German Prospect Faces Alexander Agafonov

May 30, 2011
(PRESS RELEASE) -- Talented, rising welterweight phenom, Christian Eckerlin (6-1), is ready to return to action, eager and intent on shaking off his loss to Alexander Yakovlev at M-1 Challenge XXV. As part of the special attraction bouts at the M-1 Ukraine European Battle on Saturday June 4th, Eckerlin will face Ukrainian National Hand-to-Hand Combat Champion, Alexander Agafonov (2-1). Fans can capture the action from inside the National Circus Arena in Kiev starting at 11am EST / 8am PST via LIVE streaming telecast on the official M-1 Global website (www.M-1Global.com) and M-1 Global facebook fan page.

Fighting out of Frankfurt, Germany and Team MMA Spirit, home to training partner and M-1 Global #1 lightweight title contender Daniel Weichel, 24 year old Christian Eckerlin has quickly racked up a near perfect 6-1 record since making his professional debut in September of 2009; with a trio of submission and KO/TKO wins under his belt, Eckerlin fits M-1 Global’s mold of ‘finishing’ fighters perfectly. His most recent two victories have been impressive to say the least, seizing wins over Sebastian Baron with a one-punch knockout inside the contest’s opening minute, which was awarded Germany’s Best KO of 2010 award, and a systematic destruction of Piotr Hallman that went into the championship rounds; these two tilts are significant in the fact that they reveal Ecklerlin’s power and endurance are evolving with each round clocked.

Eckerlin brings an amped-up energy into each of his battles; his striking is razor sharp with pin-point accuracy and he has a sneaky, devastating left-hook. He shows a veteran’s patience that he leverages when launching an effective counter arsenal and has a keen eye for controlling ring position that enables his highly entertaining fighting style to push the action and pace.

Growing up, Eckerlin began playing soccer at age seven. Playing as a Left Back, he earned a spot on the pro squad of Darmstadt 98 when he was only 17, playing for their first team in the "Regionalliga". His first foray into martial arts came a year previous when he began training with a friend as part of the Magic Box Team. After a few years of daunting training as a dual-sport athlete, this young aspiring fighter quickly found that managing the pair of commitments became overly exhausting and he made the crucial decision at 20 years of age to quit soccer and fully engage in martial arts.

A naturally gifted athlete, Eckerlin quickly evolved into an accomplished boxer, becoming the amateur "Saarland" champion, but he still yearned to venture into mixed martial arts; it was just last year that he debuted in his first two pro MMA bouts against more-experienced opposition, winning in impressive fashion with back-to-back submissions. Feeding his hunger to improve, he’s made two trips to train with Erik Paulson´s CSW camp, where his toughness and talent have been tested, and has even begun training with UFC lightweight fighter, Dennis Siver. He continues to impress with his ferocious fighting style and isn’t afraid to clock the countless hours of training necessary to evolve into a budding star.

Even though still only in the dawn of his career, Eckerlin has the tenacity and dedication to achieve his goals, leaving German MMA fans considering him to be ‘the next big star’ coming out of Europe - extremely lofty expectations for a relative new comer to the sport.

His first outing with M-1 Global was an awesome opportunity to knock off Russia’s MMA ‘bad boy’ Alexander Yakovlev in one of the card’s most anticipated contests; the night didn’t go in Eckerlin’s favour, getting caught in an inescapable rear-naked-choke in the second round, forced to tap and suffer the first loss of his career.

Dedicated to the sport, Eckerlin returned home and immediately went back to training and he has a second opportunity to make his mark inside Europe’s leading mixed martial arts promotion’s welterweight division. With advantages in speed and striking, Eckerlin is expected to make quick work of Agafonov on Saturday June 4th.

Christian Eckerlin Promo Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEdsgwgBBMA

LIVE broadcast coverage of the M-1 Ukraine European Battle will be available to viewers worldwide on the official M-1 Global website (www.M-1Global.com) and M-1 Global facebook fan page starting at 11:00am EST / 8:00am PST.

The 2011 European M-1 Selection tournament second quarterfinal round will be held July 16th, 2011; entitled Battle on the Neva River 5, the event will hail seaside in St. Petersburg, Russia.

M-1 Global is now in full-swing preparation for its fourth mega-event of 2011 scheduled for Friday July 8th from inside the United States. M-1 Challenge XXVI is headlined with undefeated, #1 Ranked heavyweight prospect Guram Gugenishvili (11-0) putting his belt on the line for the second time against decorated American wrestler, Pat Bennett (4-2). In co-main event action, newly crowned Lightweight Champion, Jose Figueroa (10-4) makes his first title defense against feared German submission specialist, Daniel Weichel (26-7).

‘Guram is Coming’ video teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3XJgJfI9L8&feature=youtu.be

With M-1 Challenge champions established in all five weight classes, a true contenders system will fuel events throughout 2011, driving M-1 Global’s growth as a leading brand in the US and international markets.

2011’s full slate of M-1 Challenge events held in the United States and Europe are primed to be mega-event spectaculars where Champions defend their titles and contenders jockey for position for a coveted shot at the gold. Feeding the contention system will be two Selection tournaments held throughout Europe and North America in 2011.

For additional information, go to the official M-1 website, www.M-1Global.com and M-1 Global facebook fan page.

About M-1 Global:

Founded in 1998, M-1 Global (www.M-1Global.com) has established itself in the realm of mixed martial arts (MMA) as the premiere entity for discovering and developing the world’s next-generation of superstar fighters. With offices in St. Petersburg, Amsterdam, New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles and affiliates in Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Tokyo and Paris, the M-1 brand has staged over 70 events worldwide including the M-1 Selection and M-1 Challenge events and its co-produced Strikeforce events in the United States. Captivating the live, television and broadband audiences with its superior production values and match-ups, M-1 events boast some of the sport’s top names including Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Aleksander Emelianenko, Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem, Ben Rothwell, Melvin Manhoef, Roman Zentsov, Stephan Struve and rising stars Shamil Zavurov, Guram Gugenishvili, Alexander Sarnavskiy and Vinny Magalhaes. 2011 marks a breakthrough year with two Selections tournaments across Eastern & Western Europe, North America and Asia and a full calendar of Challenge events fuelled by a talent-rich contention system ranking M-1 Global’s Champions amongst the greatest in the sport.

M-1 Global’s greatest asset is the number one heavyweight fighter in mixed martial arts history, Fedor Emelianenko. With daily coverage on all MMA-related websites in the world, and articles in Time Magazine, LA times and New York times, Fedor and M-1 Global make a lifetime match serving as the catalyst to grow MMA in the 21st century.
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