Roman Bogatov claimed gold at M-1 Challenge 97 (pic: @M1GlobalNews)

M-1 Challenge 97: Roman Bogatov earns gold, UFC vets Kelades & Lebout win in style

Kazan, Russia – The Republic of Tatarstan played host to M-1 Challenge 97, an event that saw undefeated wrestler Roman Bogatov stake his claim as the new M-1 lightweight champion via gritty five-round decision. Read on for recaps & clips of every fight on the M-1 Challenge 97 main card & prelims, including world class scraps from Chris Kelades vs.  Sergey Klyuev and Mickael Lebout vs. Alexey Makhno!




M-1 Lightweight Title:

Roman Bogatov (8-0, #167 World)

Unanimous Decision, 5 rounds

Rubenilton Pereira (20-6, #251 World)


Wrestling ace Roman Bogatov showed off some improved striking skills, but it was his core grappling skillset that proved the difference over the course of five rounds with talented Brazilian Rubenilton Pereira.  Pereira is good at working BJJ from bottom, but he found himself neutralized by the heady Bogatov whenever the Russian pulled the fight down to the mat. By round 3 of this 5 rounder Bogatov’s takedown attack was clearly in Pereira’s head, which allowed the undefeated Russian to land sharp punches and even score a flash knockdow.  Pereira finally did damage midway through round 4 with punches and knees to the body, only to fall prey to a power double leg from the tiring Bogatov!  The Brazilian reversed position and scored a pair of takedowns of his own late in round 4, but still found himself needing a finish entering the 5th round.  Pereira appeared to have more gas, but the determined Bogatov simply kept pressing forward with strikes and takedowns.  There was no doubt heading to the decision, as Roman Bogatov stayed undefeated and claimed the M-1 Lightweight title to cap M-1 Challenge 97!




M-1 Challenge 97 Main Card


185: Enoc Torres (24-10-1, #133 World)  UD3  Ruslan Shamilov (5-1, #295 World)

Fifteen fight M-1 Global veteran Enoc Torres knocked down Ruslan Shamilov with a big left hook just seconds in to the M-1 Challenge 97 co-main event and rode the momentum to a clearcut unanimous decision win. Torres controlled round 1 on the mat following the early knockdown in what could have easily been a 10-8 round. Shamilov briefly got back into the fight in round 2 when a botched sacrifice throw by Torres dragged the Russian on top in mount. But Shamilov couldn’t do much, and the Spaniard managed to roll to top position by the end of round 2. After advancing & landing some punches in the first half of round 3, Torres sealed the fight with a takedown and GNP late. Other than the big grappling mistake in round 2, Enoc Torres was solid in securing his 7th M-1 victory while sending Ruslan Shamilov to his first pro defeat.



170: Maxim Grabovich (9-5, #153 World)  SD3  Tiago Varejao (27-6-1, #193 World)

Brazil’s Tiago Varejao spent three rounds stalking Maxim Grabovich but couldn’t find the target often enough to wrest a victory away from the Russian. Varejao had a big moment late in round 2 when he staggered Grabovich and landed some strong followup punches. But the bulk of the fight was controlled by Grabovich, who showed off skilled range control and solid in-and-out striking en route to taking the split decision nod.



155: Mickael Lebout (18-9-3, #205 World)  UD3  Alexey Makhno (20-7, #256 World)

Three-fight UFC vet Mickael Lebout unloaded absolutely everything on the face of Alexey Makhno, but the Russian simply wouldn’t go down no matter how much damage he took. Makhno ate a ridiculous amount of damage and was flowing blood by the end of this three-round war, but no matter how many hooks and uppercuts Lebout landed he stayed up on his feet. The Russian even landed some serious shots from time-to-time, but Lebout’s chin is rock-solid and he had the cardio to hunt the finish all the way to the final bell. Awesome fight, easily one of M-1’s best fights of 2018.



155: Pavel Gordeev (12-1, #177 World)  SD3  Alik Albogachiev (5-1, #633 World)

In this wrestler vs striker matchup, Pavel Gordeev’s all-around technical advantages proved to be good enough to neutralize previously undefeated grappler Alik Albogachiev. The first two rounds saw Gordeev successfully keep the fight on the feet, where he owned a clear speed and skill advantage. Alboachiev tried even harder for the takedown in round 3, which gave Gordeev a chance to show off his ability to scramble and reverse position at wrestling range. Not sure what the third judge was thinking, as Gordeev appeared to do more than enough to take home the decision win and stay perfect in 6 M-1 appearances.




M-1 Challenge 97 Prelims

170: Spencer Jebb (13-6, #619 World)  UD3  Vladimir Tyurin (4-4, #215 Russia)

#6 Canadian welterweight Spencer Jebb was dropped by a big right hand from Vladimir Tyurin in the opening seconds. But Jebb recovered to put “The Woodcutter” on his back, where he bloodied him with piston-like ground punches for the final 4:30 of round 1. Tyurin managed to stand for a few more seconds in rounds 2 and 3, but before long Jebb was on top controlling position and pounding away en route to the wipeout decision win.



145: Timur Doronin (4-1)  Sub2-RNC  Fu Kang Kang (3-4)

Fu Kang Kang enjoyed a solid moment with a slick head & arm throw in round 1, but on the mat Timur Doronin’s jiu-jitsu skills won out in short order. Kang Kang tried to use pure power to get out of bad positions, rather than BJJ technique, and paid for it as the local fighter Doronin wore him down and found the RNC submission in round 2.



135: Chris Kelades (13-4, #207 World)  UD3  Sergey Klyuev (6-2, #70 Russia)

The old dog taught the young pup a few tricks here, as Chris Kelades showed off 37 years’ worth of BJJ wisdom (and timeless cardio) to outwork 19 year old Sergey Klyuev. Early in the fight the two grappling aces exchanged positions with both focusing on sub-hunting. Klyuev bloodied the Canadian with early ground strikes, but as the action wore on Kelades’ class showed through as he maintained dominant positions and threatened the finish all the way to the end of this excellent 15 minute fight.



155: Jani Salmi (11-4, #496 World)  Sub1-RNC  Ruslan Khisamutdinov (7-7)

Jani Salmi advanced to 2-1 in M-1 with this academic round 1 finish of ougunned Ruslan Khisamutdinov:



135: Ivan Eremenko (6-3)  UD3  Nidzhat Imanov (4-4-1)

Home favorite Nidzhat Imanov tried to work BJJ from bottom, but had no luck as he succumbed to 15 minutes of top control from Ivan Eremenko.


265: Nikolai Rachek (8-6)  KO1-GNP  Mindaugaus Gerve (3-2)


185: Denis Tiuliulin (4-3)  TKO1  Nikita Shamov (0-1)


170: Gadzhibaba Gadzhibabaev (1-0)  TKO1-GNP  Zakhar Popel (1-1)



Love World MMA? Covering M-1 and every major pro fight on Planet Earth:

MMA Geek Guide 9/28 – 10/1/18: Results/Recaps/Clips of RIZIN 13, Bellator 206, LFA 51, every world ranked fight across the globe!

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