BRAVE Combat Federation's bantamweight champion Brad Katona is easily one of the most cerebral mixed martial artists in the world – an athlete with an extremely high fight IQ, easily visible in his calm and calculating demeanor inside the cage. A true problem-solver who adopts a mathematical approach to his fighting career, the SBG Ireland representative has been very successful and now sits atop the BRAVE Combat Federation bantamweight division, leading a row of killers, that includes the likes of Hamza Kooheji, Kasum Kasumov, Jose Torres and Alexander Keshtov.
On October 19, Katona (11-2) faces one of these killers in the co-main event of BRAVE CF 63, as "Superman" looks to defend his world title for the first time against Gamzat Magomedov (7-1).
Katona's fighting style is testament of his predatorial and mathematical approach as 91 percent of his wins come either by submission or via long drawn-out dominating decisions. Katona – who fights under the tutelage of global MMA personality and coach John Kavanagh – portrayed that numbers-game best against the dangerous Bahraini star, Kooheji, as the former had to use pint-point calculations to eventually grind out a split-decision victory at BRAVE CF 57.
This month, at Kombat Kingdom's BRAVE CF 63 event, Katona's pedigree will be put even further to the test when he makes his first world title defense against yet another Bahraini juggernaut in Magomedov, the No. 1 bantamweight contender in the world. His grip strength and clinchwork are things of beauty as he slowly breaks down his opponents, forcing them to wilt and bend to his will. Magomedov has only ever lost once in eight professional fights when he came up short against JP Buys, via disqualification, in a bout he was otherwise dominating.
Coming out of the famed KHK Team Bahrain systems, Magomedov is far from a one-dimensional fighter who can only grind out grappling-based wins at whim. He's blossomed into a well-rounded mixed martial artist, adding striking prowess and submission skills. His standup game, specifically, has grown in leaps and bounds, giving the fans even more to get excited about. Just last year, Magomedov shocked the world with a first-round KO of previously undefeated Austrian Mochamed Machaev at BRAVE CF 52. The performance was impressive enough to earn Gamzat a nomination for 2021 BRAVE CF's "Breakout Fighter of The Year."
Heading into this huge showdown with the champion, Magomedov will also have extra motivation as he will be looking for revenge for his friend and training partner Kooheji, who lost to Katona at the very same venue. While he seems to be a collected and discreet character outside fighting, when the cage door closes, Gamzat transforms, becoming a relentless fighter, with an almost-reckless approach to try and defeat his opponent. The fact that the Katona fight takes place with a world title on the line, and Brad's previous history with KHK Team might make Magomedov even more emotional.
All these facts add to the allure of BRAVE CF 63 where Katona and Magomedov will square-off and "compare" study notes. It will only be a matter of time before BRAVE Nation finds out who subtracts from who and which athlete passes this MMA exam with flying colors before walking out of the Khalifa Sports City Arena with a multiplication of joy around their waist.