Kazakh Power was on display at yesterday’s M-1 Challenge 105, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in which they won five of six fights, including a pair of M-1 Challenge titles, and a draw.
In the main event and a rematch, Sergey Morozov (16-4), of Kazakhstan, fended off American challenger Josh “The Finisher” Rettinghouse (16-5), winning a five-round unanimous decision to successfully defend his M-1 Challenge bantamweight title.
Morozov won his fifth straight and sixth fight in his last seven since his original match and loss to Rettinghouse. Morozov captured the M-1 Challenge bantamweight title last June at M-1 Challenge 102, also held in Nur-Sultan, when he stopped previously unbeaten Alexander Osetrov in the fourth round.
Almabaev (11-2), fighting out of Kazakhstan, was a relatively late replacement for his fellow countryman, former M-1 Challenge Interim flyweight champion Arman Ashimov, who was forced to withdraw due to an injury suffered during training camp.
Improving his M-1 Global record to 3-0, Almabaev took a five-round unanimous decision from Kelades, who was making his first title defense. Almabaev has positioned himself for a showdown with undisputed M-1 Challenge flyweight titlist Alexander Doskalchuk, who is recovering from an injury.
Also fighting on the main card, former M-1 Challenge light champion Artem Damkovsky (23-11), of Belarus, won a three-round unanimous decision over Russian Vladimir Kanunnikov (9-2), Brazilian lightweight Michel “Sassarito” Silva (22-8-1) recorded a technical knockout of Russian Khamzat Dalgiev (11-3), using a ground-and-pound attack, and Kazakhstan welterweight Isatay Temirov (6-1-1) and Russian Danila Prikaza (12-3-2) battled to a three-round split-draw.
Judges were working overtime on this highly competitive card as eight of 12 bouts went the full distance, including two draws and three split decisions. Once again, M-1 Global presented a true International event with 11 different countries represented in The Rage: Kazakhstan, USA, Canada, Belarus, Russia, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Azerbaijan, Sweden and Georgia.
Brazilian bantamweight Rafael Dias (16-5-1) edged previously undefeated Zalkarbek Zarlyk Uulu (3-1) by way of split decision on the undercard, while Swedish welterweight Per Franklin (9-5-1) and Gadzhibaba Gadzhibabayev (3-0-1) fought to a split draw.
Kazakhstan featherweight Sabit Zhusupov (8-2) took a unanimous decision from Russian Gleb Khabibullin (4-1), Russian welterweight Magomedkamil “Junior” Malikov (7-1) stopped Brazilian veteran Rubenilton “Rubinho” Pereira (20-8) on punches in round two, and Russian heavyweight Yuri Fedorov (3-2) used a guillotine choke to defeat Cuban Michel Batista (4-2) in the opening round.
Kazakhs won the opening two bouts of the night on the pre-underdcard: lightweight Azamat “Azu” Markabaev (3-3) submitted Georgian Beqa Gogoladze (0-2) in the second round with a rear naked choke, and flyweight Zhuman “Arian” Zhgumabekov (8-4) decisioned pro-debuting Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Kudaiberdirev (0-1).
Official results and additional pictures below:
MAIN EVENT – M-1 CHALLENGE BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Sergey Morozov (16-4, M-1: 10-3), Kazakhstan
Josh Rettinghouse, (16-5, M-1: 4-1), USA
(Morozov retained M-1 Challenge bantamweight title)
CO-FEATURE – M-1 CHALLENGE INTERIM FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Assu Almabaev, (11-2, M-1: 3-0), Kazakhstan
Chris Kelades (14-5, M-1: 3-2), Canada
(Almabaev won M-1 Challenge Interim flyweight title)
Artem Damkovsky (23-11, M-1: 14-8), Belarus
Vladimir Kanunnikov (9-2, M-1: 0-2), Russia
Michel Silva (22-8-1, M-1: 4-3), Brazil
WTKO1 (1:48 – ground & pound)
Khamzat Dalgiev (11-3, M-1: 8-3), Russia
Isatay Temirov (6-1-1, M-1: 1-0-1), Kazakhstan
Danila Prikaza (12-3-2, M-1: 8-4), Russia
Yuri Fedorov 3-2, M-1: 3-1), Russia
WSUB1 (Guillotine Choke)
Michel Batista (4-2, M-1: 0-1), Cuba by way of USA
Magomedkamil Malikov (7-1, M-1: 4-1), Russia
Rubenilton Pereira (20-8, M-1: 4-5), Brazil
Gadzhibaba Gadzhibabayev (3-0-1, M-1: 1-0-1), Azerbaijan
Per Franklin (9-5-1, M-1: 0-0-1), Sweden
Sabit Zhusupov (8-2, M-1: 3-0), Kazakhstan
Gleb Khabibullan (4-1, M-1: 2-1), Russia
Rafael Dias (16-6-1, M-1: 2-2-1), Brazil
Zalkarbek Zarlyk Uulu (3-1, M-1: 0-1), Kyrgyzstan
Azamat Markabaev (4-2, M-1: 1-0), Kazakhstan
WSUB2 (Rear Naked Choke – 2:48)
Beqa Gogoladze (0-2, M-1: 0-1), Georgia
Zhuman Zhumabekov (8-4, M-1:10-0), Kazakhstan
Ruslan Kudaiberdirev (0-1, M-1: 0-1), Kyrgyzstan