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Nkosi Ndebele Calls for Rematch After Epic Title Clash

LockerRoom Team
31 August 2023

BRAVE Combat Federation’s Bantamweight contender, Nkosi “The Future” Ndebele, is eager for a swift rematch with newly crowned 135-pound champion Jose “Shorty” Torres. Their gripping five-round showdown at BRAVE CF 73 during the Pan-American Combat Week stole the spotlight, captivating audiences for over 25 minutes. The monumental title bout unfolded at Bogota's Coliseo El Salitre on Saturday evening.

Ultimately, Torres secured a split-decision victory from the judges (49-45, 48-47, 49-47), a result that left the South African feeling both frustrated and bewildered. "I just don’t know which fight the judges were watching. He didn’t even do damage. The only punch that he caught me with was a proper over hook. The others were Judo throws, but I stood up very quickly. I didn’t feel like those hip tosses should have even counted," expressed Ndebele in a post-fight interview. "I thought I did very well. I was feeling good, and I wasn’t really under pressure. I definitely deserve a rematch. When 'Shorty' is ready to go, I’ll be ready. I’m feeling fine. I took no damage."

Ndebele established his dominance in the initial rounds, deploying teep-like kicks, midsection knees, and inside leg strikes to nullify Torres’ elite wrestling skills. His silky striking and reach comfortably aided him in the clinch, where he inflicted damage on his American counterpart, cutting him open with a knee strike. Despite Ndebele's effectiveness at different ranges, Torres managed to bridge the gap on several occasions, executing numerous hip tosses that Ndebele skillfully evaded.

Leveraging his height, Ndebele thwarted Torres’ wrestling attempts, employing angles and leg kicks to weaken the lead leg used by Torres for striking from a distance.

In the third round, grappling took center stage as the two athletes engaged for two minutes. Torres once again executed a powerful hip toss, followed by an unsuccessful guillotine choke attempt. Although Ndebele's striking prowess had been prominent in the standing exchanges, he opted to attack Torres’ back, resulting in another toss before Torres transitioned from a Kimura to an armbar.

Torres’ higher work rate resonated with the judges, as he showcased greater activity in clinches and grappling exchanges throughout the fight. However, Ndebele's cleaner striking output and inflicted damage tilted the scales in his favor.

Round four witnessed Torres focusing on Ndebele's lead leg, prompting Nkosi to return to his signature style—striking Torres’ body with kicks and employing his straight jab. Torres once more bridged the distance, executing another captivating hip toss.

In the final moments of the fifth round, Ndebele initiated a takedown before transitioning to top control. This is where Torres deployed his Jiu Jitsu prowess, relentlessly pursuing an armbar for over a minute. Ndebele withstood the pressure until the fight's conclusion.

"It makes me sad because the scorecard was just ridiculous, and unfortunately the game was unfair to me tonight, but I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of what I did, and part of me still believes I am the Champion. My 'Future Citizens' saw what happened, they all know, as I am still receiving messages. The people know I won that fight. But we move and don’t give up. Nothing's going to get me down. I will be a Champion in the future," Ndebele emphasized.

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