M-1 Challenge 65: Ramazan Emeev to Face Maiquel Falcao in Grand Prix Middleweight Eliminator
By Press Release
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (January 26, 2016) – Reigning M-1 Challenge middleweight champion Ramazan Emeev will take on Brazilian challenger Maiquel “Big Rig” Falcao in the second M-1 Grand Prix middleweight eliminator, March 4 at M-1 Challenge 65, in Moscow.
The first M-1 Grand Prix match of 2016 is set in the middleweight division as three-time Bellator champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (51-9-0, M-1: 2-0-0) takes on former M-1 Challenge middleweight and light heavyweight titlist Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (27-3-0, M-1: 10-1-0)at M-1 Challenge 64, February 19 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.
The winners of Shlemenko vs. Vasilevsky and Emeev vs. Falcao will advance to the M-1 Grand Prix middleweight championship later this year.
“We tried to get the strongest middleweight fighters and did a great job to give fans the most spectacular match-ups,” M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein said. “Every single fight is intriguing in M-1 Grand Prix. I can’t guess how these fights will end up. Every single fighter has his advantages. Therefore, I think all of these fights are 50-50.”
Emeev (13-3-0, M-1: 7-1-0), the 2015 M-1 Global Fighter of the Year, is a two-time M-1 Challenge middleweight champion. Born in Azerbaijan but fighting and training out of Markaxhkala, Russia, Emeev originally captured the vacant M-1 Challenge middleweight crown in 2012 at M-1 Challenge 35, winning a decision over Mario Miranda. Emeev successfully defended his title in a rematch five months later with Miranda, who was stopped via strikes in the third round at M-1 Challenge 38.
In his next title defense, Emeev lost his title belt at M-1 Challenge 51 as Vasilevsky won by fourth-round stoppage via punches. Seven months later in a rematch, Emeev defeated Vasilevsky by first round submission (choke), and the champion defended his title this past December at M-1 Challenge 63, when American challenger Fioravanti Luigi was unable to continue fighting after two rounds.
Falcao may be making his M-1 Global debut at M-1 Challenge 65, however, the Brazilian black belt holder is a veteran of 43 professional MMA bouts with 23 knockouts. The 34-year old Falcao split two fights with Vasilevsky and he was stopped by Shlemenko in the second round at Bellator 69.