Two champions defend M-1 Global titles as lightweight champion Damir Ismagulov faces Raul Tutarauli while at bantamweight Movsar Evloev takes on Sergey Morozov. M-1 Challenge 88 takes place February 22nd at the SC Olimpiysky in Moscow, Russia with a webcast through the promotion’s website.
Current M-1 Global lightweight champion Damir Ismagulov took the then-vacant title in May 2017 with a defeat of Maxim Divnich at M-1 Challenge 78. Ismagulov’s first defense was a unanimous decision over Rogerio Matias in November that improved his record to 15-1 with his only loss nine fights ago to Ramazan Esenbaev back in September 2015. 18-4 Raul Tutarauli is on an eight-fight win streak with three of those wins being in M-1 Global events. Most recently Tutarauli defeated Vladimir Kanunnikov last September by unanimous decision.
Movsar Evloev won the bantamweight belt with a unanimous decision over Pavel Vitruk last July. Still undefeated at 8-0 Evloev holds six wins in M-1 Global events including a defeat of Alexei Nevzorov for the interim title prior to Vitruk. Sergey Morozov has more experience at 10-2, 5-2 in M-1 Global. After a loss to Josh Rettinghouse in December 2016 Morozov picked up two wins last year with a unanimous decision over Fabricio Sarraff and a TKO of Luan Fernandes.
Also on the main card former light heavyweight champion Stephen Puetz returns to face undefeated Khadis Ibragimov. Puetz took the title from Viktor Nemkov in March 2014 and held it through two defenses before losing it to Nemkov in a rematch. Since then Puetz defeated Andrey Seledtsov and Marcus Vinicius Lopes before losing to Rashid Yusupov to enter this bout 15-3. Ibragimov is undefeated but at only 2-0 with this being his M-1 Global debut. Ibragimov holds wins in regional promotions against Mukhammedali Shokirov and Ullubiy Pakhrutdinov.
- Rubenilton Pereira vs. Rinat Sayakbaev
- Petar Petrov vs. Vadim Shabadash
- Ruslan Shamilov vs. Reda Oudgou
- Frank Kortz vs. Maksim Yakobyuk
- Vitaliy Slipenko vs. Talekh Nadzhafadze
- Sergey Klyuev vs. Aleksandr Osetrov
- Maxim Divnich vs. B. Abdibait Uulu
- Joseph Henle vs. Valery Myasnikov
- Bair Shtepin vs. Heilton dos Santos
- BW title: Movsar Evloev vs. Sergey Morozov
- Stephan Puetz vs. Khadis Ibragimov
- LW title: Damir Ismagulov vs. Raul Tutarauli