Abdisalam Kubanychbek, the interim champion of BRAVE CF, and Kamil Magomedov, the top contender, may be meeting for the first time on Saturday, February 18, but they are already quite familiar with one another.
At BRAVE CF 69 in Belgrade, Serbia, Kubanychbek and Magomedov will square off for the uncontested BRAVE CF Lightweight title, but they have previously shared the mat on multiple times.
Both athletes have made significant progress and will now compete in the main event of the largest mixed martial arts event to ever take place in Europe, the BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week. Dagestan's Magomedov had been a huge fan of Kubanychbek before joining BRAVE Combat Federation in 2021.
At the time, Kubanychbek was well on his road to developing an infamous reputation with three stoppage victories inside the most international MMA cage.
Kubanychbek visited Dagestan for his camp for BRAVE CF 57 in order to sharpen his skills, and Magomedov had the ideal chance to compete against one of the top Lightweights in the world. They spent a lot of time practising together before they faced off against Kamil, who also had a bout scheduled for that day.
“Before signing the contract with BRAVE Combat Federation, I followed Kubanychbek as he was an interesting fighter who I liked. He then came to Dagestan for a training camp, before BRAVE CF 57. As a fighter who yearns to be the best, you desire to compete against the best, and I had the desire to test myself against him,” says the number-three ranked BRAVE CF Lightweight Magomedov “We wrestled and sparred, and that is how we came to know each other as fighters,” added KHK Team Bahrain’s grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach.
In the months leading up to their much anticipated match, both fighters have demonstrated respect for one another and a keen edge. While Magomedov, a former Taekwondo expert, was happy to elaborate on Kubanychbek's advantages, he kept his cards close to his chest while discussing the Kyrgyz's disadvantages.
“Look, he is a good fighter. His strengths are his endurance and the ability to keep a high pace in the fight. As for his weaknesses, I won’t say it before the time. I will show it in the cage on February 18,” said one of the most well-rounded athletes in the division, who mixes up his stand-up and ground game beautifully.
Since training with Magomedov, Kubanychbek has also been intrigued by his Dagestani counterpart's approach. Despite identifying holes in Magomedov's game, Kubanychbek appreciates his opponent's thinking around mixed martial arts. “Kamil is a good fighter. He has won many fights. I am very interested in his skills and tactics. The variety of skills he will offer and how to deal with his strengths, weaknesses, and tactics inside the cage intrigues me. He is well-trained. Good luck, Kamil’’.
The main event of BRAVE CF 69 will be the unification of the Lightweight titles, and the co-main event will be a big Heavyweight fight. Darko Stosic competes against undefeated IMMAF African, Asian, and European champion Shamil Gaziev in his first fight back in Serbia since 2017. The main competition of the BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week will feature competitors from 12 different countries.