BRAVE CF 74’s Ali Guliev vs Boris Nikolic: A fight for the future of the Bantamweights
Sep 06, 2023
Shortly after Jose Torres was crowned the BRAVE CF Bantamweight king, the organization posted a picture of the new 135-pound champion with his belt to which the caption read: “Who’s next?” The post went viral as hundreds of BRAVE Nation fans responded, stating who they thought should be next in line. Many fans backed Nkosi Ndebele to take the title in a rematch following a split decision loss to Torres at BRAVE CF 73. But while the debate continued, the post was truly indicative of how tightly contested the 135-pound division is, considering that earlier this year, Brad Katona was still the champion, and Torres had just moved up from Flyweight.
The BRAVE CF Bantamweight division is ever-changing, with athletes constantly champing at the bit to compete for the golden belt. And this week, in Nantes, France, two potential contenders will throw down in an exciting match-up that will further shape the stacked stable when the unbeaten Ali Guliev and Borislav Nikolic meet at BRAVE CF 74. Both men have been with the promotion for a few years now, having been on different paths, but a breakout performance here could really take them to the next level and help earn them a spot on Torres’ radar.
Guliev, who fights out of Azerbaijan, is a hot prospect set to make his Bantamweight debut following two knockout wins at Catchweight (BRAVE CF 47) and Featherweight (BRAVE CF 68), respectively. With an unbeaten streak of seven wins in seven professional fights, “The Black Wolf” feels it's time to hunt in the Bantamweight division. “I believe in myself, and I want to make a successful debut in the BRAVE CF Bantamweight division. I wanted to go down for a while now,” says Guliev after a few unfortunate cancellations. “I’m happy BRAVE CF gave me such a good opponent for my 135-pound debut. I know he (Nikolic) has only been beaten by the best in BRAVE CF, and hopefully, I’m the next one to beat him and go on for a title shot,” added Guliev.
Nikolic has not had an easy road since signing with BRAVE Combat Federation. In three fights, he faced the former champion Katona, and Matiss Zaharovs, before squaring off with contender Gamzat Magomedov at BRAVE CF 61 last year. In those three fights, he secured one win (against Zaharovs). Prior to signing with BRAVE CF, he was unbeaten in eight fights - highlighting the level of competition the most global MMA brand has to showcase. But Nikolic is a student of the game and aims to patiently right his wrongs before building his way up to the title. ‘’I’m not thinking of a title fight just yet,” says the former National MMA champion. “I want to beat Ali and then have my rematch with Gamzat. I feel like I only showed 10 or 15% of my capabilities in that fight. After that, I’d like to face Jose Torres for the title. I think they will make the rematch with Nkosi first. Hopefully, Torres wins, as I really want to test myself against him for the title,” concluded Nikolic.
BRAVE CF 74 takes place at the H Arena, in Nantes, France, in association with leading organization Hexagone MMA. The show will transform France into the 29th nation to host a BRAVE CF show, which is an absolute record in the mixed martial arts industry as no other promotion has achieved that figure.