Light heavyweight contenders
Maro Perak & Viktor Nemkov
To headline M-1 Challenge 60
August 5 in Orel, Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (July 15, 2015) – A pair of past M-1 Challenge championship contenders, Maro “Mean Machine” Perak and Viktor Nemkov, will battle August 5 in the main event at M-1 Challenge 60 in Orel, Russia with the winner positioning himself for a potential title shot against M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan Puetz.
Perak (R) unsuccesfuly fought Denis Smoldarev for the coveted M-1 Challenge heavyweight title earlier this year.
Perak (23-5-1, 12 KO/TKO, 7 SUB), fighting out of Croatia, is coming off tough, competitive fights against two of the best heavyweights in the world, another past M-1 Challenge title challenger, Denis Smoldarev, and reigning M-1 Challenge champion Marcin Tybura.
This past February at M-1 Challenge 55, Perak lost by submission (arm-lock) to Smoldarev in the opening round. Perak’s only title fight to date was April 4, 2014, in which he was stopped in the third round by Tybura’s punches.
After his aforementioned fights, Perak decided to drop down in weight to fight as a light heavyweight. He was scheduled face Rashad Yusupov last May at M-1 Challenge 57, however, a knee surgery forced Perak out of that fight and he will instead make his M-1 light heavyweight debut versus Nemkov. Perak will be looking for his first win in M-1 Global competition, fighting for the fourth time in an event presented by the highly respected Russian promotional company.
Nemkov (on top) gave M-1Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan Puetz all he could handle in their bout.
A native of Kazakhstan, now fighting out of Belgorod, Russia, Nemkov (16-8-0, 9 KO/TKO, 4 SUB) hopes the third time is the charm for him. He has lost two M-1 Challenge light heavyweight title fights, March 14, 2014 toPuetz by split decision at M-1 Challenge 46, and back in 2011 to Vinny Magalhaes by third-round submission (choke) at M-1 Challenge 25.
A veteran of 16 M-1 Global fights (9-7-0), Nemkov has been sidelined the past 1 ½ years recovering from a series of injuries.
Nemkov’s return and Perak’s debut as a light heavyweight adds up to an explosive fight for the right to challenge Puetz.
Three other fights have been announced this far for M-1 Challenge 60: Battle in Orel. All fights and fighters are subject to change, additional bouts will soon be announced.
Polish light heavyweight Marcin Zontek (14-8-0, 6 KO/TKO, 5 SUB) takes on Maxim Futin, of Russia, Zulfikar Usmanov (7-4-1, 1 KO/TKO, 4 SUB) faces Alexey “Ataman” Makhno (9-3-0, 4 KO/TKO, 1 SUB) in a battle of Russian lightweights, and French bantamweight Moktar Benkaci (11-6-0) meets Evgeni Lazukov (7-2-0, 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB), of Russia.
Zontek (14-8-0, 6 KO/TKO, 5 SUB) (pictured to left) plans a spectacular comeback from his 2012 bloody fight with Sergey Korneev for the M-1 Challenge light heavyweight title. Zontek needed more than 2 ½ years to fully recover from his loss but he won his last two fights going into his Aug. 5 fight.
A two-time Combat Sambo champion and European vice-champion, Futin (4-2-0, 4 KO/TKO) is an exciting fighter who often spars with Vyacheslav Vasilevky. Futin is always in great shape and known as an excellent striker.
Usmanov (pictured below 1st pucture) is an experienced MMA fighter from St. Petersburg. A powerful striker, he has twice been awarded “Fight of the Night” bonuses. Riding a five-fight win streak, Makhno is a promising prospect whose M-1 Challenge debut ended with a sensational knockout victory over Rakhman Makhazhiev (pictured below 2nd picture).
In his most recent fight, Benkaci (11-7-0, 3 KO/TKO, 7 SUB) gave Nikita Chistyakov all he could handle, albeit in a loss by majority decision. Benkaci (pictured below left), whose previous fights have been at featherweight, was at a disadvantage fighting Chistyakov at lightweight. When M-1 Global launched its bantamweight division last month, dropped down to a much more comfortable weight class for him.
A seven-time European Universal Combat champion, Lazukov (pictured below right) showed his potential early, defeating UFC flyweight contender Ali Begautinov during his relatively young professional career.
M-1 Challenge 60 will be streamed live from Orel 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 Andriod and Apple smart phones and tablets.
Fight Network will air M-1 Challenge 60 live on Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Grande Communications, Shentel Cable and Armstrong Cable in the U.S., as well as nationwide in Canada, Roku devices across North America, and globally in more than 30 countries throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.