SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (March 31, 2018) – M-1 Challenge welterweight championAlexey Kunchenko improved his professional MMA record to a perfect 18-0-0, stopping Russian challenger Alexander “Iron Capture” Butenko in the third round of last night’s M-1 Challenge 9- main event, at M-1 Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
The 33-year-old Kunchenko (17-0-0, M-1: 10-0-0), also fighting out of Russia, has been the M-1 Challenge welterweight champion for nearly two years, when he knocked out Murad Abdulaev in the fourth round at M-1 Challenge 65. Kunchenko notched his 13th knockout against former M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Butenko (45-13-3, M-1: 11-3-1) in the third round on punches in his fourth successful title defense.
In the co-featured event, American veteran Joe “Diesel Riggs (47-18-1, M-1: 2-0-1) and Ukrainian middleweight Boris Polejay (18-6-1, M-1: 2-1-1) battled to a three-round split draw.
Brazilian flyweight Raphael Dias (15-5-0, M-1: 1-1-0) used an arm triangle choke to defeated former M-1 Challenge flyweight title challenger Vadim “Bad Santa” Malygin (12-4-1, M-1: 2-3-1), of Russia, for a second-round victory by submission.
Russian prospect Magomedkamil Malikov (5-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0) kept his perfect pro record intact, punching out Sado “The Panther” Ucar (5-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Turkey, in the second round of a match contested at a catchweight.
In the main card opening fight, Russian middleweight Oleg Olenichev (10-5-0, M-1: 1-2-0) took a unanimous decision over Salmar “Sombra” Nunes (35-13-1, M-1: 0-1-0), of Brazil.
Most of the preliminary card action took place on that mat with five eight matches ending in submissions. Frenchman Bakary El Anwar (6-5-0, M-1: 1-0-0) won his M-1 Global debut with an ankle hook on Russian light heavyweight Alexander Popov (2-1-0, M-1: 2-1-0) for an opening-round submission, Russian light heavyweight Dmitry Tebekin (9-3-0, M-1: 3-1-0) took a majority decision over Abylkasym Yakubob (4-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Kyrgyzstan, and Yakibob’s countryman, Nureles Aidarov (3-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0), made the most of his M-1 Global debut, knocking out Russian Oleg Lichkovakha (3-3-0, 2 NC, M-1: 0-2-0, 1 NC) with a knee in round one.
In a battle of pro-debuting Russian middleweights at a catchweight, Vladimir Trisov‘s anaconda choke was too much to handle for Vyacheslay Babkin, Russian welterweight Movsar Bokov (4-1-0, M-1: 3-1-0) registered a submission win by way of a second-round submission versus Georgian Levan Solodovnik (5-3-0, M-1: 1-2-0) via an angle lock, and Russian lightweight Kurban Taygibov (7-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0) toon a unanimous decision from Lom-Ali Nalgiev (14-7-0, M-1: 5-2-0), of Russia.
In a match-up between a pair of undefeated lightweights, Russian Roman Bogatov (5-0-0, M-1; 4-0-0) submitted Tahir “Tank” Abdullaev (6-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Azerbaijan, in the second round with an arm triangle choke. French featherweight Damien Peltier (9-8-1, M-1: 1-0-0) had an impressive M-1 Global debut, locking in a triangle choke on Maksim Kuldashev (2-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0) for a second-round triumph.
….. Ten different countries were represented by fighters in this International event: Russia, USA, Ukraine, Brazil, Turkey, France, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
Complete results & picture gallery below:
MAIN EVENT — M-1 CHALLENGE WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Alexey Kunchenko (18-0-0, M-1: 10-0-0), Champion, Russia
WTKO3 (Punches – 4:04)
Alexander Butenko (45-13-3, M-1: 11-3-1), Challenger, Russia