Abdisalam Kubanychbek’s road to the BRAVE CF Lightweight championship has been nothing short of frustrating, but equally, a road that could eventually reap great reward and relief. Kyrgyzstan’s Kubanychbek (18-3, 1 NC) has been baying for a shot at undisputed 155 lbs champion Egypt’s Ahmed Amir (12-3-1) for a while now and this weekend, he once again has the opportunity to get one step closer to the BRAVE Combat Federation Lightweight throne at BRAVE CF 59.
“I'm ready to represent Kyrgyzstan on the global stage that BRAVE CF provides me. I want to become a world champion here and the interim title is the first step,” says Kubanychbek who landed in Bukhara, Uzbekistan this week ahead of another historic BRAVE CF event.
Due to the current champion taking some time off to recover from multiple injuries, Kubanychbek - who has been in scintillating form on the fastest-growing mixed martial arts platform - has had to bide his time, eventually settling for a then-interim title fight against Brazil’s Cleiton Silva at BRAVE CF 57 in Bahrain earlier this year.
The fight ended in tears for Kubanychbek who - despite dominating his opponent for the majority of the first round - had to accept a No Contest decision due to illegal strikes to the back of Silva’s head. Cleiton has moved up to the Super Lightweight division, so Abdisalam now faces Olzhas Eskaraev (10-5) for interim gold, in a fight that serves as the main event of BRAVE CF’s first-ever show in Uzbekistan.
Eskaraev comes off a dream debut in his homeland where he beat a former world champion in Brazil’s Lucas Martins (20-6) via rear-naked choke at BRAVE CF 53. It may only be his second fight for BRAVE CF, but the Kazakh comes with a lot of experience, a man who knows the meaning of adaptability as he has operated on various MMA circuits across the globe.
“Olzhas (Eskaraev) is a very good opponent,” says the wise Kubanychbek. “But I am ready to become a champion and challenge the lineal champion (Ahmed Amir). I feel that I'm the best Lightweight at BRAVE CF and I'm looking forward to proving that on Saturday night.''
BRAVE CF 59 - in association with Amir Temur Fighting Championship - will see the brand return to Central Asia after groundbreaking shows in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in previous years. Uzbekistan will become the 27th global country and the 12th Asian nation to host BRAVE CF.