Enomoto, Ivlev Outpoint Foes at M-1 Ukraine European Battle


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Though he surrendered seven takedowns on the way, Sengoku veteran Yasubey Enomoto got his first win inside the M-1 ring Saturday in Kiev, Ukraine, defeating Rafal Moks by majority decision at M-1 Ukraine European Battle.

Enomoto had a sizeable advantage on the feet, finding the range for his power hand over time and initiating offense to force his Polish opponent to shoot. When Moks did try for takedowns, however, he usually found success; throughout the fight, he was only stuffed twice.

What Enomoto lacked in the wrestling department, he made up for with his guard play, shutting down Moks completely from on top. The former M-1 middleweight champion never passed Enomoto’s guard -- be it closed, butterfly or rubber -- for any significant period of time. Stifling Moks did mean that Enomoto did not go for submissions, save for an early gogoplata, and had to rely on punches from his back to win the judges’ favor. In the end, Enomoto managed to convince two scorers for the “W,” while the third dissented with a draw.

Despite having to weather a rally in the last stanza of their lightweight contest, Russia’s Yuri Ivlev put an end to a two-fight skid by outpointing former M-1 lightweight champ Artiom Damkovsky. Ivlev’s strong clinch game and top control got him ahead early, as he had problems with the Belarusian’s speed in the standup. On the ground, the “Cable Guy” shut down Damkovsky completely while busting him up with strong ground-and-pound.

Knowing that he was most likely down two rounds to none, Damkovsky went into desperation mode in round three, opening up with a series of kicks punctuated by a nice one-two combo. Once again, though, the Belarusian’s kick-based offense enabled Ivlev to take the fight to the floor and eat up the clock. With barely one minute remaining, the fighters returned to their feet and Damkovsky once again threw caution to the wind, leaping in the air with a flying knee. The iron-chinned Ivlev simply absorbed the strike, and later reversed a foolish takedown attempt by Damkovsky to ride out the round and secure victory.

Replacing the injured Christian Eckerlin on only a few days’ notice, Husein Haliev managed to pull out a win by defeating Alexander Agafonov on all scorecards. Agafonov started strong, scoring a trip from the clinch in round one and dominating the first five minutes. Haliev, despite being visibly tired, won the next two rounds mainly thanks to further takedowns. The Chechen flirted with a finish late in round three, but couldn’t quite crank Agafonov’s arm enough to get the tap out.

After two rounds of close action, Antun Racic decided to try a bit more when on the ground with Vugar Bahshiev. While the Croat had no problem getting takedowns early on, his foe continually scrambled out by attempting leglocks. In the final period, Racic was more persistent, refusing to let Bahshiev up. It paid dividends, as Racic was able to mount the tiring Russian and finish with a rear-naked choke inside the final minute.

Alexander Dolotenko snatched up an armbar from his back to elicit Filip Anasovich’s tap just 75 seconds into their fight.

In typical sambo fashion, Vasily Novikov defeated Alexander Nimerenko by submitting him with an armbar from mount after a slow-paced, eight-minute fight.

In a night of short fights, Vladimir Opanasenko was the quickest, needing only 41 seconds to submit Syanan Yusibov by armbar.

Despite having an obvious striking advantage, Sergey Kovalchuk had to wait almost eight minutes to land a perfect shot on Sergey Sinkievich. But land a perfect shot Kovalchuk did, laying out the Belarusian with a vicious left hook.

In a series of gym vs. gym fights, the Ukraine-based SK Aris fighters dispatched their BK Belarus opposition in rapid fashion. Igor Zadernovsky beat Stepan Kostyuchenko at heavyweight after raining down punches from mount and then transitioning to an armbar.

At 205 pounds, Aris’ Saparbek Safarov defeated Igot Litoshik with powerful ground-and-pound after taking down his Belarusian opponent.

Belarus’ sole win came courtesy of Andrey Dryapko, who slammed his way out of Ruslam Khaskhanov’s armbar with enough force to injure his opponent’s shoulder, causing Khaskhanov to surrender the fight a few seconds later.

Welterweight Vadim Khaitulov ended Victor Talashov’s night with a powerful right hook and follow-up punches when the Belarussian collapsed under the ropes with 1:57 on the clock.

At 155 pounds, Ukrainian Alexander Kozyr hustled Semen Tyryla on the floor, mounting him before transitioning to a fight winning armbar in 117 seconds.

In the show’s opening bout, Azeri Farkhad Fatalla made quick work of Belarusian Ilya Tiunov, tapping him to a guillotine choke within two minutes.

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