M-1 Challenge 69 Gets Heavyweight Main Event with Denis Smoldarev vs. Kenny Garner

By Sherdog.com Staff Jun 29, 2016

Heavyweights Denis Smoldarev and Kenny Garner will top the bill next month when M-1 Global returns to the scenic mountains of the Russian republic of Ingushetia.

M-1 on Wednesday announced Smoldarev-Garner as the headliner for M-1 Challenge 69, the fifth installment in the promotion’s outdoor “Battle in the Mountains” series. Set to stream live on July 16, the show will also feature a featherweight bout between Croatia’s Antun Racic and Russia’s Movsar Evloev.

Smoldarev, 26, has twice contended for the M-1 Challenge heavyweight belt, coming up short against Marcin Tybura in 2014 and, most recently, Alexander Volkov in February. Prior to his submission loss to Volkov, the 6-foot-7 Estonian had notched back-to-back wins against Maro Perak and Chaban Ka.

Once the undisputed M-1 heavyweight champion, 41-year-old Garner has struggled to find his footing in the Russian ring since losing the belt to Damian Grabowski in 2013. “Deuce” is 4-2 overall in his last six outings, with both defeats coming at the hands of Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov.

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