contention system ranking M-1 Global Champions among the greatest fighters in the sport.