Rafal Moks Issued Tough Test at M-1 Ukraine European Battle
May 25, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck
Former M-1 middleweight champion, Rafal ‘Kulturysta’ Moks (6-3) is going through final training preparations for his bout against Swiss prospect Yasubey Enomoto (6-3) at the M-1 Ukraine European Battle, Saturday June 4th. Looking to get back on track and mount a run towards a future shot at current Welterweight Champion, Shamil Zavurov, Moks faces one of the biggest tests of his career against an opponent with overwhelming credentials. Fans can capture the action from inside the National Circus Arena in Kiev starting at 11am EST / 8am PST via LIVE streaming telecast on the official M-1 Global website (www.M-1Global.com) and M-1 Global facebook fan page
In what would be considered M-1’s most exciting upset of 2010, Moks overcame his underdog status in epic fashion to capture the middleweight title with a tendon-tearing heel-hook submission victory over Magomed Sultanakhmedov, a win that also earned the card’s Submission of the Night honour. Knowing few were giving him any shot at winning, the Berserkers team member executed a clear game plan, taking the fight to the canvas sooner than expected and shocking the crowd.
With the victory, Moks became the first-ever M-1 Challenge middleweight champion, sitting at the top of a division that is deep with talented fighters. Unafraid of the competition but knowing that his promising career is better suited in the lighter divisions, Moks made the tough decision to relinquish his title in order to compete as a welterweight. M-1 Challenge XXIII marked Moks’ first outing in the 170-pound division since vacating the title and he got a rude introduction from Gorec Fight Team stand-out, Rashid Magomedov, who battered Moks inside the opening frame; although working through a series of seemingly inescapable submission attempts, the Polish fighter took a dastardly TKO loss at the 2:05 mark of Round 1.
Moks has proven cardio, a chin that can withstand power punches and a thick, compact, 5’8” frame which enables him to fight off his back with confidence; his record is decorated with five hi-light reel submission victories so finishing on the ground is second nature. He holds the all keys to build a run towards a shot at the Zavurov’s welterweight title. Looking to shake off his recent loss, Moks is once again considered the underdog and will have his hands full with Enomoto, a tough competitor possessing a decorated BJJ and grappling record which dwarfs Moks’ submission experience.
2010 was a great year for the Polish fighter, earning the 2010 M-1 Selections Western Europe championship title with impressive performances throughout the tournament; the talented submission fighter needed just 4:19 to secure a fight-ending rear-naked choke over Serghei Popa in the quarter-finals and 4:56 to dispose of Danijel Dzebic thanks to a suffocating guillotine choke in the semis; both fights showcasing Moks ever improving ground game.
With the back-to-back wins, Moks secured himself a spot in the Finals against Ahmed Bayrak; a highly anticipated, back and forth middleweight clash that went three full frames, culminating with the judges awarding Moks the unanimous decision victory.
If he can pull out another miracle underdog win over Enomoto, Moks will be closer to earning a shot at Zavurov’s welterweight strap.
LIVE broadcast coverage of the M-1 Ukraine European Battle will be available to viewers worldwide on the official M-1 Global website (www.M-1Global.com) and M-1 Global facebook fan page starting at 11:00am EST / 8:00am PST.
The 2011 European M-1 Selection tournament second quarterfinal round will be held July 16th, 2011; entitled Battle on the Neva River 5, the event will hail seaside in St. Petersburg, Russia.
M-1 Global is now in full-swing preparation for its fourth mega-event of 2011 scheduled for Friday July 8th from inside the United States. M-1 Challenge XXVI is headlined with undefeated, #1 Ranked heavyweight prospect Guram Gugenishvili (11-0) putting his belt on the line for the second time against decorated American wrestler, Pat Bennett (4-2). In co-main event action, newly crowned Lightweight Champion, Jose Figueroa makes his first title defense against feared German submission specialist, Daniel Weichel (26-7).
‘Guram is Coming’ video teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3XJgJfI9L8&feature=youtu.be
With M-1 Challenge champions established in all five weight classes, a true contenders system will fuel events throughout 2011, driving M-1 Global’s growth as a leading brand in the US and international markets.
2011’s full slate of M-1 Challenge events held in the United States and Europe are primed to be mega-event spectaculars where Champions defend their titles and contenders jockey for position for a coveted shot at the gold. Feeding the contention system will be two Selection tournaments held throughout Europe and North America in 2011.