A pair of M-1 Challenge title fights highlight a special M-1 Global anniversary show, M-1 Challenge 50: Battle on the Neva,” outdoors Friday, August 15 in the St. Petersburg city center open area, Mitinskaya emb 6, near the famous panoramic ship-restaurant, “Flying Dutchman.” (see photo above)
M-1 Global is coming off a record-setting M-1 Challenge 49: Battle in the Mountains in Ingushetia last month, at which a Russian record was set for highest attendance of any event held above sea level (1500+-meters) with 23,255 fans.
M-1 Challenge 50 will be headlined by a much-anticipated rematch between M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan Puetz (10-1-0, 4 KO/TKO, 3 SUB), of Germany, and former champion Viktor Nemkov (19-5-0, 3 KO/TKO, 9 SUB).
The co-feature showcase a pair of Polish heavyweights, M-1 Challenge champion Damian “Polish Pitbull” Grabowski (19-1-0, 6 KO/TKO, 6 SUB) and undefeated No. 1 contender Marcin “Tybur” Tybura (10-0-0, 4 KO/TKO, 4 SUB).
The M-1 Challenge series has traditionally introduced a new wave of potential MMA stars, showcasing elite athletes from Russia and across Europe. M-1 Global is the No. 1 European MMA organization, as well as one of the oldest in the world, dating back to 1998. Superstar Fedor Emelianenko, considered by many to be the greatest fighter in MMA history, has been the face of M-1 Global around the combat sports world for the past decade.
“It’s an anniversary tournament (M-1 Challenge 50) that means a lot to all of us,” M-1 Global CEO and Founder Vadim Finkelstein said. “We are really proud and happy to have made MMA so popular among fans. This tournament, as usual, will be organized at the very highest level. We have support from the St. Petersburg state and this event is on the list of the most important sporting events in St. Petersburg. It features two title fights, heavyweight and light heavyweight, and both are expected to be spectacular. We also have other fights of tremendous interest for all MMA fans. During the fights every attending fan will enjoy a fantastic view of St. Petersburg’s well known sites: Neva River embankment, Rostral Columns, and Winter Palace.”
Last March at M-1 Challenge 46, Puetz won a hard fought five-round unanimous decision over Nemkov to capture the coveted M-1 challenge light heavyweight title in an exciting fight from start to finish, setting the stage for this rematch.
Puetz was recognized as one of the best German light heavyweights in a very competitive European division with a perfect record in Germany’s No. 1 promotion, Respect FC. He proved himself as a legitimate world-class fighter by coming to Russia and defeating the defending champion, Nemkov, in his own backyard.
Nemkov is a ‘Master of Sport’ in Sambo, as well as a brown belt in Judo. Nemkov, who was the 2011 World Combat Sambo Championship gold-medal winner, lives in Stary Oskol, Russia, where he trains with the aforementioned Emeliandenko’s legendary coaches, Mikhail Voronov and Alexander Mitchkov.
The 6′ 1″, 240-pound Grabowski has won six consecutive fights, highlighted by his M-1 Challenge heavyweight title-winning performance November 14, 2013 against Kenny Garner, who Grabowski went to the ground with in the third round, putting the tough American to sleep with a choke hold.
Tybura burst onto the M-1 Challenge scene in 2013, punching his way to a first-round win by submission against Chaban Ka in the semifinals of the 2013 M-1 Grand Prix, followed by an impressive win in the tournament final versus dangerous Konstantin Gluhov, who was chocked into a first-round submission. His Grand Prix championship earned the 6′ 3″, 240-pound Tybura a title shot against Grabowski, originally scheduled March 14 but postponed until August 14 due to a neck injury suffered by Grabowski. Rather than stay inactive waiting to fight Grabowski, Tybura fought the best available heavyweight, Marco Perak, and stopped the Croatian in the third round by technical knockout (punches).
Scheduled to fight on the undercard in Super Fights is exciting Brazilian light heavyweight Luis Fernando “Hulk” Miranda (12-0-1, 4 KO/TKO, 7 SUB) vs. Russian favorite Arthur Astakhov (7-2-0, 4 KO/TKO, 3 SUB), Slovenian featherweight Ivan “Buki” Buchinger (26-4-0, 6 KO/TKO, 16 SUB) vs. Russian veteran Mikhail Malyutin (26-12-0, 5 KO/TKO, 8 SUB), Spanish welterweight Daniel “The Gladiator” Tabera (17-5-3, 4 KO/TKO, 6 SUB) vs. unbeaten Russian prospect Ilya Doderkin (5-0-0, 5 SUB).
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
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 fueled 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.