M-1 Challenge 66: Nemkov vs Yusopov – Results, Recap and Photo Gallery
By PDG Staff
Last night’s M-1 Challenge 66 event had its share of upsets, leading with a main event split decision victory by Rashid Yusopov over defending M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Viktor Nemkov, in Orenburg City, Russia.
Former M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan “T-800” Puetz took a unanimous 3-round decision from Andrey Seledtsov in the co-feature.
Russian challenger Yusopov (7-2-0, M-1: 4-1-0) won a hard fought 5-round split decision over defending champion Nemkov (23-6-0, M-1: 14-5-0), fighting out of Russia by way of Kazakhstan, who was making his initial title defense.
Nemkov had captured the coveted M-1 Challenge light heavyweight title this past December, taking a 5-round decision from defending champion Puetz, who had won a 5-round split decision April, 2014 against Nemkov for the title. Nemkov is a two-time M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion having defeated Vasily Babich (WSUB3 – arm-lock) for the vacant title that he then lost in his first title defense to Puetz.
The 23-year-old Yusupov was riding a 4-fight win streak going into his fight with Nemkov. A former Russian, European and World Amateur MMA champion, Yusupov is known as a dangerous striker whose signature moves are powerful kicks.
Puetz vs. Seledtsov was billed as “Terminator” vs. “Spetsnev” and it lived up to its name as Puetz won a unanimous 3-round decision. Puetz, of Germany, had successfully defended his M-1 Challenge light heavyweight title twice, after beating Nemkov in their original championship match, against Luis Fernando Miranda (SUB2 – choke) August 15, 2014 at M-1 Challenge 50, and Valery Myasnikov (KO/TKO2 – punches) December 17, 2014 at M-1 Challenge 54. In a non-title fight this past May, Puetz stopped then-M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura in the third round due to a severely damaged broken nose.
Seledtsov, 28, is a former Spetsnev solider known for his powerful boxing, combat samba and MMA background. A local White-Rex promotion champion, the Russian was making his M-1 Global debut.
In other M-1 Challenge 66 fights, Damir Ismagulov (7-2-0, M-1: 4-1-0) stopped Georgian lightweight Raul Tutarauli (6-3-0, M-1: 3-1-1) near the end of the third round on punches, American bantamweight Josh “The Finisher” Rettinghouse (13-4-0, M-1: 1-0-0) made an impressive M-1 Global debut when the doctor stopped his fight against Belarussian Vadim Zhlobich (4-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0) in the opening round, Timur Nagibin (8-1-0, M-1: 3-0-0) won a 3-round decision over fellow Russian countryman Mikhail Korobkov (9-1-1, M-1: 0-1-1), and Russian featherweight Movsar Evloev (3-0-0, M-1: 3-0-0) punched out Alexander Krupemkin (1-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), fighting out of Ukraine.