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 M-1 Challenge 68 - Fight Card Updates 
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M-1 Challenge 68, June 16 in St. Petersburg, Russia


Ramazan Emeev vs. Alexander Shlemenko - M-1 Global Grand Prix Middleweight Championship; Alexander Volkov makes 1st M-1 Challenge Heavyweight title defense vs. Attila Vegh



M-1 Global has announced a blockbuster M-1 Challenge 68 event as Ramazan Emeev and Alexander "Storm" Shlemenko battle in the M-1 Global Grand Prix Middleweight Championship, while M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Alexander "Drago" Volkov makes his first title defense against Attila "Pumuklo" Vegh, Thursday night, June 16, at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

M-1 Challenge 68 will be streamed live from St. Petersburg in high definition on http://www.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at http://www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all of the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.

Emeev (14-3-0, M-1: 8-1-0), fighting out of Russia by way of Dagestan, is the reigning M-1 Challenge middleweight champion, although his title belt will not be at stake against Shlemenko. The 28-year-old Emeev, who was the 2015 M-1 Global Fighter of the Year, is a two-time M-1 Challenge middleweight champion. He originally captured the coveted crown in 2012, taking a decision from Mario Miranda for the vacant title. In his first title defense, Emeev lost to Vyacheslav Vasilevsky, who stopped the defending champion via punches in the fourth round.

In their much anticipated rematch April 10, 2015, Emeev recaptured the title from Vasilevsky, choking the defending champion into an opening-round submission. Last December, Emeev successfully defended his title when Luigi Fiorvanti retired after four rounds. Earlier this month at M-1 Challenge 65, Emeev defeated Maiquel Falcao in the M-1 Grand Prix semifinals, by way of a first-round submission (choke - see picture below), to qualify for the final versus Shlemenko.

The 31-year-old Shlemenko (52-9-0, M-1: 3-0-0) is a three-time Bellator champion from Omsk, Russia. He returned to M-1 Global competition in February, taking a decision from Vasilevsky (see picture below) at M-1 Challenge 64. The Siberian-born Shlemenko hadn't competed in M-1 Global since 2005.

Volkov (25-6-0, M-1: 9-3-0), 27, also fought in Bellator for three years, 2012 to 2015, returning to M-1 Global action this past February for the first time in 5 ½ years. The popular fighter from Moscow signed a promotional contract with M-1 Global, fighting Denis Smoldaraev Feb. 19, 2016 (see picture below) at M-1 Challenge 64 for the vacant M-1 Challenge heavyweight championship. Volkov emerged victorious, using a choke in the third round to win with the Submission of the Night.

Vegh (29-6-2, M-1: 0-0-0), will make his M-1 Global debut versus Volkov in their M-1 Challenge title fight. Fighting out of Slovakia by way of his native Czechoslovakia, Vegh (pictured below) is a former Bellator light heavyweight champion who is moving up one weight class to challenge Volkov.

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Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:28 pm
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Injury forces Ramazan Emeev to withdraw from M-1 Challenge 68 vs. Alexander Shlemenko


An elbow injury has forced M-1 Challenge middleweight champion Ramazan Emeev to withdraw from his June 16th showdown with Alexander "Storm" Shlemenko at M-1 Challenge 68 at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Emeev (14-3-0, M-1: 8-1-0) suffered a torn ligament in his elbow during training camp, postponing his M-1 Grand Prix Middleweight Championship fight against Shlemenko (52-9-0, M-1: 3-0-0) to a future date pending Emeev's recovery period.

M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Alexander "Drago" Volkov (25-6-0, M-1: 9-3-0) will make his first title defense against Attila "Pumuklo" Vegh (29-6-2, M-1: 0-0-0) at M-1 Challenge 68. A match between Russian middleweight Valery "The Russian Hammer" Myasnikov (10-1-1, M-1: 1-1-1) and Spanish veteran Enoc Solves Torres (18-9-0, M-1: 5-6-0) has also been announced for the June 16th card.

"This is a tough blow for our organization because there is only one month before M-1 Challenge 68 and we have lost one of our main event fighters," M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein said. "It was the most anticipated fights for fans. We still have a great heavyweight title fight between defending champion Alexander Volkov and challenger Attila Vegh and we're looking for a suitable replacement for Emeev to fight Shlemenko. M-1 Global has been working under a lot of pressure recently but, never-the-less, we continue to promote great events for our loyal fans. We will do everything possible to keep our fans happy."

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Sun May 15, 2016 8:08 am
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M-1 Grand Prix Middleweight Championship - Vyacheslav Vasilevsky replaces injured Ramazan Emeev vs. Alexander Shlemenko at M-1 Challenge 68, June 16 in St. Petersburg, Russia


Former M-1 Challenge light heavyweight and middleweight champion Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (28-4-0, M-1: 10-2-0) has stepped up to replace injured Ramazan Emeev against Alexander "Storm" Shlemenko (52-9-0, M-1: 3-0-0) in the final of the M-1 Grand Prix Middleweight Tournament, headlining M-1 Challenge 68, June 16 at Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Emeev (14-3-0, M-1: 8-1-0) suffered a torn ligament in his elbow during training camp. In a M-1 Challenge Grand Prix Middleweight Tournament semifinals match last February, Vasilevsky lost a majority decision to Shlemenko in the M-1 Challenge 64 Fight of the Night.

"We were in a very difficult situation after Ramazan Emeev got injured," M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein explained. "The whole event was in jeopardy. So, now, we're grateful to Vyacheslav Vasilevsky for agreeing to step in and face Shlemenko in our M-1 Grand Prix finals being held on his (Vasilevsky) birthday.

"Due to our contract obligations, we were unable to postpone the event because it is officially included in the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which is something every one of our fighters knew from the very beginning. There's a paragraph in the Grand Prix fighters' contract stating we can use one of the guys who fought in the semifinals of the tournament in case someone gets injured. Now we're making one of the most anticipated rematches in the history of Russian MMA."

M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Alexander "Drago" Volkov (25-6-0, M-1: 9-3-0) will make his first title defense against Attila "Pumuklo" Vegh (29-6-2, M-1: 0-0-0) at M-1 Challenge 68. A match between Russian middleweight Valery "The Russian Hammer" Myasnikov (10-1-1, M-1: 1-1-1) and Spanish veteran Enoc Solves Torres (18-9-0, M-1: 5-6-0) has also been announced for the June 16th card.

"The M-1 Challenge 68 event is going to be huge," Finkelchtein added. "We're stacking the card with Alexander Volkov vs Attila Vegh fighting in an M-1 Challenge heavyweight title fight. The Grand Prix winner, Shlemenko still gets $50,000. As for Ramazan Emeev, we will put efforts into arranging his fight with Alexander Shlemenko this fall, if Shlemenko is still fighting in Russia. Emeev versus Shlemenko will provide the answer to all of the questions MMA fans still arguing about."

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Wed May 18, 2016 10:54 pm
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