Kazakhstan is known as a true warrior region of the world. The area might be covered with steppe terrain and cold untouched mountainous landscapes, however, the people of this Central Asian nation are filled with warm hearts and a deep passion for combat sports, and this was evident during BRAVE Combat Federation's third visit to the City of Almaty.
BRAVE CF 62 – in association with Octagon League – was lapped up by the fans as the athletes on show appreciated the warm embrace and reciprocated the love with all-out action and some savored and memorable moments inside the BRAVE cage. The main event of the BRAVE CF portion turned out to be the most heartfelt moment as one of BRAVE CF's legends, the Philippines' most experienced MMA athlete, Rolando Dy (14-13) called time on his career after suffering a knockout loss to his opponent, Olzhas Eskaraev (11-6).
After dominating the exchanges and enjoying top control for the majority of round one, Eskaraev implemented the same strategy in round two, securing position and pinning his opponent from guard before reigning down a flurry of left hooks that eventually knocked Dy out.
During the post-fight interview, Dy requested a word on the mic, a word that would be his last as a BRAVE CF fighter.
"This is my retirement. Thank you to my fans, and thank you to my haters. I just want to tell my family that I love you so much," said an emotional Dy, a veteran of the sport with 27 bouts, nine of them taking place inside the BRAVE cage.
"This sport is my life, but we know when we can't do it anymore, and tonight I realized that it is my time. As a coach, I will do this till the day I die, but as a fighter, my time has come. I am an old lion. I officially announce my retirement. Olzhas, thank you for giving me my retirement,” added Dy, the BRAVE CF 2020 "Fighter of the Year" whose speech was then warmly received by the fans in attendance, giving the legend a standing ovation celebration.
Eskaraev and Dy may be the same age, however, Eskaraev's work is far from complete in the BRAVE cage and the Kazakh feels that he has unfinished business with BRAVE CF Interim champion, Abdisalam Kubanychbek.
"First of all, I want to say a big thank you to all my fans who came out to support me. Thank you, Kazakhstan. Thank you for your support, Kazakh warriors. I feel great, and I am ready for my rematch with the guy from Kyrgyzstan," said Eskaraev, alluding to Kubanychbek, who beat the former via unanimous decision in their interim title bout at BRAVE CF 59.
The co-main bout of the BRAVE CF portion saw Kazakhstani featherweight Nurzhan Akishev (14-3) appease his home fans with a dominating win over Pakistan's Mehmosh Raza (10-5) in their match. Akishev reinserted himself into contendership conversations as he sublimely controlled the range and distance, mixing up beautiful feints before initiating attacks that subdued his opponent who failed to keep up with the pace at times.
At one stage, Raza almost finished the fight with a superb kick to the skull after he got Akishev to lean into his blistering right foot, however, Akishev did well to compose himself and continue his path to victory, riding out a unanimous decision victory.
Bahrain's Murtaza Talha (6-0) proved once again that the hype is real when he wasted no time in dispatching Russian-born Kirill Khomitsky (8-3) in their catchweight bout. Within the first minute of the bell, Talha took out the textbook and did what he does best, mixing up kicks and jabs on the feet before quickly level-changing and securing the takedown.
As Khomitsky attempted to escape the grip, the former double IMMAF world champion pulled off yet another takedown on his opponent, booking two takedowns within two minutes, moments later he transitioned beautifully to full mount, reigning down those bear claws forcing Khomitsky to seek an exit eventually exposing his neck.
Talha failed to hesitate and locked in a rear-naked choke with more than two minutes left to go in the first round. This victory takes him now to six finishes in as many fights and most certainly puts both the middleweight and light heavyweight roster on notice with that devastating job.
Russian Lightweights Akhmed Shervaniev (15-1) and Kamil Magomedov (15-3) also put their hands up for contenders of "Fight of the Night '' with an absolute barnburner. Coming into the fight, Shervaniev was penalized 30 percent of his purse for missing weight, however, he made up for that mistake with a fantastic fight and his performance earned him a split-decision victory over Magomedov. It was a high-octane, never-back-down, full-blown war between these two athletes in a bout that displayed everything you want in a fight.
This BRAVE CF lightweight clash showcased knockdowns, submission attempts, conditioning, heart, skill and character in a matchup that was too close to call, one that could have even gone to a draw. The win sees fourth-ranked Shervaniev catapult himself above Magomedov (currently third place) in the lightweight rankings.
BRAVE CF 62 was Kazakhstan's official baptism into an exclusive club of nations that have hosted three or more BRAVE CF events as BRAVE CF continues to take the gospel of mixed martial arts to unheralded nations all in the name of improving countries and people through the power of sport. Now, the promotion returns to its home in the Kingdom of Bahrain for three more huge events, taking place between October 19 and October 28. For more information on BRAVE CF's next stop, visit BRAVECF.com.
BRAVE CF 62 results include:
- Olzhas Eskaraev def. Rolando Dy via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 3:40
- Nurzhan Akishev def. Mehmosh Raza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ilyar Askhanov def. Razul Tezekbaev via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Akhmed Shervaniev def. Kamil Magomedov via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Murtaza Talha def. Kirill Khomitsky via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:40
- Ilyor Bakhtiyar Uulu def/ Abdullah Al-Qahtani via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
- Anzor Abdulkhozhaev def. Sanjarbek Erkinov via submission (ninja choke) – Round 3, 0:49