Heavyweight headliner for M-1 Challenge 69 Denis Smoldarev vs. Kenny Garner

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Heavyweight headliner for M-1 Challenge 69 Denis Smoldarev vs. Kenny Garner

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For Immediate Release
Heavyweight headliner for M-1 Challenge 69
Denis Smoldarev vs. Kenny Garner
 
July 16 in Ingushetia, Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (June 29, 2016) - M-1 Global has announced heavyweightsDenis Smoldarev and American MMA veteran Kenny "Deuce" Garner will square off in the M-1 Challenge 69 main event, Saturday night, July 16, in Ingushetia, Russia.
M-1 Challenge 69 will be streamed live from Ingushetia in high definition onwww.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all of the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
Known as the "Brock Lesnar of Estonia," Smoldarev (11-2-0, M-1: 7-2-0) is a combat sambo specialist and two-time M-1 Challenge heavyweight title challenger.  In his last fight this past February at M-1 Challenge 64, Smoldarev lost by third-round submission via a choke to Alexander Volkov for the vacant M-1 Challenge heavyweight championship.
 Smoldarev (black trunks) drives a knee into his opponent
Garner (16-9-0, M-1: 9-7-0), fighting out of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was the M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion four years ago.  In 2011 at M-1 Challenge 27, Garner submitted Maxin Grishin in the fifth round by strikes to become Interim M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion.  After successfully defending his Interim title versus Magomed Malikov (KO3 - strikes) at M-1 Challenge 32, the stage was set for Garner to challenge "regular" M-1 Challenge heavyweight title-holder Guran Gugenishvilli in a rematch to avenge an earlier loss.
Garner graduated from Interim to "regular" M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion June 21, 2012 with a victory over Gugenishvilli via doctor's stoppage in the third round. Six months later in their "rubber match,", Garner stopped Gugenishvilli on punches in the fourth round to retain his title belt.
At M-1 Challenge 44 in November 2013, Garner lost his crown to Polish challengerDamian Grabowski by third-round submission (choke).  In his last fight at M-1 Challenge 59, Garner was punched out in the opening round by Russian great Sergei Kharitonov one year ago in Kazakhstan.
One other fight has been announced for M-1 Challenge 69 as Croatian featherweightAntun "Killer" Racic (18-7-0, M-1: 3-4-0) takes on undefeated Russian prospectMovsar Evloev (5-0-0, M-1: 5-0-0).
Racic, who is coming off a split decision loss to Vitali Branchuk last February at M-1 Challenge 64, is a submission master, while Evloev is a strong striker who stoppedAlexander Krupenkin in the opening round at M-1 Challenge 66 in his most recent action.
            
           

(Antun Racic (L), Movsar Evloev (R)
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ABOUT M-1 GLOBAL: Founded in 1997, M-1 Global has established itself in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as the premier entity for discovering and developing the world's next-generation of superstar fighters. With its office in St Petersburg, Russia, the M-1 brand has staged more than 160 events worldwide, including M-1 Selection, M-1 Challenge, M-1 Global and M-1 Global HWGP events, in addition to co-promoting Strikeforce events and M-1 Global on the U.S. network, Showtime. Captivating live, television and broadband audiences with its superior production values and match-ups, M-1 Global events have featured some of the sport's top names, including legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem, Keith Jardine, Ben Rothwell, Melvin Manhoef, Sergei Kharitonov, Aleksander Emelianenko, Roman Zentsov, Yushin Okami, Mike Pyle, Denis Kang, Martin Kampmann, Amar Suloev, Chalid Arrab and Stephan Struve. 2016 has been another sensational year of world-class competition, featuring a full calendar of Challenge events, fueled by a talent-rich contention system ranking M-1 Global Champions among the greatest fighters in the sport.
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