ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (May 17, 2016) – Former M-1 Challenge light heavyweight and middleweight champion Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (28-4-0, M-1: 10-2-0) has stepped up to replace injured Ramazan Emeev against Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (52-9-0, M-1: 3-0-0) in the final of the M-1 Grand Prix Middleweight Tournament, headlining M-1 Challenge 68, June 16 at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Emeev (14-3-0, M-1: 8-1-0) suffered a torn ligament in his elbow during training camp. In a M-1 Challenge Grand Prix Middleweight Tournament semifinals match last February, Vasilevsky lost a majority decision to Shlemenko in the M-1 Challenge 64 Fight of the Night.
“We were in a very difficult situation after Ramazan Emeev got injured,” M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein explained. “The whole event was in jeopardy. So, now, we’re grateful to Vyacheslav Vasilevsky for agreeing to step in and face Shlemenko in our M-1 Grand Prix finals being held on his (Vasilevsky) birthday.
“Due to our contract obligations, we were unable to postpone the event because it is officially included in the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which is something every one of our fighters knew from the very beginning. There’s a paragraph in the Grand Prix fighters’ contract stating we can use one of the guys who fought in the semifinals of the tournament in case someone gets injured. Now we’re making one of the most anticipated rematches in the history of Russian MMA.”
M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Alexander “Drago” Volkov (25-6-0, M-1: 9-3-0) will make his first title defense against Attila “Pumuklo” Vegh (29-6-2, M-1: 0-0-0) at M-1 Challenge 68. A match between Russian middleweight Valery “The Russian Hammer” Myasnikov (10-1-1, M-1: 1-1-1) and Spanish veteran Enoc Solves Torres (18-9-0, M-1: 5-6-0) has also been announced for the June 16th card.
“The M-1 Challenge 68 event is going to be huge,” Finkelchtein added. “We’re stacking the card with Alexander Volkov vs Attila Vegh fighting in an M-1 Challenge heavyweight title fight. The Grand Prix winner, Shlemenko still gets $50,000. As for Ramazan Emeev, we will put efforts into arranging his fight with Alexander Shlemenko this fall, if Shlemenko is still fighting in Russia. Emeev versus Shlemenko will provide the answer to all of the questions MMA fans still arguing about.”
M-1 Challenge 68 will be streamed live from St. Petersburg 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 of the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
Upcoming M-1 Global Events:
May 27 – M-1 Challenge 66: Nemkov vs. Yusopov, Orenburg City, Russia
June 4 – M-1 Challenge 67: Buchinger vs. Idrisov, Baku, Azerbaijan