After their champion-vs-champion superfight extravaganza in May, M-1 Challenge returns to the mountains of Ingushetia on June 6 with their 58th instalment. The featured bout of the evening is a welterweight title fight between Shooto Brazil and Jungle Fight veteran Igor Fernandes and Murad Abdulaev. Both 170-pounders will decide who will take the vacant belt and walks away the new M-1 Challenge welterweight champion.
In the co-main event, kickboxing multi-champion Alexey Kudin squares off with former M-1 title challenger Denis Smoldarev. Kudin's las win was against over 300 fight veteran Travis Fulton, 15 of his 19 victories came by (T)KO, but he lost his last outing against Bellator's Alexander Volkov. Smoldarev came up short in a heavyweight title fight against Marcin Tybura in November, but bounced back with a decisive submission victory over Maro Perak in February. While Kudin relies mostly on his powerful right hand, Smoldarev has a slick ground game, what makes this matchup very interesting.
The previously unbeaten Pavel Vitruk took a huge setback on his road to the featherweight title when he got submitted by German Max Coga at M-1 Challenge 55 in February. He will face KOTC veteran Lee Morrison, who made a successful M-1 debut in October 2013, but suffered back-to-back losses against Marat Gafurov and Tural Ragimov. One more loss and Morrison will have to look for a new employer. Both, Vitruk and Morrison, are known for their high-pace style of fighting, so this one has fight of the night written all over it.
The aforementioned Ragimov is also set to compete on June 6. He is up against French submission ace Jerome Bouisson, who lost most of his M-1 appearances, but has collected three wins in smaller promotions lately to make his omeback to the big leagues. Ragimov is a former featherweight title contender and was scheduled to face champion Ivan Buchinger in a rematch in April, but had to pull out of the bout due to an illness. With a win over Bouisson, he could cement his claims for another shot at the 145-pound belt.
Here's a look at the current main card:
M-1 Challenge 58
June 6, 2015
Targim, Ingushetia, Russia
Welterweight title fight
Igor Fernandes vs. Murad Abdulaev
Alexey Kudin vs. Denis Smoldarev
Pavel Vitruk vs. Lee Morrison
Jerome Bouisson vs. Tural Ragimov