ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (March 10, 2014) – Red-hot Russian light heavyweight champion Victor Nemkov (19-4-0, 3 KO/TKO, 9 SUB) defends his M-1 Global title this Friday against German challenger Stephan Puetz (9-1-0, 4 KO/TKO, 3 SUB), headlining M-1 Challenge 46, at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Stary Oskol-native Nemkov rides a nine-fight win streak into M-1 Challenge 46, highlighted by his title-winning performance in M-1 Challenge 43, in which his deadly arm-lock forced Vasily Babich to tap-out.
The 26-year-old Puetz is one of the best German light heavyweights in a very competitive European division. He has a perfect record in Germany’s No. 1 promotion, Respect FC.
“The first large event of the year will herald big things to come from M-1 Global in 2014,” M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein said. “We’re all very excited for the 205-pound title fight between Nemkov and Puetz, uncoubtedly two of the best Light Heavyweights in Europe. Don’t sleep on Gluhovvs. Garner, which will be a slugfest of the ages, and Tokov vs. Duraev for the No. 1 contender fight at 185 pounds.”
M-1 Challenge 46 will air live on Russia 2, the terrestrial channel, throughout Russia and the Commonwealth of Individual States (CIS), as well as across the Middle East on Abu Dhabi Sports Channels.
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.
The M-1 Challenge series has traditionally introduced a new wave of potential MMA stars, showcasing elite athletes from Russia and across Europe. Many fighters who fall into the aforementioned category will be showcased on M-1 Challenge 46.
The M-1 Challenge 46 event undercard is loaded from top-to-bottom, featuring seven Super Fights. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
The most explosive M-1 Challenge 46 fight of the night could very well turn out to be between Latvian knockout artist Konstsantin “Lacplesis” Gluhov (26-14-0, 20 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) and dangerous American heavyweight Kenny “Deuce” Garner (12-5-0, 8 KO/TKO/2 SUB). A World champion in Muay Thai and kickboxing, Gluhov is a tremendous striker who defeated Garner by split decision in M-1 Challenge 38. A knockout puncher and great showman, Garner is an underrated wrestler and grappler who has put eight of his 12 victims to sleep.
Konstsantin Gluhov Kenny Garner
Russian middleweight Anatoly Tokov (11-0-0, 7 KO/TKO, 2 SUB) battles fellow countryman Albert Duraev (4-2-0, 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB) in their No. 1 contender fight. A notoriously slow starter who is nearly unstoppable in the last round, Takov trains in Stary Oskol with Fedor’s legenday coaches, Mikhail Voronov and Alexander Mitchkov. Duraev’s lone loss in M-1 Global competition came against its current middleweight champion, Ramazan Emeev.
Undefeated Ukrainian featherweight prospect Pavel Vitruk (10-0-0, 2 KO/TKO/1 SUB) puts his unbeaten record on the line against upset-minded Brazilian invader Yuri “Killa” Maia (12-2, 8 KO/TKO). One of the smallest featherweights in M-1Global, Vitrun has a kickboxing background and he prefers to stay on his feet. The 20-year-old Maia, who will be going for his ninth knockout win, represents the stiffest test of Virtuk’s young career.
Spanish welterweight Daniel “The Gladiator” Tabera (17-5-0, 4 KO/TKO, 6 SUB) takes on Russian grappler Magomed Mustafaev (8-1-0, 5 KO/TKO, 3 SUB) in an intriguing match. Making his welterweight debut after fighting in all weight classes from middleweight to heavyweight, Tabera is a tough fighter with invaluable experience. Mustafaev is a highly-touted prospect who has won his last seven fights in a row.
Spanish featherweight Agoney Romero (3-1-1, 1 KO/TKO) faces Russian nemesis Nikita Chistayakov (0-1-0). Undefeated in two fights held in Russian, Romero has vastly improved his striking technique. Chistyakov, who trains with Vitruk, is a clear underdog in this match-up.
French featherweight Jerome Bouisson (12-4-0, 2 KO/TKO/7 SUB) meets Azerbaijani Tural Ragimov (7-1-0, 3 KO/TKO, 3 SUB). The well-rounded French fighters is a strong grappler, while Ragimov will be making his M-1 Global debut.
Russian lightweight Zulfikar Usmanov (5-2-0, 4 SUBS) throws-down with Belarussian veteran Artiom Damkovsky (15-9-0, 6 KO/TKO, 1 SUB). Usmanov faces a must-win situation in order to remain fighting at the elite level. Striking sensation Damkovsky is a highly entertaining fighter, as well as a former M-1 Global Selection and Challenge champion.
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