Damir Ismagulov vs. Raul Tutarauli and Movsar Evloev vs. Sergey Morozov
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (January 31, 2018) – A pair of M-1 Challenge title fights, along with the return of a former champion, are shock-and-awe fights on M-1 Challenge 88, February 22 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia.
M-1 Challenge 88 will be live-streamed from Russia in high definition on www.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 the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Damir Ismaguluv (14-2-0, M-1: 8-1-0), the Kazakhstan native fighting out of Russia, defends his title against Georgian challenger Raul Tutarauli (18-3-0, M-1: 6-1-0) in the main event.
The 26-year-old Ismagulov is riding a nine-fight win streak, dating back more than 2 ½ years, including a third-round knockout of Tutarauli on May 27, 2016 in the M-1 Challenge 66 Fight of the Night. Ismagulov also won the M-1 Challenge 72 Fight of the Year, by way of a third-round unanimous decision on November 18, 2016.
Tutarauli, 25, has reeled off eight victories in a row since he lost to Ismagulov, including decisions wins last year over Artur Lemos at M-1 Challenge 77 and Vladimir Kanunnikov at M-1 Challenge 83.
In the co-main event, undefeated M-1 Challenge bantamweight title holder Movsar Evloev (8-0-0, M-1: 8-0-0) puts his perfect professional MMA record on the line against his Kazakh challenger, Sergey Morozov (10-3-0, M-1: 5-2-0).
Evloev has been unbeatable since his M-1 Global and professional debut on November 25, 2014, when the gifted Russian choked Jianwei Ha into a second-round submission at M-1 Challenge 53. At M-1 Challenge 76, Evloev captured the Interim M-1 Challenge bantamweight title, knocking out Alexey Nevzorov with a powerful kick last April, followed by an impressive five-round decision over veteran Pavel Vitruk this past July at M-1 Challenge 81 to capture the outright title.
Morozov earned his first title shot with back-to-back victories in 2017 against veteran Brazilian fighters, taking a three-round decision from Fabricio Sarraff at M-1 Challenge 76, and a second-round knockout by punches of Luan Fernandez at M-1 Challenge 83.
Also fighting on the main card is former M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Stephan “T-800” Puetz (15-3-0, M-1: 6-2-0), of Germany, vs. Russian foe Khadis Ibragimov (2-0-0, M-1: 0-0-0), Brazilian bantamweight Helton dos Santos Davella (15-5-1, M-1: 0-1-1) vs. Bair Shtepin (5-2-0, M-1: 2-2-0), of Russia, and American middleweight Joseph “Leonidas” Henle (10-3-1, M-1: 0-1-0) vs. Valery “The Russian Hammer” Myasnikov (11-1-2, M-1: 2-1-2).
The preliminary card is loaded, as well, with unbeaten prospects Alexander Osetrov (3-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0) and Sergey Klyuev (5-0-0) in a battle of Russian bantamweights, former M-1 Challenge lightweight champion Maxim Divnich (13-4-0, M-1: 7-4-0), of Russia by way of Ukraine, vs. Busurmankul Abdibait Uulu (9-2-1, M-1: 1-0-1) , of Kyrgyzstan, German heavyweight Frank Tattoo” Kortz (4-4-0, M-1: 0-1-0) vs. unbeaten Russian Maxim Yakobyuk (7-1-0, M-1: 2-0-0), Talekh “The Azerbaijan Terminator” Nadzhafadze (6-2-1, M-1: 2-1-1) vs. Russian middleweight Vitaliy Slipenko (9-1-0, M-1: 1-0-0), and Brazilian lightweight Rubenilton “Rubinho” Pereira (18-5-0, M-1: 2-2-0) vs. Erlan Ulukbekov (7-1-0, M-1: 0-1-0), of Kyrgyzstan.