Abdisalam Kubanychbek has received the highest honour from BRAVE Combat Federation President Mohammed "The Hawk" Shahid after he was compared to one of the greatest fighters in MMA history.
In order to unify the 155-pound world title against Russia's Kamil Magomedov at BRAVE CF 69 and continue leaving a path of destruction in his wake, much like Nurmagomedov did in his prime, the number one male fighter in Kyrgyzstan is the star of the largest combat sports festival in European history.
“Abdisalam Kubanychbek, for me, is the Khabib Nurmagomedov of Kyrgyzstan,” said President Shahid in the build-up to BRAVE CF 69, where Kubanychbek looks to unify the 155-pound title against Nurmagomedov’s compatriot and Russia’s Kamil Magomedov in the main event which takes place in Belgrade, Serbia on February 18th.
Nurmagomedov of Dagestan ended his brilliant career with a perfect 29-fight winning streak. Over the years, he has amassed a number of trophies and accomplishments, and his fame has only gotten stronger.
A style that has been advanced by Abdisalam Kubanychbek, who has so far dominated all of his BRAVE Combat Federation opponents with a combination of pressure wrestling and never-ending cardio, much like Khabib, has been inspired by Khabib's ruthless grappling and wrestling techniques that made him the infamous figure he is today by putting an end to every opponent who dared stand in his way.
As a former MMA fighter himself, President Shahid has first-hand knowledge of Nurmagomedov because they trained together while the latter was a member of KHK Team Bahrain. He thinks Khabib and Kubanyhbek share the enigma around their genuine strengths.
“Maybe six or seven years ago, when I had my first training session at KHK Team Bahrain with Khabib, the moment I got into sparring and the clinch with Khabib, that was that. "I’m not going to elaborate more on what happened after that” laughs Shahid. “After that day, I began to tell everybody that you will never know just how good this fighter is ... never! You will never know how good he is until you actually get in there and fight, maybe exchange punches, or get into the clinch. And it is the same with Kubanychbek,” says Shahid
“In any position where you come together, that is where you really know that, ‘’this is not what I expected’. “I don't know what that is. It’s not someone stronger, someone heavier, someone with a better grip, it's something else. There is something there. Maybe it's a combination of all of it,” says Shahid referring to the ability of Khabib and Kubanychbek. “Just like Khabib, Kubanychbek is one of those fighters you will never really know him until you get into the cage and get close to him and start that fight, and the moment you have that first punch of clinch, you will realize that ‘now I know him’ and it might be too late,” added President Shahid.
Magomedov was willing to fight Kubanychbek, who won the provisional belt by defeating Olzhas Eskaraev at BRAVE CF 59. This came after former BRAVE CF Lightweight champion Ahmed Amir had his championship removed because of doubts about his ability to compete again.
After the flaming success of BRAVE CF 56 in December 2021, BRAVE Combat Federation will return to the Central European nation for a second time, bringing nine epic matches to the Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.