M-1 Challenge Light Heavyweight Champion
Rashid Yusupov vs. Stephan Puetz to headline
M-1 Challenge 74
February 18 in St. Petersburg, Russia
(L-R) – Rashid Yusupov and Stephan Puetz
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (December 6, 2016) – M-1 Global has announced a blockbuster match-up to kick-off its 2017 season as undefeated M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Rashid Yusupov takes on former titlist Stephan “T-800” Puetz in the M-1 Challenge 74 main event, February 18, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
M-1 Challenge 74 will be streamed live from St. Petersburg 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.
The 24-year-old Yusupov (6-0-0, M-1: 4-0-0), fighting out of Dagestan, Russia, will be making his first title defense having captured his coveted belt this past May at M-1 Challenge 66, by way of a 5-round unanimous decision over defending champion Viktor Nemkov.
Yusupov (2 KO/TKO, 1 SUB), representing Gorets fight club (Highlander), has three other victories in M-1 Challenge competition over Martin Zawada (DEC3), Mitry Madvedev (KO/TKO1 – Punch) and Charles Andrade (DEC3).
Puetz, 29, has won six of seven M-1 Challenge fights going into fifth title fight. The talented German (5 KO/TKO, 5 SUB) from Team Spirit burst upon the M-1 Global scene 2 ½ years ago, at M-1 Challenge 46, when he challenged M-1 Challenge light heavyweight champion Nemkov that ended in a 5-round split decision in favor of the new champion, Puetz.
Puetz successfully defended his title, in order, against Luis Fernando(SUB2 – Choke) and Valery Myasnikov (KO2 – Punches), followed with a Super Fight knockout (nose injury) of M-1 Challenge heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura in the third round of their May 2, 2015 non-title fight at M-1 Challenge 72. Puetz then lost his title to Nemkov by way of a 5-round majority decision in the M-1 Challenge 63 Fight of the Night.
To get back into title contention, Puetz won his last two fights against Andrey Seledtsov (DEC3) and Marcus Vinicius (SUB3 – Choke) this past October at M-1 Challenge 71.