MMA fans are in for a treat this week when the cage doors open at Brave 23. The Bahrain-based promotion has been steadily assembling a line-up of world-class talent and this week’s event will showcase just how deep their roster is.
The 12-bout card is scheduled to take place on 19 April in Amman, Jordan inside the Martyr Rashid Al-Ziyoud Hall.
At the top of the bill will be three title fights, all of which look capable of stealing the show. The card also features the anticipated debut of American flyweight Shorty Torres.
Globally MMA is going from strength to strength, and Brave 23 is a further example of how the sport is reaching across borders and developing fans around the world.
Three World Title Fights
The Brave Welterweight, Super Lightweight and Lightweight titles will all be up for grabs on Friday night.
The main event will see Brave Welterweight World Champion Jarrah “The Jordanian Lion” Al-Selawe (12-1) taking on undefeated Frenchman Abdoul Abdouragimov (9-0).
It will be the first title defense for “The Jordanian Lion” since he captured the belt at Brave 16 where he scored a stunning TKO victory over former champion Carlston Lindsay Harris.
Al-Selawe will face one of the divisions most exciting prospects in the shape of 23-year-old Abdouragimov. The Dagestan born fighter made his promotional debut at Brave 14, where he dismantled American Sidney Wheeler via first-round TKO victory.
It was a performance that marked Abdouragimov out as a talent to watch. He then confirmed the hype was real by earning a decision win over Brazilian veteran Rodrigo Cavalheiro Correia.
Al-Selawe will want to send the home fans off with a reason to celebrate, and this main event contest is shaping up to be an absolutely cracking fight.
The evening’s penultimate bout will see the inaugural Brave Super Lightweight World Champion being crowned. The two men vying for the honor are Russian submission specialist Eldar Eldarov (11-1) and Dubai’s KO king Mounir “Sniper” Lazzez (7-0).
Both fighters have yet to taste to defeat when competing under the Brave Banner and their contest is classic grappler versus striker affair.
All but one of Lazzez’s victories have come via KO while Eldarov has accumulated a record of 8 submission wins in his career to-date
Hometown hero Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady (10-1) will mount the first defense of his lightweight title when he takes on highly-rated Brazilian striker Luan Santiago Carvalho (13-3).
This fight is guaranteed fireworks, both men are capable of sending their opponent to the canvas, and it is hard to see this bout going to the judge’s scorecards.
The Debut of Shorty Torres
There will be a lot of eyes on Jose “Shorty” Torres (8-1) when he makes his Brave debut this week. The former UFC flyweight was initially set to compete at Brave 22 until an injury disrupted his plans.
Now fully fit “Shorty” will face off against his initially scheduled opponent Amir Albazi (11-0), in the opening fight of the main card.
The undefeated Albazi will also be making his promotional debut this week. The 25-year-old Swede comes into Brave after claiming back-to-back wins in Bellator. He has now set his sights on conquering Brave’s flyweight division.
Brave has signed several quality flyweights in recent months and going forward the division looks to set to provide fans with plenty of classic matchups.
Both Torres and Albazi will be eager to send out a statement on Friday night that they are worthy of a title shot.
Two Bouts That Fans Cannot Miss
In a card this solid, it would be easy to only focus on the three title fights. However, if you’re an MMA fan, you would be doing yourself a disservice. From top to bottom the card is stacked with potential “Fight Of The Night” contenders.
There are two fights though that stand out as must-sees. The welterweight clash between Russia’s Ikram Aliskerov (8-0) and Sweden’s Khamzat Chimaev (4-0) is a contest between two of the division’s top prospects and could easily steal the show.
It is rare to see an MMA promotion to have two of their rising stars face off against one another. Credit must go to the matchmakers for pairing these two together.
The other bout that fans should be circling is the lightweight clash between Morocco’s Anas Siraj Mounir (7-1-0) and Canada’s Alex Martinez (5-0). It will be the second time that these two fighters have stepped inside the Brave cage.
They each came away with victories in their debuts and both fighters will be looking to start building their case for a title shot with a second consecutive win.
How to watch:
The following link will provide fans with all the info needed to watch this card