TBILISI, Georgia (Feb. 22, 2015) – Last night’s dramatic and entertaining M-1 Challenge 55: In Memory of Guram Gugenishvilli featured just about everything except a knockout. Past M-1 Challenge heavyweight Denis Smoldarev (10-1-0), of Estonia, positioned himself for another title shot, defeating highly-regarded Croatian opponent Maro Perak (23-5-1) in the main event at the Sports Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Coming off a loss last November to M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura at M-1 Challenge 53 in Beijing, China, Smoldarev bounced back with an impressive performance over Perak, who lost via an opening round submission by key-lock.
In another heavyweight match, former M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Kenny “Deuce” Garner (15-8-0), fighting out of Port St. Lucie, Florida, also rebounded from a TKO loss in his last fight to Sergei Kharitonov in China, winning by second-round submission with arear-naked choke of Aslambek “Titan” Musaev (5-2-0), of Chechnya.
Rising middleweight star Nodar Kudukhashvili (8-1-0), a 2013 WMMAA champion, pleased his hometown fans with a three-round unanimous decision over American invader Luigi “The Italian Tank” Fioravanti (25-13-0).
In a battle between two of the top featherweight prospects in the world, German Max Coga (11-3-0) gave previously undefeated Pavel Vitruk (12-1-0) his first loss as a professional in a great fight. Coga locked-in a rear naked choke for a third-round submission victory over the talented Ukrainian.
Hometown favorite Artiom Damkousky (20-9-0) won his 20th career fight in a hard fought match with a three-round unanimous decision previously unbeaten Azerbaijan lightweight Heydar Mamedaliyev (7-1-0).
In another main card fight, Georgian giant Levan “Zangrief” Razmadze (5-1-0) suffered this first loss, by way of a first-round arm-bar submission to Russian heavyweight Arsen Abdulkerimov (8-2-0).
In preliminary fights, Spanish middleweight Enoc Solves Torres (16-8-0) defeated Russian foe Ibragim Tibilos (7-3-0) by third-round submission, using a rear-naked choke hold; Russian light heavyweight Batraz Agnaev (2-0-0) needed only a few minutes to lock-in a rear-naked choke to force his Polish opponent, Lukasz Borowski (3-3-0, into a first-round submission; Russian middleweight Artem Frolov (3-0-0) used a first-round rear-naked choke to submit Artur Oddilobekov (2-4-0), of Tajikistan; and local lightweight Raul Tutarauli (3-1-0), of Georgia, opened the show with a third-round submission (rear naked choke) of Russian Artur Aliev (1-1-1). In swing bouts held after the main event, featherweights Kurbanali Abdusalamov (4-2-0), of Russia, and Georgian pro-debuting Soso Nizharadze (1-0-0) won unanimous three-round decision over, respectively, Archil Tasziashvili (0-2-0), of Georgia, and Russian Shamil libekov (1-1-0).
Complete results and picture gallery below:
Denis Smoldarev (10-1-0), Estonia WSUB1 (Key-lock) Maro Perak (23-5-1), Croatia
Kenny Garner (15-8-0), USA WSUB2 (Rear Naked Choke – 2:50) Aslambek Musaev (5-2-0), Chechnya
Arsen Abdulkerimov (8-2-0), Russia WSUB1 (Armbar – 3:58) Levan Razmadze (5-1-0), Georgia
Nodar Kudukhashvili (8-1-0), Georgia WDEC3 Luigi Fioravanti (25-13-0), United States
Artiom Damkovsky (20-9-0), Belarus WDEC3 Heydar Mamedaliyev (7-1-0), Azerbaijan
Max Coga (11-3-0), Germany WSUB3 (Rear Naked Choke – 2:36) Pavel Vitruk (12-0-0), Ukraine
Batraz Agnaev (2-0-0), Russia WSUB1 (Rear Naked Choke – 2:09) Lukasz Borowski (3-3-0), Poland
Enoc Solves Torres (16-8-0), Spain WSUB3 (Rear Naked Choke – 1:35) Ibragim Tibilos (7-3-0), Russia
Artem Frolov (3-0-0), Russia WSUB 1 (Rear Naked Choke – 2:09) Artur Oddilobekov (2-4-0), Tajikistan
Raul Tutarauli (3-1-0), Georgia WSUB3 (Rear Naked Choke – 1:45) Artur Aliev (1-1-0), Russia
Soso Nizharadze (1-0-0), Georgia WDEC3 Shamil Alibekov (1-1-0), Russia
Kurbanali Abdusalamov (4-2-0), Russia WDEC3 Archil Taziashvili (0-2-0), Georgia