NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan: Kazakh power and pride were on display this past Friday night at M-1 Challenge 102, as six of seven Kazakhstan fighters were victorious, including a pair in championship matches, in front of their home country fans, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
Three M-1 Challenge championship fights headlined this loaded International card, which featured fighters from 11 different countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, United States, Georgia, Brazil, Ukraine, Germany, Cuba, Canada, Spain and Azerbaijan.
M-1 Challenge welterweight champion and Kazakhstan hero, Shavkat Rakhmonov (12-0-0, M-1: 7-0-0), remained undefeated, successfully defending his title against his Brazilian challenger, Tiago “Bahia” Varejao Lacerda (28-7-1, 1 NC, M-1: 2-2-0) in the main event. Rakhmonov stopped Lacerda on punches in the opening round to the pure delight of the passionate Kazakh fans.
Displaying absolute dominance from start to finish, Rakhmonov sent his opponent to the canvas with a well placed and effective spinning kick and finished him off with a fierce ground attack.
In the co-featured event, Another Kazakh, Sergey Morozov (15-4-0, M-1: 8-3-0), knocked out previously unbeaten Russian prospect Alexander Osetrov (5-1-1, M-1: 4-1-1) in the fourth round to capture the vacant M-1 bantamweight title.
Ostetrov was winning the fight until he made a huge mistake, leaving himself vulnerable for a powerhouse right hook, and Morozov ended the fight while Osetrov was attempting to rise.
Electrifying American fighter Nate “The Train” Landwehr (13-2-0, M-1: 5-0-0), kept the train rollin’, as he and always dangerous Russian challenger Viktor Kolesnik (15-4-1, M-1: 4-2-1) picked up where they left off in their bloody 2017 Fight of the Year, which Landwehr won by way of a split decision to position himself for his first title shot. Landwehr won the all-action rematch by unanimous decision in a clear cut 2019 Fight of the Year candidate.
Landwehr, who usually loses the opening round, started out quickly against Kolesnik and the Tennessean won the first round, however, he was dropped in the second round by a question mark kick and lost the third round, but he showed the heart of a champion by winning the last two rounds for the victory. This may have been Landwehr’s last fight in M-1 Global as he is considering a move to the UFC.
The other two main card fights were terrific as well. Georgian lightweight Raul Tutarauli (25-5-0, M-1; 8-3-0) put former M-1 Challenge lightweight title challenger Rubenilton “Rubinho” Pereira (20-7-0, M-1: 4-4-0), of Brazil, to sleep in round one with the KO of the Night.
Dmitriy Mikutsa (10-4-1, M-1: 4-1-0), of Ukraine, took a three-round unanimous decision from German heavyweight prospect Robert Lau (9-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), who made his M-1 Global debut. Mikutsa and Lau finished third and second, respectively, in the European Championships a few years ago as amateurs. Lau used powerful leg kicks to win round one, but Mikutsa got the decision by using his ground game to win the second and third rounds.
Russian welterweight Sergey Romanov (16-3-0, M-1: 7-2-0) led strong undercard, skillfully using a choke hold to submit M-1 Global-debuting Marco Augusto dos Santos Cabral (10-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Brazil, in the opening frame.
Vladimir Trusov (4-1-0, M-1: 4-0-0) knocked out fellow countryman Ruslan Shamilov (4-2-0, M-1: 4-2-0) in a battle of Russian middleweights in the second round, while Russian lightweight Alexey Ilyenko (8-2-0, 1 NC, M-1: 1-2-0) was disqualified in the second round for using an illegal “soccer” kick versus victorious Cuban Yoislandy “Cuba” Izquerdo (13-5-0, M-1: 2-1-0). Ilyenko actually kicked Izquierdo in the head while he was on the ground.
Kazakh middleweight Goyti “Kokzhai” Dazaev (9-1-1, M-1: 1-0-0) won a unanimous decision over Russian veteran Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko (47-15-3, M-1: 9-4-1). Local favorite Isatay Temirov (6-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0) won a hard-fought split decision over Canadian welterweight Spencer “Judge” Jebb (13-7-0, M-1: 1-2-0).
On the pre-undercard, Kazakh featherweight Sabit Zhusupov (7-2-0, M-1: 2-0-0) knocked out Spaniard Aridane Romero (8-2-0, M-1: 1-2-0) in the third round on punches, Kazakh welterweight Ismail Geroev (3-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0 locked in a rear naked choke to submit Ukrainian Alexey Sotnikov (6-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0) in the first round, and lightweight Makhir Aliyev (1-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0) was the lone Kazakh to lose, when Azerbaijan Tahir “Tank” Abdullaev (9-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0) forced a second-round submission with an armbar..
Official results and additional pictures are below:
MAIN EVENT – M-1 CHALLENGE WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Shavkat Rakhmonov (12-0-0, M-1: 7-0-0), Kazakhstan
WTKO1 (punches – 4:50)
Tiago Varejao Lacerda (28-7-1, 1 NC, M-1: 2-2-0), Brazil
(Rakhmonov retained M-1 Challenge welterweight title)
CO-FEATURE – VACANT M-1 BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Sergey Morozov (15-4-0, M-1: 8-3-0), Kazakhstan
Alexander Osetrov, (5-1-1, M-1: 4-1-1), Russia
(Morozov won vacant M-1 Bantamweight title)
M-1 CHALLENGE FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Nate Landwehr (13-2-0, M-1: 5-0-0), USA
Viktor Kolesnik (15-4-1, M-1: 4-2-1), Russia
(Landwehr retained M-1 Challenge featherweight title)
Raul Tutarauli (25-5-0, M-1: 8-3-0), Georgia
WTKO1 (PUNCHES – 1:37)
Rubenilton Pereira (20-7-0, M-1: 4-4-0), Brazil
Dmitriy Mikutsa (10-4-1, 4-1-0), Ukraine
Robert Lau (9-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Germany
Ruslan Shamilov (5-1-0, M-1: 5-1-0), Russia
WTKO2 (punches – 0:46)
Vladimir Trusov (3-2-0, M-1: 3-1-0), Russia
Goyti Dazaev (9-1-1, M-1: 1-0-0), Kazakhstan
Alexander Butenko (47-15-3, M-1: 9-4-1), Russia
Sergey Romanov (16-3-0, M-1: (9-2-0), Russia
WSUB1 (choke – 4:38)
Marco Augusto Dos Santos Cabral (10-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Brazil
Isatay Temirov (6-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Kazakhstan
Spencer Jebb (13-7-0, M-1: 1-2-0), Canada
Yoislandy Izquierdo (13-5-0, M-1: 2-1-0), Cuba
WDQ2 (illegal kick – 0:47)
Alexey Ilyenko (8-2-0, 1 NC, M-1: 1-2-0), Russia
Ismail Geroev (3-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), Kazakhstan
WSUB1 (rear naked choke – 4:40)
Alexey Sotnikov (6-6-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Ukraine
Tahir Abdullaev (9-1-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Azerbaijan
WSUB2 (armbar – 3:57)
Makhir Aliyev (1-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Kazakhstan
Sabit Zhusupov (7-2-1, M-1: 2-0-0), Kazakhstan
WKO/TKO3 (punches – 1:20)
Aridane Romero (8-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), Spain