BRAVE CF 70/WFC 25: Erko Jun demolishes Marko Drmonjic; Lutterbach wins in historic night for European MMA
Apr 23, 2023
Just two months after BRAVE Combat Federation elevated the Balkan region’s MMA scene with BRAVE CF 69, the most-global MMA promotion returned to Europe, this time to inject new life into Slovenia’s economy and sporting industry as BRAVE CF 70 / WFC 25 took place in Ljubljana tonight.
Sixteen international professional mixed martial artists descended upon Central Europe to grab the opportunity of a lifetime as they showcased their talents under the bright BRAVE CF lights in BRAVE Combat Federation’s 20th visit to the “Peninsula of Peninsulas”.
The show - made possible with leading regional organization WFC - bore witness to four spectacular stoppages, leaving fans more than satisfied as those in attendance got their worth in the hotbed of Central European MMA.
In the main event, Slovenia’s Marko “Lion Heart” Drmonjic brought the curtain down on a spectacular 22-fight career after getting finished by Europe’s rising star and KO machine, Erko Jun from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jun opened the fight by attacking Drmonjic’s legs, neutralizing any front-foot attack from the Slovenian veteran. Jun then delivered a well-timed and well-guided right hook which sent “Lion Heart” to the canvas before reigning down hammer fists on Drmonjic, signaling the end of the fight and the conclusion of an illustrious career.
“I promised my family a spectacular BRAVE CF debut, and I think I delivered,” said Jun in his post-fight speech.
“My low kick is one of my strongest weapons. It is like the first step to breaking down my opponent - and it worked tonight. I have no injuries, so I'd like to return to BRAVE Combat Federation soon. I am so grateful for this opportunity. Thank you BRAVE CF and Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa,” added Jun.
In the co-main event, Germany’s Joilton Lutterbach showed his warrior spirit, technical prowess, and strength when he went toe-to-toe with Sweden’s natural Middleweight Andreas Gustafsson Berg in their Super Welterweight bout. From the first bell, Gustafsson Berg tried to capitalize on his power by overcrowding the natural Super Lightweight Lutterbach, hoping to subdue the German’s dynamic striking. The Swede often tried to close the distance, initiating a wrestling game. Lutterbach soon became comfortable in the exchanges and utilized his Judo, Luta Livre, and Jiu-Jitsu skills to disrupt the Swede’s plan.
For the majority of the fight, Lutterbach dominated his opponent in the striking and wrestling exchanges, but the German admitted that going up two divisions is no easy feat considering the brute strength of Gustafsson Berg whose weight was pretty taxing on the BRAVE CF Super Lightweight number-one contender.
“Thank you to everyone who came to watch us fight. I am not happy with my performance today,” said a disappointed Lutterbach, who now has 38 wins.
“I don’t know what happened, but I have to give it up to my opponent, he is very strong. I am a Super Lightweight who came up to fight at Super Welterweight, Man, these guys are so strong. I wanted to strike, but he came to wrestle, so I had to meet him there. I am just glad I got the win, all thanks to God,” said Lutterbach before calling out the 165-pound champion, Eldar Eldarov, once again.
“Hey Eldar, if you want to, let’s fight at the end of the year. Let’s go to Colombia or Brazil, anywhere. I am ready for you, ” concluded Lutterbach.
In the Heavyweight division, Lithuania’s Pavel Dailidko silenced the Ljubljana crowd when he knocked out Slovenia’s Luka Podkrajsek early in round one following a devastating flurry of strikes. “The Experiment” proved worthy of his stage name as he hunted down his opponent. In their first exchanges, Podkrajsek tried to clinch up with his much taller competitor, but Dailidko was having none of it as he threw massive knees into the body of Podkrajsek. As they broke loose, Dailidko became robotic in his approach, unleashing a machine-like combination that included a straight right body punch, a right leg kick, and a left knee to Podkrajsek’s face, which ultimately sent the Slovenian to the canvas, forcing the referee to end the fight.
In the Bantamweight division, the wild man of BRAVE Combat Federation, Jordan’s Izzedine “The Palestinian Samurai” lived up to his reputation with yet another stoppage and the first submission of the night when he made Colombia’s Eduardo Mora tap early in the second round. Al-Derbani - a lethal striker - was in his comfort as he kept Mora at perfect range to feel the full extent of his power, mixing up head and body kicks before going down the middle with devastating straight rights launched at the sternum. In the second round, Al-Derbani setup an incredible combination shifting from the body shot to low kicks that rocked Mora before the two clinched up, which was the beginning of the end as the “Palestinian Samurai” locked in his first-ever ninja choke to secure his debut BRAVE CF win.
The first Bantamweight fight saw the unveiling of a future star. In one of the biggest upsets in BRAVE CF history, late-replacement Vitaliy Yakymenko dominated India’s number-one-ranked 135-pound athlete, Mohammed Farhad, over three rounds. Farhad had been preparing to face the Philippines’ Ruel Panales, however, the Filipino pulled out just days before the show, opening the door for the young Ukrainian, who grabbed the chance with both hands. Yakymenko slowly broke down Farhad with great timing and takedowns before going to work with superb top-control wrestling, transitioning, patience, and calculated striking. The 26-year-old showed Farhad no mercy, who failed to conjure up any answers for his Ukrainian opponent.
BRAVE CF 70 / WFC 25 Official Results
Light Heavyweight: Erko Jun beat Marko Drmonjic by TKO (strikes) - 2:52s - Round 1
Super Welterweight: Joilton Lutterbach beat Andreas Gustafsson Berg via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
Heavyweight: Pavel Dailidko beat Luka Podkrajsek via KO - 1:23s - Round 1
Bantamweight: Izzedine Al-Derbani beat Eduardo Mora via submission (ninja choke) - 15s - Round 2