Vitruk to Fight Branchuk for Bantamweight Title at M-1 Challenge 71

By Mike Sloan Sep 27, 2016
M-1 Global announced Tuesday that its inaugural bantamweight championship will be up for grabs in one of the featured bouts of M-1 Challenge 71, which is slated for Oct. 21 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Pavel Vitruk will take on Vitali Branchuk for the title, the Russian promotion revealed.

Vitruk rebounded from back-to-back losses in 2015 by dropping down from featherweight to 135 pounds and toppling Sergey Morozov in February at M-1 Challenge 55. Branchuk, on the other hand, has won his last eight bouts and is coming off a decision win over Antun Racic at M-1 Challenge 64.

This fight will serve as a warm-up to the already-announced light heavyweight encounter between Viktor Nemkov and Attila Vegh, which will anchor the entire event.

Nemkov is a former two-time M-1 Challenge champion at 205 pounds. In May, his four-fight winning streak was snapped when he dropped a split decision to Rashid Yusupov at M-1 Challenge 66. In doing so, he lost his title.

Vegh captured Bellator’s light heavyweight title in 2013 but lost it in his first defense to Emanuel Newton. He’s been on a skid lately, however, as the Czech native has dropped three consecutive battles. His most recent setback was a first-round knockout at the hands of Alexander Volkov at M-1 Challenge 68 in June.

M-1 Challenge 71 will stream live on Additional bouts for the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

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