BRAVE CF 69: undisputed Lightweight champion crowned in historic fight night for Serbia and Europe
Feb 18, 2023
BRAVE Combat Federation’s return trip to Serbia will forever be imprinted in history as one of the most spectacular mixed martial arts shows to play out on European soil. The BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week gave rise to the European and Serbian MMA scene this past week with more than 62 nations represented and 550 athletes in action. And tonight, BRAVE CF 69 produced the perfect culmination to the largest combat sports festival as the BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week closed out with four stoppages in six fights at the sold-out Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia.
The main event saw the crowning of Kyrgyzstan’s first-ever undisputed BRAVE CF champion after interim champion Abdisalam Kubanychbek secured a unanimous decision win over Dagestan’s Kamil Magomedov.
Kubanychbek and Magomedov showcased beautiful wrestling, grappling, and conditioning clinics over five rounds. Magomedov proved he is worth his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu salt with silky transitions and numerous submission attempts that left fans on the edge of their seats. In the second round, Kubanychbek seemed to be on the verge of tapping as the Dagestani locked in a deep rear-naked choke before the Kyrgyz transitioned out. When asked about that nail-biting momentum, the victorious Kubanychbek played it cool.
“It was really close, but I am a tough fighter, and I will always survive because I will never give up. Thank you to the Almighty for this victory. I am grateful for this. I am the real champion now. I will be here for a long time. I am ready for anyone,” said the new undisputed champion Kubanychbek as the Belgrade crowd celebrated his victory.
The co-main event delivered on its promise after the heated exchanges between Heavyweights Darko Stosic and Shamil Gaziev in the build-up to the fight. Both athletes put it all on the line as they went toe-to-toe in the BRAVE CF cage.
Serbian legend Stosic earned the respect of Gaziev when he gave Bahrain’s behemoth the first knockdown of his professional career with a big left hook that almost turned the Bahraini's lights off. However, the unbeaten Heavyweight showcased his impeccable conditioning as he recovered quickly to regroup and continue fighting.
The much shorter Stosic did well to implement his game plan with quick feints and unpredictable big right hands. Gaziev was the wiser as he found his range and timing backed by a reliable counter-punch game. Moments later, Gaziev summoned an uppercut from Hades which immediately sent the Serb to the canvas before the Bahraini unleashed a ground-and-pound to spell the end of the fight.
Serbian superstar Aleksandar “Joker” Ili? secured the host nation’s only win when he overcame an extremely durable Polish warrior in Marcin Naruszczka via a split decision in their 90-kilogram Catchweight bout.
Ili? thrilled the crowd with his beautiful question mark kicks and intelligent shot selection throughout the fight. At one point, it appeared Naruszczka was knocked out cold in the first round, but the Pole's resilience carried him through as he refused to concede to a KO loss. The dogged Naruszczka did well to subdue some of the Serbian’s lethal body and head kicks when he caught a few thunderous single legs and took his opponent down. The third round saw a turning of the tide as Naruszczka initiated some beautiful ground and pound on the Serb, but it was too little too late as Ili? walked away with the split decision win.
In the third Super Lightweight bout, Serbia's Aleksandar Terzi? gave the Stark Arena its first shock test when he walked out to fight Croatia’s Patrik Celi?, setting off a roar of thunder from the Serbian fans. But the moment was short-lived as Celi? proved too technical when he capitalized on a Terzi? double-leg takedown attempt and used his opponent's low position as momentum to land massive blows to the head, which led to the referee eventually calling a TKO stoppage in the first round.
In the opening fight, Egypt’s former Olympian Mahmoud Sebie once again revealed his pedigree by making light work of his Greek opponent Muhammed Kir Ahmet as he took him down, shifted into the guard, and finished Kir Ahmet via TKO (punches) within 38 seconds of the first round.