M-1 Global hasn’t closed the books on 2018. The long-running Russian promotion announced early Friday their final show of the calendar year. For the December 15th event, M-1 Global journeys to the country of Kazakhstan for the first time since M-1 Challenge 59 in 2015. Promotion officials announced the event alongside a main event title fight. American Nate Landwehr defends his featherweight title against challenger Andrey Lezhnev.
The Ukrainian fighter is an M-1 Challenge veteran. Lezhnev competed for the Russian promotion nine times. In his nine appearances, he holds a 6-3 record including three stoppages. Currently, Lezhnev rides an impressive streak of victories. He is undefeated in his previous three performances, while also winning 9 of his past 10. Lezhnev earned a title shot off the strength of a long successful run in the past three years. Since 2016, the Ukrainian holds a 4-2 record with M-1 Global, 11-2 overall during that stretch.
While the European challenger reigned victorious in his recent performances, this upcoming fight breaks a 7-month layoff for Lezhnev. His bout against the featherweight champion, Landwehr is only his second of 2018. Even in 2017, the pace to Lezhnev’s career slowed, as he fought twice during the 12 months. In 2016, Lezhnev made 10 appearances., making the year as hectic and draining as possible.
Nate Landwehr, M-1 Global Featherweight Champion
For M-1 Global champion, Nate Landwehr, the experience of competing for the promotion is still fresh. The December contest marks his 4th appearance for M-1 Global. Impressively, the American fighter claimed the featherweight title in only his third bout with the promotion. He did so at M-1 Challenge 95: Battle in the Mountains 7. There he defeated highly touted, then-champion Khamzat Dalgiev in a thrilling bout ending in the final minute of the second round.
Landwehr was an explosion of excitement since signing with the Russian promotion. Before even stepping on international soil, the Tennessee fighter issued a challenge to the entire M-1 Global roster. It became apparent from his debut bout, Landwehr came to test the will of any fighter set to stand in front of him. After defeating Mikhail Korobkov by 2nd round TKO, he went on to defeat another featherweight contender in Viktor Kolesnick. Landwehr handed the skilled Russian the second loss of his professional career. He effectively leap-frogged the young Russian, Kolesnick in line for a shot at the title.
As it stands, Nate Landwehr vs. Andrey Lezhnev is the only bout officially announced for the upcoming M-1 Challenge Battle in Atyrau.