One of the biggest stars of the Middle East MMA scene, Bahrain’s own Hamza Kooheji is coming into his next fight riding a three-fight win streak. As he takes on Aidan James from Wales at BRAVE CF 42, on September 24th, he could very well be on a collision course with reigning Bantamweight world champion Stephen Loman in case of a victory.
Hamza has been a symbol of BRAVE CF and His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s interest in the sport of MMA. Since joining KHK MMA, Kooheji has developed into a household name in the Gulf region and is one of the most famous and well-known BRAVE CF fighters.
A true representative of the Kingdom of Bahrain, he had his career-defining win last year at BRAVE CF 29. In a sold-out Khalifa Sports City Arena, he dominated Argentina’s Nahuel Gandolfi and scored a huge TKO win, which propelled him to the top of the Bantamweight division.
The victory over Gandolfi was preceded by two important victories against Yayong Wang and Crisanto Pitpitunge, and Hamza now feels ready for the next step in his career.
He will face a dangerous striker and submission artist in James. The young Welsh fighter had a rapid rise through BRAVE CF, winning three straight fights, including a stunning victory over former world title challenger Frans Mlambo.
His rise was put to a halt by a loss to Cameron Else, but James has taken more than a year training and putting himself once again in a spot where he can do damage and win fights. His development has caught the eye of the world, as he has become one of the outstanding prospects of the Bantamweight division.
Hamza will have his hands full when he returns to action in Bahrain on September 24th. If he manages to beat Aidan James at BRAVE CF 42, the question of a title shot becomes a matter of when rather than if.
Kooheji will look to capitalize on his own wrestling background, as he has shown great improvements from fight to fight in his top control and takedowns. The work being done at KHK MMA, under the tutelage of BRAVE CF Super Lightweight world champion Eldar Eldarov, has paid dividends to ‘’The Pride of Bahrain’’.
While the fight can be described as a clash of styles between the wrestler Kooheji and the striker James, both men are dangerous in other areas. Hamza showcased improved hand movement and punches in his win against Gandolfi, while Aidan has also proved he can hang on the mat and look for dangerous submissions even from bottom position.
Fans around the world will look at that bout as a potential number one contender for champ Stephen Loman. Bahrain and Gulf fans will look at it as another proving ground for Hamza Kooheji.