In a continuing trend that started last summer when the Russian-Chinese investment fund, Mubadala Investment Company, and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), jointly announced the foundation of UFC Russia, undefeated Russian fighter
Movsar Evloev has abdicated his M-1 Challenge bantamweight title to sign a new promotional contract with the UFC.
The 25-year-old Evolev had a perfect 10-0 MMA record, all in M-1 Global competition, when he entered the Octagon last Saturday at UFC Fight Night 149, the second UFC event ever held in Russia, the first in Saint Petersburg. Evolev, fighting as a featherweight, won a three-round unanimous decision in his UFC debut against Sung Woo Choi.
Evolev originally captured the Interim M-1 Challenge Bantamweight Championship two years ago, stopping Alexei Nevzorov in round two with a head kick at M-1 Challenge 76. The multi-talented Evolev successfully defended his crown three months later at M-1 Challenge 81, taking a three-round unanimous decision from Pavel Vitruk, to become the M-1 Challenge bantamweight champion.
He defended his title two more times, defeating Sergey Morozov in the third round by way of a rear naked choke at M-1 Challenge 88, and then stopped challenger Rafael Dias on punches in the fifth and final round at M-1 Challenge 95.
Evloev joined a growing list of M-1 Global alumni who have graduated to the UFC with others such as Alexander Volkov, Alexey Oleinik, Ramazan Emeev, Rustam Khabilov and, more recently, Alexey Kuchenko and Damir Ismagulov.
The M-1 Challenge bantamweight title is now up for grabs and leading contenders include Sergey Morozov (14-4, M-1: 8-3), of Kazakhstan; Alexander Osetrov (5-0-1, M-1: 4-0-1); Vazha Tsiptauri (8-1-1, M-1: 4-0-1), of Georgia; and “Gorgeous” George Garcia (9-3, M-1: 1-0), of the United States.
UFC Russia promotes MMA and organizes shows in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). M-1 Global is a partner, responsible for scouting and signing Russian athletes to prepare them to fight in the UFC. M-1 Challenge champions such as Evloev have unique opportunities to sign contracts with the UFC.