Photo above – Ottman Azaitar crowned champion
The Khalifa Sports City Arena was the stage for the greatest-ever card in Middle East MMA history. And Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions delivered with 10 Knockouts in 15 bouts, as Stephen Loman and Ottman Azaitar took home the first-ever Bantamweight and Lightweight world titles, respectively. Their TKO’s over Gurdarshan Mangat and Alejandro “Pato” Martínez were the culmination of a show filled with finishes from top to bottom.
Also on the main card, two of Brave’s top fighters tasted defeat as Carl Booth was dominated on the wrestling department by Jarrah Al-Selawe on their rematch and MMA pioneer Gesias Cavalcante was stopped on the third round after a valiant effort against former UFC fighter Alan Omer. Mohammad Fakhreddine and Tahar Hadbi didn’t quite settle their rivalry as their back-and-forth scrap ended in a No Contest after Hadbi accidentally hit “The Latest” with a low blow.
In the preliminary card, five out of eight bouts ended in first-round knockouts as Felipe Efrain’s flying knee KO of Nawras Abzakh rounded things off and brought the only victory for Brazilian MMA, who was represented by four fighters, after Lucas Mineiro was forced to pull out of his title fight against Elias Boudegzdame due to illness.
Mangat x Loman
Gurdarshan Mangat and Stephen Loman were both coming off two wins for Brave Combat Federation and they were looking to make history by becoming the first ever Bantamweight champion and one of the first winners of three promotional bouts.
Loman started off showing quick hands, but Mangat was pounding away with low kicks. However, the Filipino was a step ahead in the striking department and dropped St. Lion twice, forcing the referee to step in. “The Sniper” became the first-ever Filipino Brave world champion with an amazing TKO in the first round.
Martínez x Azaitar
In what was dubbed a clash of styles, the striking prowess of The Bulldozer ended up prevailing over the pressure grappling of Martínez. Azaitar showed his heavy hands, but was also able to showcase improved defensive wrestling and jiu-jitsu as “Pato” made him work throughout the fight to keep things standing.
After dazing the Mexican twice in the first two rounds, Azaitar finally closed the show with an amazing front kick to the body that dropped Martínez and made him tap out due to strikes. It was a picture-perfect ending for the Moroccan, who stays undefeated and is now 3-0 with Brave Combat Federation.
Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions results
Lightweight title fight: Ottman Azaitar def. Alejandro Martínez by TKO – Round 3
Bantamweight title fight: Stephen Loman def. Gurdarshan Mangat by TKO – Round 1
Welterweight: Jarrah Al Selawe def. Carl Booth by unanimous decision
Lightweight: Alan Omer def. Gesias Cavalcante by TKO – Round 3
Lightweight: Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady def. Erick “Índio Brabo” by TKO – Round 2
Welterweight: Mohammad Fakhreddine and Tahar Hadbi ended in No Contest (Accidental low blow)
Bantamweight: Hamza Kooheji def. Mohammad Farhad by unanimous decision
Bantamweight: Felipe Efrain def. Nawras Abzakh by TKO – Round 1
Lightweight: Ahmed Amir def. Erik Carlsson by split decision
Bantamweight: Frans Mlambo def. Michael Deiga-Scheck by TKO – Round 1
Middleweight: Ikram Aliskerov def. Jeremy Smith by TKO – Round 1
Catchweight: Hardeep Rai def. Sam Patterson by TKO – Round 1
Lightweight: Charlie Leary def. Daniele Scatizzi by TKO – Round 3
Bantamweight: Jalal Al Daaja def. Jeremy Pacatiw by TKO – Round 1
Strawweight: Haider Farman def. Atif Mohammed by unanimous decision