It was a history-making night at BRAVE CF 57, which took place in front of a packed-out Khalifa Sports City Arena in Isa Town, Bahrain. Mohammad Fakhreddine confirmed his status as one of the legends of MMA in the Middle East, while Canadian Brad Katona stunned the hometown fans by edging past Hamza Kooheji in the main event.
Katona picked up his first world title by defeating Kooheji via split decision to claim the vacant BRAVE CF bantamweight strap. It was a result that could have gone either way and is likely to ignite passionate debate amongst the BRAVE CF fanbase.
The contest was a closely fought affair, with both men keeping their cards tight to their chest as they looked to break their opponent down. Kooheji started well, controlling the center and not giving Katona much to work with, as the Canadian sought to break down Kooheji’s defenses.
Both men had their moments both on the ground and on the feet throughout the bout, and Katona’s grappling became more influential as the rounds ticked over. The final scorecards all read 48-47, with two judges giving it in favor of Katona and one Kooheji.
Mohammad Fakhreddine Makes History
In the co-main event, Mohammad Fakhreddine defeated bitter rival Mohamed Said Maalem in their light heavyweight clash to become the first two-division champion in BRAVE CF’s history.
The Lebanese fighter, who also holds the promotions middleweight strap, had to weather an early storm in the opening minutes. Said Maalem came out firing and soon had Fakhreddine in trouble. It looked like the Algerian was only moments away from capturing his first BRAVE CF title after he landed several heavy knees when he had Fakhreddine pinned against the cage.
However, Fakhreddine was able to make space and landed a strike to the nose of Said Maalem, which halted him in his tracks. Fakhreddine then regrouped and began mounting an offensive campaign against a rapidly fatiguing Said Maalem. Finally, with only seconds left in the round, Fakhreddine poured on the pressure as he unleashed a volley of strikes before Said Maalem was saved by the bell.
It was only a brief reprieve for the Algerian fighter as Fakhreddine resumed control of the bout at the start of the second and soon sent his opponent to the canvas with a brutal left hook. The referee called the fight off after Said Maalem had no answer to Fakhreddine’s ground and pound assault.
The opening title fight of the night saw Kyrgyzstan’s Abdisalam Kubanychbek and former BRAVE CF lightweight champion Cleiton Silva facing off in an interim lightweight title bout following an injury to the current champion Ahmed Amir.
Kubanychbek started strong and quickly dominated the contest with his impressive grappling before the referee paused proceedings after determining that Kubanychbek had landed several illegal blows to the back of Silva’s head when he was in back mount position.
Silva was then unable to continue and the bout was called a No Contest. From the way that Kubanychbek was controlling and the fact that he was handed the interim title despite the result bout makes it look a strong likelihood he will meet Amir once the champion is back from injury.
However the top of the lightweight title picture plays out; England’s Sam Patterson will likely soon be challenging for the title after scoring his fifth straight victory with a second stoppage victory over Khunkar-Pasha Osmaev. The Walford native delivered a showcase performance using his height and reach advantage to establish control of the matchup in the opening frame, with his crisp jab keeping Osmaev at bay.
In the second round, the man dubbed “The Future” picked up the pace and started landing heavier shots before unleashing a barrage of strikes mid-way through the round, which forced the referee to step in and wave the fight off.
- Bantamweight title fight: Brad Katona def Hamza Kooheji via Split Decision
- Light Heavyweight title fight: Mohammad Fakhreddine def. Mohamed Said Maalem via RD 2 TKO
- Lightweight interim title fight: Abdisalam Uulu Kubanychbek Cleiton Silva – No Contest (Accidental Blows To Back Of Head)
- Lightweight: Sam Patterson def. Khunkar-Pasha Osmaev via RD2 TKO
- Lightweight: Husein Kadimagomaev vs. Agshin Babaev – No Contest (Accidental Low Blow)
- Flyweight: Asu Almabaev def. Imram Magaramov via Unanimous Decision
- Lightweight: Kamil Magomedov def. Sayed Murtaza Sadat via RD1 Submission
- Light Heavyweight: Murtaza Talha def. Mikheil Sazhiniani via RD1 Submission
- Bantamweight: Maysara Mohamed def. Mohamed Farhad via RD2 TKO
- Bantamweight: Magomed Idrisov def. Rahmatullah Yousufzai via Unanimous Decision
- Bantamweight: Abdullah Al Yaqoob def. Omar Emad via Technical Decision
- Amateur Lightweight: Hussain Muhammad def. Adon Ayoub via Unanimous Decision