Antun Racic vs. Vitaly Branchuk bantamweight title eliminator added to stacked M-1 Challenge 64, Feb. 19 in Moscow

Feb 1, 2016
(PRESS RELEASE) – ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - M-1 Global's first event of 2016 is shaping up as a potential blockbuster with the announcement of the second M-1 Challenge bantamweight elimination fight for M-1 Challenge 64 on February 19 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.

Antun Racic, of Croatia, will face Ukrainian Vitaly Branchuk for right to fight for the vacant M-1 Challenge bantamweight championship. The survivor will advance to the championship round against the winner of the previously announced M-1 Challenge bantamweight semifinal eliminator, also part of the M-1 Challenge 64 card, between Pavel Vitruk ((12-2-0, M-1: 6-2-0) and undefeated Kazakhstan-native Sergey Morozov(6-0-0, M-1: 2-0-0). Vitruk is a Ukrainian-born fighter who lives and trains out of St. Petersburg, Russia.

The main event pits three-time Bellator champion Alexander Shlemenko (51-9-0, M-1: 2-0-0) and former M-1 Challenge middleweight and light heavyweight titlist Vyacheslav Vasilevsky (27-3-0, M-1: 10-1-0) in the semifinals of the M-1 Global Grand Prix Middleweight Tournament.

In the co-feature, newly signed Alexander Volkov (24-6-0, M-1: 8-3-0), of Russia, takes on Estonian challenger Denis Smoldaraev (11-1-0, M-1: 7-1-0) for the vacant M-1 Challenge heavyweight championship.

Racic (18-6-1, M-1: 6-2-0) is coming off of an impressive win by decision versus Alexei Nevzorov last September at M-1 Challenge 61. The powerful Croatian, who is a standout grappler, is dropping down to fight as a bantamweight.

Branchuk (20-5-0, M-1: 0-1-0) will be fighting in his second M-1 Global event, the first two years ago at M-1 Challenge 45, in which he lost a decision to Yunus Evloev. The 24-year-old Branchuk is riding a seven-fight win streak. Known as a strong striker, he has knocked out 10 of his opponents.

M-1 Challenge 64 will be streamed live from Moscow in high definition on www.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.


Upcoming Events: Feb. 19 - M-1 Challenge 64 in Moscow, Russia; Mar. 4 - M-1 Challenge 65 in St. Petersburg, Russia

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ABOUT M-1 GLOBAL: Founded in 1997, M-1 Global has established itself in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as the premier entity for discovering and developing the world's next-generation of superstar fighters. With its office in St Petersburg, Russia, the M-1 brand has staged more than 170 events worldwide, including M-1 Selection, M-1 Challenge, M-1 Global and M-1 Global HWGP events, in addition to co-promoting Strikeforce events and M-1 Global on the U.S. network, Showtime. Captivating live, television and broadband audiences with its superior production values and match-ups, M-1 Global events have featured some of the sport's top names, including legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski, Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem, Keith Jardine, Ben Rothwell, Melvin Manhoef, Sergei Kharitonov, Aleksander Emelianenko, Roman Zentsov, Yushin Okami, Mike Pyle, Denis Kang, Martin Kampmann, Amar Suloev, Chalid Arrab and Stephan Struve. 2015 was another sensational year of world-class competition with a full calendar of Challenge events fueled by a talent-rich contention system ranking M-1 Global Champions among the greatest fighters in the sport.

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