Reigning M-1 Challenge middleweight champion Ramazan Emeev will fight Maiquel Falcao in the second M-1 Grand Prix middleweight eliminator, the Russian-based MMA promotion announced. The fight will take place March 4 in Moscow at the M-1 Challenge 65 event.
The previously-announced M-1 Grand Prix middleweight eliminator between Alexander Shlemenko and Vyacheslav Vasilevsky will occur at M-1 Challenge 64 on Feb. 19, also in Moscow. The winner of that battle will face the winner of Emeev-Falcao later in the year to determine the M-1 Grand Prix middleweight champion.
“We tried to get the strongest middleweight fighters and did a great job to give fans the most spectacular match-ups,” M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein said in a statement.
Emeev, the promotion’s fighter of the year in 2015, is a two-time M-1 Challenge middleweight champ. He first captured the crown by edging Mario Miranda via decision in 2012 and defended the title in their rematch five months later via TKO. Emeev lost his title to Vasilevsky in his next defense due to fourth-round TKO but regained his throne by choking out Vasilevsky in a rematch.
Falcao has been around the MMA block for years and has fought for the UFC and Bellator. The Brazilian challenged Schlemenko for the Bellator middleweight title at Bellator 88 in 2013 but came up short as he was knocked out in the second. Falcao also split two fights with Vasilevsky, but he’s coming off a loss to Aziz Karaoglu at KSW 33 where he was stopped via punches in just 30 seconds.
M-1 Challenge 64 and 65 will be streamed live on M1Global.tv.