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BRAVE CF 49: Superfights results and highlights

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Mohammed Shahid

BRAVE Combat Federation is holding four events in 21 days in a COVID-free bubble in "Kombat Kingdom," Bahrain, at 500-year-old Arad Fort, easily the coolest fight venue since Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris at the Coliseum, in Rome, Italy. The third of the epic four-part series, BRAVE 49: Superfights, was a night packed with exciting fights, from the rising of a new title contender to a much-anticipated flyweight tournament semi-qualifier, and the maturing of a young phenom into a superstar.

In the main event of the evening, Benoit "God of War" St. Denis submitted the former lightweight world champion Luan “Miau” Santiago in the second round to confirm his position as the next title challenger to the Super Lightweight belt, vs. the undisputed champion Eldar Eldarov.

Santiago came in hot with a flying knee right on top of the ringing bell, but, despite the Brazilian having connected a few good shots during the fight, it was St. Denis who brought the bout to his own terms.

Benoit got the takedown and, while on the ground, managed to transition smoothly to a full mount, which created enough space for him to push for the finish. He secured two seemingly fight-ending, rear-naked chokes in the first round, but Luan resisted gamely. In the second round, St. Denis got the arm triangle choke in and forced Luan ito tap, earning his seventh professional win, remaining undefeated, and securing the title shot vs. Eldarov.

After the fight, “God of War” said he’s excited and looking forward to the biggest fight of his professional career.

“I always wanted to fight Eldar and I hope we can do it as soon as possible," he said. "He’s a great champion but it’s my goal, my life, I will be the next world champion."

In the co-main event of the evening, Blaine O’Driscoll showed impressive form, and put former amateur IMMAF world champ champ Jose Torres in seeming danger multiple times, but "Shorty" won a unanimous decision victory, advancing to the semi-finals in the BRAVE CF Flyweight World Title Tournament.

Torres shared his thoughts on the next round match-up.

“I’m excited to face the winner of Ali Bagautinov vs Dustin Oritz," he said. "Because those were two guys that I was watching even before I started in MMA, it’ll be awesome to fight one of them."

The night also saw a potential fight-of-the-year contender in the clash of former IMMAF world champions, as Abdul "ABBA" Hussein gave Muhammad "The Punisher" Mokaev, arguably, the toughest fight of his career.

Highlights:

Ammy opener was exciting:

This kick broke the leg:

BRAVE CF 49 official results:
Super Lightweight - Benoit St. Denis def. Luan Santiago by submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 2
Catchweight 61 kg - Jose Torres def. Blaine O'Driscoll by unanimous decision (29x28, 29x28, 30x27)
Middleweight - Ikram Aliskerov def. Miro Jurkovic by submission (kimura) - Round 2
Flyweight - Muhammad Mokaev def. Abdul Hussein by unanimous decision (30x27, 29x28, 29x28)
Bantamweight - Gamzat Magomedov def. Matiss Zaharovs via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Bantamweight - Francesco Nuzzi def. Bernardo Sopai by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight - Chad Hanekom def. Dominic Schober by TKO (leg kick and punches) - Round 2
Catchweight 77 kg - Gadzhimusa Gaziev def. Geraldo Coelho by TKO (punches) - Round 3
Super Welterweight - Axel Sola def. Kuitty Begaj by submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 1
Bantamweight - Frieh Harahsheh def. Glenn McVeigh by submission (guillotine) - Round 1
Amateur Catchweight 77 kg - Ali Marhoon def. Hamad Mubarak Saad by submission (triangle choke) - Round 1