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M-1 Challenge 93 Recap & Clips: Bruno Silva Upsets Alex Shlemenko, Joe Riggs Knee Injury Halts Bout with Artem Frolov

Chelyabinsk, Russia – It was a rough evening for veterans and a great night for ascending stars at Friday’s M-1 Challenge 93, as a pair of experienced global talents fell victim to young, hungry challengers. The main event was an abbreviated affair that saw former Bellator champion Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (57-11, #17 World) land a series of impressive, thudding combinations early in round 1. But Brazilian middleweight talent Bruno Silva (18-6, #101 World) ate those shots and fired back with a flying knee followed by an equally vicious selection of fists that put the Russian star out against the ropes about three minutes into the contest! What a startling upset for Silva, who closed as a +490 underdog but ended up recording the highlight KO of his career – to go with the other 14 that he tallied in advance of Friday’s show. Next up, could Bruno Silva be in line for a shot at reigning M-1 185 pound champ Artem Frolov?

M-1 Challenge 93 Co-Main Event Title Fight @185:

W: Artem Frolov (11-0, M-1 Champ, #52 World)
TKO-Knee Injury, Round 2
185: Joe Diesel Riggs (48-18-1, #72 World)

This bout pitted an athletic, skilled young champion in M-1 titleholder Artem Frolov against well-rounded veteran workhorse Joe Riggs. Riggs looked a step slow reacting to Frolov’s round 1 takedown try, and he didn’t have the jiu-jitsu game to get back up as Frolov battered him with a stanza’s worth of ground strikes. The bout was stopped in round 2 when Joe Riggs’ left knee gave out completely when he was planting for a strike – I’m no doctor, but I’ve heard it’s usually pretty bad news when you drop from a mostly non-contact knee injury like that. Post-bout a “heartbroken” Riggs indicated he’d never seriously hurt his knee before, and he complimented Frolov for being one of the most well-rounded fighters he’s ever faced. Unfortunate finish or no, the crowd was happy enough to cheer on their local champ, 26 year old Artem Frolov, as he stayed undefeated and recorded a first defense of his M-1 middleweight title. Frolov now owns wins over a trio of UFC middleweight veterans: Joe Riggs, Caio Magalhaes, and Luigi Fioravanti.

M-1 Challenge 93 Feature @155:

W: Alexey Makhno (20-6, #441 World)
Unanimous Decision
L: Rogerio Matias (13-4, #228 World)

This Russia vs Brazil contest turned into a classic battle of jiu-jitsu versus top control, with typical results for world class MMA competitors in 2018. Rogerio “Karranca” Matias couldn’t stop the round 1 takedown but did his best to control from his back and hunt for subs. Even when Matias nearly sunk an armbar near the end of round 1, Makhno forced him to break the hold with a flurry of fists to the face. Karranca cracked Makhno with an uppercut and a knee when he closed distance at the started of round 2. But he couldn’t stop Makhno’s outside trip off the bodylock and spent the round, and round3, getting lightly beaten from dominant positions. This was as clear a unanimous decision as it gets for Alexey Makhno, who advanced to 6-3 inside the M-1 Rage after losing his previous bout in the promotion.

 

M-1 Challenge 93 Feature @125:

W: Alexander Pletenko (16-6, ~#150 World estimated due to Sherdog Fail)
Unanimous Decision
L: Chris Kelades (12-4, 2-2 UFC, #43 World)

Following a few minutes of evenly matched clinch tussling, Alexander Pletenko ducked under a hook to score a takedown on UFC vet Chris Kelades. But Kelades showed off his 10th Planet BJJ credentials with a tightly controlled rubber guard. The Canadian gained steam in round 2 as Pletenko tired, as he ended the grappling-heavy round on Pletenko’s back. Kelades circled straight to the back again at the start of round 3. The erstwhile Octagon competitor fought for a Mata Leon before switching to a triangle when Pletenko scrambled to the top. But the Ukrainian showed off solid jiu-jitsu defense and ended the bout on top. It was a pretty close, tough grappling match, but Pletenko was often the better man in the striking exchanges. In the end Alexander Pletenko celebrated emotionally as the unanimous decision verdict was read in his favor, while Chris Kelades stared down at the mat in disbelief.

 

M-1 Challenge 93 Other Ranked Bouts:

Fight 8 @125: A mismatch on paper turned into a blowout in practice, as Mikael Silander (18-6, #106 World) assumed top position and worked to mount in the first half of round 1. Nureles Aydarov (3-1) did his best to work out of the mount several times but couldn’t fight off Silander’s D’Arce choke with about 30 seconds left in round 1. Post-fight Silander said it was “pretty easy” and asked for another title shot! This former M-1 bantamweight challenger could use a world ranked contender to fight next time.

Fight 6 @185: South African BJJ champ Mark Hulme (6-2, #387 World) promptly bullied his way into the clinch and took Vadim Shabadash (7-3, #228 World LHW) to the mat via bodylock takedown. Moments after he got things into his world, Hulme secured the Mata Leon (RNC) finish midway through round 1.

Fight 4 @265: In a battle of 24 year old heavyweights, Nikolay Rachek (7-6) nearly decapitated Nikolay Savilov (13-3-1, #209 World) with a flush punch in the opening moments. Rachek had his chances to finish on the mat but didn’t manage to land many direct or damaging shots. The worm briefly turned in round 2, as Moscow’s Savilov scored a judo toss and smashed away with vicious left hands until Rachek managed to scramble to back wrestling ride for the second half of the frame. By Round 3 Rachek was completely gassed. Savilov grabbed a front headlock, snapped his man to the mat and started punching away. Savilov’s slightly better gas tank proved the difference – he pounded out Rachek late in the third round as his opponent totally gassed.

 

M-1 Challenge 93 Unranked Bouts:

Fight 7 @135: In his sixth M-1 appearance, 19 year old Sergey Klyuev (6-1) absolutely steamrolled 18 year old Ilya Karetnikov (0-1 official, 4-1 per M-1) via kimura. Jiu-jitsu or die!

Fight 5 @125: Integra FC one night tourney champ Pierre Ludet (4-0) slipped in the back triangle within the first minute of his M-1 Challenge debut versus Egor Filidov (0-2). Ludet missed attempted armbar and omoplata finishes. Back on the feet, Ludet scored a huge slam before resuming back mount. With Filidov stretch out, the Frenchman smashed away with punches before sinking in the fight-ending Mata Leon (RNC) with just under a minute left in round 1. Excellent debut from 19 year old Pierre Ludet, who looked as impressive as you could hope for in his Russian debut.

Fight 3 @265: This contest between barely-heavyweights saw 2017 Cup of Chelyabinsk amateur champ Yuriy Fedorov (1-1) got his first pro duke with a round 1 TKO of Charles-Henri Lucien (0-2). France’s Lucien, who debuted way back in 2012, ate a big right hand that felled him seconds after the bell. Fedorov postured up and dropped left hand bombs from back mount to force the stoppage in just 90 seconds.

Fight 2 @155: Another hometown fighter, Magomed Magomedov (9-2) earned plenty of top control in round 1, including a mount pass. But by the end of the first, 19 year old Nikita Podkovalnikov (2-3) reversed to top position and ended the frame threatening with a Mata Leon from back mount. Rounds 2 and 3 featured choke efforts from Podkovalnikov that came up just short. The fight closed with Podkovalnikov blasting away on Magomedov from back mount as the referee was nearly forced to wave the bout off in the final moments of round 3. Despite those efforts, the Chelyabinsk native Magomedov squeaked by with a decision i

Fight 1 @185: Nikita Novikov (5-3) looked solid on the feet in a closely contested first round that saw him trade 1-2s with Chelyabinsk native Vladimir Migovich (2-2) for five minutes. Once Migovich got the fight to the ground in rounds 2 and 3, Novikov’s lack of ground acumen was exposed. That computed to a unanimous decision win for Migovich, who entered 2018 with a pro record of 0-2 but now owns three straight wins (including an ammy fight).

 

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