Undefeated Russian wrestling sensation Roman Bogatov captured the vacant M-1 Challenge lightweight title last night, taking a unanimous decision over Rubenilton “Rubinho” Pereira, in the M Challenge 97 / Tatfight 7 main event, held in Kazan, Russia.
The judges were very busy as all five main event fights, plus three of five undercard matches, went the full distance on a card of evenly matched fights.
Competing fighters represented nine different countries: Russia, Brazil, Spain, France, Canada, China, Finland, Azerbaijan and Northern Ireland.
Fighting out of Orenburg, Russia, Bogatov improved his pro MMA record to 7-0, 6-0 in M-1 Global competition, displaying improved striking ability to complement his outstanding wrestling skills.
Pereira’s (20-6-0) superior BJJ techniques from bottom were nullified Bogatov when the fight went down to the mat. Pereira was adversely affected by Bogatov’s takedown attack, which opened-up strong punches to Pereira’s head, resulting in a flash knockdown in the third round. Pereira got back in the fight midway through round four, connecting with punches and knees to the body, but the Brazilian needed a strong fifth and final round to win a decision. Bogatov, however, remained aggressive, firing strikes and making take-downs, on his way to a unanimous five-found decision and the coveted M-1 Challenge lightweight title belt.
In the co-featured event, veteran Spanish middleweight Enoc Solves Torres (23-10-1) registered a unanimous decision victory against previously undefeated Ruslan Shamilov (4-1-0), of Russia. Torres decked Shamilov early in the opening round, controlled the match, never relenting for a hard-earned win.
Past M-1 Challenge title challenger Maxim Grabovich (9-4-0), of Russia, overcame a rocky moment in the second round against his Brazilian opponent, Tiago Varejao Lacerda (27-6-1), to control most of the action to take a split decision.
French lightweight Mickael “Ragnar” Lebout (18-9-2) and always tough Russian Alexey “Ataman” Makhno battled tooth and nail in a bloody war (see pictures below). Lebout hit Makhno in the face with everything but the proverbial kitchen sink, but the Russian refused to go down and even landed a few solid shots on Lebout, who also has good “whiskers”. Lebout won an entertaining fight by way of a unanimous three-round decision.
In the main card opener, dangerous striker Pavel Gordeev (12-1-0) edged grappling specialist Alik Albogachiev (5-1-0) by way of a split decision in a showdown between Russian lightweights. The fighters were upright in the first two rounds, much to Gordeev’s advantage, and the previously Albogachiev was unable to close the gap in the final frame.
On the undercard, Canadian welterweight Spencer “Judge” Jebb (13-6-0) overcame a first-round knockdown, pounding his way to a unanimous decision versus Russian Vladimir “The Woodcutter” Tyurin (4-4-0) and another Canadian, bantamweight Chris “The Greek Assassin” Kelades (13-4-0) outworked the much younger Sergey Klyuev (6-2-0), of Russia, to win a three-round unanimous decision.
Russian featherweight Timur Dorinin (4-1-0) locked in a rear naked choke to defeat Kangkang “The Knife” Fu (3-3-0), of China, by submission in round two.
Finnish lightweight Jani Salmi (9-6-0) scored his second M-1 victory, using a rear naked choke for an opening round win by submission over Ruslan Khisamutdinov (10-5-0), of Russia. In a spirited match between Russian bantamweights, settled by a unanimous decision, Ivan Eremenko (8-2-0) was too much to handle for Nidzhat Imanov (4-4-1).
On the pre-undercard, Russian heavyweight Nikolay Rachek (8-6-0) punched out Midaugas Gerve (3-2-0), fighting out of Northern, Ireland, via an unanswered barrage in the opening round. Russian middleweight Denis Titulialin (3-3-0) connected with a devastating knee, knocking out pro-debuting, fellow countryman Nikita Shamov in round one. Azerbaijan welterweight Gadzhibaba Gadzhibabaev turned in an impressive pro debut, knocking out Russian Zakhar Popel (1-1-0) via punches midway through the first round.
Full results and more pictures below:
MAIN EVENT – VACANT M-1 CHALLENGE LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Roman Bogatov (7-0-0, M-1: 6-0-0), Russia
Rubenilton Pereira (20-6-0, M-1: 4-3-0), Brazil
(Bogatov won vacant M-1 Challenge lightweight title)
CO-FEATURE – MIDDLEWEIGHTS
Enoc Solves Torres (23-10-1, M-1: 7-7-1), Spain
Ruslan Shamilov (4-1-0, M-1: 4-1-0), Russia
Maxim Grabovich (8-4-0, M-1: 6-4-0), Russia
Tiago Varejao Lacerda (27-6-1, 1 NC, M-1: 1-1-0), Brazil
Mickael Lebout (18-9-2, M-1: 2-1-0), France
Alexey Makhno (18-7-0, M-1: 5-4-0), Russia
Pavel Gordeev (12-1-0, M-1: 6-0-0), Russia
Alik Albogachiev (5-1-0, M-1: 5-1-0), Russia
Spencer Jebb (13-6-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Canada
Vladimir Tyurin (4-4-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Russia
Jani Salmi (9-6-0, M-1: 2-1-0), Finland
WSUB1 (rear naked choke – 3:52)
Ruslan Khisamutdinov (10-5-0, M-1: 1-2-0), Russia
Timur Doronin (4-1-0, M-1:1-0-0), Russia
WSUB2 (rear naked choke – 3:06)
Kangkang Fu (3-3-0, M-1: 0-2-0), China
Chris Kelades (13-4-0, M-1: 2-1-0), Canada
Sergey Klyuev (6-2-0, M-1: 4-2-0), Russia
Ivan Eremenko (8-2-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Russia
Nidzhat Imanov (4-4-1, M-1: 1-1-1), Russia
Nikolay Rachek (8-6-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Russia
WKO1 (punches – 4:28)
Midaugas Gerve (3-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Northern Ireland
Denis Tiuliulin (3-3-0, 1 NC, M-1: 1-1-0), Russia
WKO1 (knee – 2:56)
Nikita Shamov (0-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Russia
Gadzhibaba Gadzhibabaev (1-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Azerbaijan
WTKO1 (punches – 3:20)
Zakhar Popel (1-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Russia