M-1 Challenge 92: A 280 pound Sergei Kharitonov Sighting + Nut Shots, Eye Pokes, Corner Stoppages, Red Cards Oh My!

St. Petersburg, Russia – Sometimes in MMA, everything clicks and an event features an endless loop of exciting fights and killer finishes. The pendulum swung in the opposite direction at Thursday’s M-1 Challenge 92, with nearly every fight including yellow cards, corner stoppages, disqualifications, or some other form of shenanigans. The chaos extended to the main event between PRIDE legend Sergei Kharitonov and Anton Vyazigin. The 280 pound paratrooper found himself on the mat early, but reversed position with typical expert panache and clearly won round 1. Unfortunately 20 seconds into round 2 Kharitonov took a slashing finger to the eyeball that impaired his vision and forced the fight stoppage. Per M-1 rules the judges were forced to score the fight based on one round + 20 seconds of round two, and two of the three awarded the bout via technical majority decision to Sergei Kharitonov (28-7, #26 World).  Kharitonov didn’t even want to raise his hand in victory given the way things went down and gave props to Vyazigin (9-2, #112 World) post-fight.


Update:  Fight result overturned to a no contest, Kharitonov vs Vyazigin rematch to be scheduled for a future M-1 event.

M-1 Challenge 92 Co-Main Event
Flyweight Title

W: Aleksandr Doskalchuk (9-2, #71 World)
TKO-Corner Stoppage/Hand Injury
L: Arman Ashimov (8-3-1, #60 World)

Apologies for the lack of recap due to streaming issues – thanks to the man @Grabaka_Hitman for the update/results. With the retirement TKO, Doskalchuk claimed the unified M-1 Flyweight Title.

Welterweight Feature:

W: Tiago Varejao (27-5-1, #208 World)
Majority Decision
L: Sergey Romanov (14-3, #162 World)

On the heels of two disqualifications on the undercard, Sergey Romanov earned himself a yellow card point deduction one minute into this fight due to a wicked nut kick and a blatant rope grab to stop a takedown. Both men grappled their way through the rest of the round 1, with Varejao nabbing back control briefly but unablet o do much with it. As if the foul-filled first wasn’t weird enough, between rounds there was discussion of whether the Brazilian would retire from the contest due to the lingering effects of the early nut shot. But Varejao decided to persist. Both men looked to be swinging for the kill midway through the fight when Romanov committed yet another foul by landing a spinning elbow (there are no elbows in M-1 for some archaic reason). With two yellow cards against the hometown fighter, Romanov left his face out there hunting offense and got dropped briefly by a pistonlike jab from Varejao. Following close striking exchanges that seemed to favor the Brazilian, Varejao got a takedown to back mount and ended round 2 squeezing for the RNC. That mat success encouraged Varejao to go hard for another takedown which he hit and maintained for much of early round 3. Romanov swept and went hard for the finish, blasting away with ground strikes that busted Varejao open in the final seconds. It wasn’t enough as the Brazilian Tiago Varejao notched the win in his M-1 debut and third straight overall.


Light Heavyweight Feature:

W: Khadis Ibragimov (4-0, #49 World)
DQ3-Repeated Robe Grabs
L: Giga Kukhlashvili (11-4, #169 World)

Decorated combat sambo player Khadis Ibragimov landed heavy and was working for a guillotine within seconds of his battle with Georgia’s Giga Kukhlashvili. When that early edge didn’t pan out this bout turned into an absolutely wild slugfest that saw Kukhlshvili swing hooks in the face of Ibragimov’s wildly unorthodox meathooks. Ibragimov found the mark often in rounds 1 and 2, and left Giga’s nose a complete mess for his efforts. The Georgian was game and managed to withstand Ibragimov’s athletic, unpolished assault. But Kuklashvili drew the ire of the referee when he grabbed the ropes multiple times to stop takedowns. That was enough to award the DQ win to the wildly athletic, still green Khadis Ibragimov – even without the red card stoppage, Ibragimov was well on his way to claiming the decision.


Lightweight Feature:

W: Pavel Gordeev (11-1, #213 World)
Split Decision
L: Mickael Lebout (17-9-3, 1-2 UFC, #218 World)

Counterstriking specialist Pavel Gordeev showed off his trademark skillset in this bout as he scampered away from French Octagon vet Mickael Lebout and shot out stinging straight punches. Lebout managed to push forward into the clinch and score a takedown to back mount midway through the first, but Gordeev scrambled well and ended round 1 with accurate jumping kung fu stuff. Lebout enjoyed a noticeable size advantage and used it to clinch for much of round 2, but couldn’t get out of the way of Gordeev’s jabs. Both men fired away with spinning backfist tries to cap a very close second frame. Lebout’s pressure finally seemed to take its toll on Gordeev, as the Russian found himself pressed into the ropes and cracked with strikes. Gordeev managed to survive to the bell, and the judges rendered a split decision verdict in the Russian’s favor. If you didn’t watch the fight and just listened to the English announcer crew you’d think this was a terrible decision, but with Freeman & Wheelock on mute it was the kind of close fight where neither man could really complain if the call didn’t go his way.

M-1 Challenge 92 prelims – fight notes to follow:

135: Aleksandr Osetrov (4-0-1, #395 World) Draw   Ludwig Sholinyan (2-0-1)

145: Saba Bolaghi (9-1-1, #237 World) DQ-Soccer Kick   Azizbek Saltibaldiev

170: Amiran Gogoladze (6-1, #595 World)   SD3   Taymuraz Guriev (7-4)

155: Aleksey Ilyenko (8-0, 19 y/o, #479 World)  TKO-Head Kick+   Helson Henriques (9-6-1)

170: Daniil Prikaza (10-2-1, #231 World)  UD3   Joilton Santos (23-7, 11 win streak snapped, #144 World)

265: Maksim Baruzdin (1-0, Strongest Man in St Petersburg)  TKO1-Left Hook+   Fredi Gonzales (0-2, Strongest Man in Spain)


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