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MMAJunkie’s analysis of Alexander Shlemenko vs Vyacheslav Vasilevsky fight at M-1 Challenge 64.

Shlemenko vs Vasilevsky

Alexander Shlemenko’s strong point is clearly his striking arsenal, with KO power in all “eight limbs” (hands,

elbows, feet and knees). Shlemenko also has an excellent chin, only having been knocked out once in 60 MMA

bouts. His weaker performances have come against larger powerful wrestlers, such as Brandon Halsey and

Tito Ortiz.

Vyacheslav Vasilevsky has the grappling skills to control and possibly submit Shlemenko, as well as a very

active boxing game.

Both fighters have excellent stamina and are usually able to successfully deal with setbacks during a

fight. Vasilevsky was able to demonstrate this in his last bout, against Kristijan Perak.

Vasilevsky’s tendency to box, and to receive head strikes while boxing, is likely to be his undoing. I believe he’ll

pursue a more crowd-pleasing standup battle, which should result in a KO win for Shlemenko.

Analysis of Alexander Volkov vs Denis Smoldarev at M-1 Challenge 64 for the vacant heavyweight

belt.

Volkov vs Smoldarev

Alexander Volkov is a devastating striker when allowed to fight at his distance. Not unlike Alexander

Shlemenko, Volkov’s worst performances have come against grapplers who can close the distance and apply

strong pressure, including Vitaly Minakov. The presence of ropes instead of a cage should allow for better

freedom of movement by Volkov. Pressure against the cage was a factor in his loss to Cheick Kongo.

Denis Smoldarev has rudimentary striking by comparison. But his smothering grappling style, including body-

lock takedowns, could be the path to a victory via decision, ground-and-pound, or submission.

There are some intangibles, such as Volkov’s recent grappling training, which could grant him sufficient

opportunities to implement his striking. Volkov is the only man to have defeated Blagoy Ivanov, the current

WSOF champion. One might say that Ivanov is a smaller version of Smoldarev. Volkov defeated Ivanov via

rear-naked choke, which is also how Smoldarev suffered his single loss, against Marcin Tybura. Fighting in his

home of Moscow should heavily count in Volkov’s favor.

I believe Volkov has enough experience to avoid being submitted by Smoldarev. Additionally, MMA rounds

always start on the feet. That is where Volkov will have five reasonably good chances to win this championship

bout by KO.

Subscribe to M1Global.TV to watch M-1 Challenge 64 event online on February 19th!

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