SAINT PETERSBURG; Russia (June 2, 2017) -- MMA star Alexander "Storm" Shlemenko needed only 25 seconds to avenge a loss to middleweight Brandon "Bull" Halsey in last night's M-1 Challenge 79 headliner at Saint Petersburg, Russia.
M-1 Challenge 79 was a part of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum's Cultural Program. Nine different countries were represented in this International event: Russia, USA, UK, Israel, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, South Korea, Ukraine.
Shlemenko (56-7-0, M-1: 6-0-0) came out for the opening bell with force, unloading a series of powerful kicks and punches to the body of an overwhelmed Halsey (9-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), who made his M-1 Global debut, and he was unable to make it past the 25-seconds mark of the opening round.
In this battle of former Bellator champions, Shlemenko gained revenge for his Bellator loss to Halsey, by way of a rear-naked-choke in 35-seconds, on September 26, 2014.
Shlemenko, fighting out of Russia, noted after the fight that his electrifying start wasn't a coincidence. "I'm just happy," he said. "I mean, if I'd just won, everyone would say, 'Well, I got it done.' But, I won in 25 seconds; it's just real happiness. I think everyone's happy. It was wonderful and beautiful and no left no questions,"
Halsey later said he's ready for a third match against Shlemenko to complete their trilogy. "I'm ready to go against Russian again," Halsey commented. "You all saw that Alexander came out aggressively. He had a good start and everything was pre-decided. I lost and it hurts, but I'm ready to go back to battle. I will not excuse myself. There's nothing less to worry about than anyone else's opinion in the forums. Today, Shlemenko was stronger. I am prepared learn from my mistakes. I got a quick win last time. Now, Shlemenko won quickly. The score is 1-to-1 and I am ready to meet him again to finally determine who is the better fighter.
Russian welterweight Sergey Romanov (11-0, M-1: 5-1-0) defeated M-1 pro-debutingArda "Boma Ye" Adas (7-3-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Germany, by first-round technical knockout due to an arm injury.
Russian lightweight Alexey "Ataman" Makhno (14-5-0, M-1: 4-2-0) took a majority decision over Brazilian Michel "Sassarito" Silva (18-6-1, M-1: 0-1-0), while Russian middleweight Oleg Oleniochev (9-4-0, M-1: 2-0-0) won a unanimous decision overEnoc Solves Torres (19-10-1, M-1: 5-7-1).
In the main card opener, Russian bantamweight Dalgiev Khamzat (9-1-0, M-1: 6-1-0) used a heel hook to submit Brit Dragan "Little Wonder" Pesic (13-8-0, M-1: 0-1-0).
American bantamweight "The Finisher" Josh Rettinghouse (15-4-0, M-1: 3-0-0) remained unbeaten in M-1 Global competition, submitting previously undefeatedBakhtiyar "Baha" Toychubaev (6-1-1, M-1: 0-1-0) in the second round with a rear-naked choke.
Also fighting on the preliminary card were winners by unanimous decision: Ukrainian light heavyweight Dmitriy Mikutsa (7-4-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Russian heavyweight Anton Vyazigin (8-1-0, M-1: 3-0-0) and Russian bantamweight Alexander Osetrov (2-0-0, M-1: 1-0-0), respectively, against Russian Dmitry Tebekin (5-3-0, M-1: 1-1-0), Ukrainian Yuri Protsenko (8-4-0, M-1: 1-1-0) and Israeli Almog Shay (2-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0).
Russian bantamweight Bair Shtepin (4-2-0, M-1: 1-2-0) punched out "Hellboy" Won Jun Jang (4-2-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of South Korea, in the first round. Russian lightweightsNikolay Goncjarpv (0-0-1, M-1: 0-0-1) and Maxim Pugachev (7-1-1, M-1: 3-0-1) fought to a three-round draw.
M-1 Challenge 80: Kharitonov vs. Lopes - June 15, 2017 in Habin, China
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