The tone for this month's spectacular Kombat Kingdom series was perfectly set by BRAVE CF 63. An electrifying five-fight card delivered four stoppages and one unanimous decision victory in the opening of the three-part series.
In less than two minutes of the opening round of their five-round title fight, Austria's Ismail Naurdiev was quickly dispatched by an arm bar by Poland's Marcin Bandel, shocking the BRAVE Nation and crowning a new Super Welterweight champion.
Naurdiev displayed his deadly hitting in the opening exchanges, breaking Bandel's jaw with precise boxing before the Pole received a startling knockdown and immediately transitioned for a submission. The skilled Bandel responded with an even tighter attempt to snatch his arm, forcing the 'Austrian WonderBoy' to tap.
This resulted in the humble Bandel being crowned the winner of the vacant division and the top 175-pounder in the world. Naurdiev did well to avoid a deep armbar by shifting before the experienced Bandel responded.
“Oh bro! I won against a really great fighter. I know how good Ismail (Naurdiev) is. He is a good guy, a good fighter. I knew I had to finish the fight fast. I was a bit angry because he hit me really hard. I think he broke my jaw … but I'm from Poland and I can take it,” said Bandel who now has 20 finishes, 19 of them coming via submission.
Bandel also added that he is grateful for the title win and Bahrain.
“Everybody who knows me knows I have Coke Zero with me wherever I go. Now, all I will have with me is my BRAVE CF belt. I am so grateful to be here in Bahrain. I really like it here. It is my first time here. Unfortunately, I need to leave early tomorrow morning, but hopefully the guys can invite me back here to train. A big thank you to Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and to all the people here, you do an extremely good job to support us, you pay us well, and the food is good, too,” he added.
Brad Katona of Canada once more broke Bahrain's hearts in the co-main event of the evening when he crushed Gamzat Magomedov over five rounds to retain his BRAVE CF Bantamweight title.
Katona had an advantage over Magomedov from round one to round five. Magomedov was reduced to appearing like a mere shell of the man who had never been dominated in a cage by the Canadian's performance. Katona possessed amazing movement, a strong takedown defence, and exceptional cardio, to which Magomedov had no counter.
As a result, Magomedov only managed to score two takedowns throughout the whole bout. The most notable aspect of Katona's performance was how he lit up Magomedov from round one on with his lateral mobility and precise boxing. It has virtually never happened before in the BRAVE CF cage, but Katona's striking was of a kind that it opened up Magomedov's face.
The only time Magomedov exhibited signs of his former self was in the fifth and final round, when he executed a big hip toss that had Bahraini fans yelling "Gamzat!, Gamzat!, Gamzat!" on their feet.
A well-timed kick from Katona knocked Magomedov off balance and set up that moment, but the Bahraini was able to grab Katona's hips and put him on the "Gamzat Express" before gaining top control. Even there, Katona had the championship mindset as he rode out the round and successfully defended his title while avoiding any back injuries and remaining active while elbowing Magomedov in the head.
After dominating Finland's Olli Santalahti over the course of three rounds in the top Super Welterweight contender match of the evening, Russian Kamal Magomedov secured a championship fight.
Magomedov had previously dispatched all of his opponents inside five minutes, therefore this was the first time he had advanced past the first round. He took Santalahti through his paces and dealt a lot of damage to the Finn's face, demonstrating that he can continue his lethal style throughout three rounds.
Magomedov repeatedly slashed open his opponent's head and face with expert grappling, ground-and-pound, and a well-timed jab. Although Santalahti shown great courage by persevering throughout the fight, the referee was compelled to summon the medical staff to the cage in the third round to assess the level of tissue damage and the position of the cuts on Santalahti's head. The physicians then urged the referee to end the fight at that point.
Nemat Abdrashitov of Kyrgyzstan shocked the featherweight division when he declared himself the winner of the 'Fight of the Night' at BRAVE CF 63 after devastatingly knocking out Marcos Vinicius Costa of Brazil in the second round.
Abbas Khan, a Pakistani natural striker who recently joined KHK Team Bahrain, produced a stunning takedown over Italian opponent and BRAVE CF debutant Michael Reali before locking in a stunning armbar in the opening round of their 77-kilogram Catchweight bout. This fight served as the perfect kickoff to the exciting BRAVE CF 63 event.
After today's event, BRAVE CF 64: African All Stars will be held this Saturday, October 22, before the third and final leg of the Kombat Kingdom festival, BRAVE CF 65, wraps up the following Saturday, October 28. Visit www.bravecf.com for more details on BRAVE CF's Kombat Kingdom series.
Official BRAVE CF 63 results:
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