BRAVE Combat Federation's fighting roster is filled with athletes from different generations, backgrounds and experiences, and this month, in the first installment of Kombat Kingdom, the BRAVE CF 63 main event will showcase not only youth vs. experience, but also natural talent vs hard work when Austria's Ismail Naurdiev (22-5) takes on Poland's Marcin Bandel (21-7-1) for the vacant BRAVE CF super welterweight title on Wednesday in Bahrain.
There are so many interesting and different dynamics between these two athletes. Naurdiev, on the one hand, is a natural in front of the mic, owning the stage when given the opportunity while also being a naturally-gifted young striker with high-level takedown defense. His exploits inside the cage have led to experts declaring him a phenom, hence the stage name, "The Austrian Wonderboy."
At the young age of 26-years-old, Naurdiev has already racked up a very respectable 22-5 fight record. He has fought on more than 17 main cards this far, emphasizing his draw-card ability and exciting fighting style. He boasts a record of twelve knockouts, two of them meaning him "Knockout of the Night" awards.
Naurdiev also knows what it is like to fight for a title with two championship matches under his belt. His first title fight was back in 2016 as a 20-year-old, where he won a local championship title via submission in the first round. His next title assignment came in BRAVE CF where he came short against now-former super welterweight champion Jarrah Al-Silawi at BRAVE CF 50 last year.
At BRAVE CF 63, Naurdiev faces an older, less flashy and more reserved opponent in Bandel. In fact, just this month it was Bandel's 33rd birthday. The man known as "Bomba" is a true fighter's fighter, who has fought in more than 14 promotions across the world, earning the respect of many athletes with a record of 21 wins, seven losses and one draw. He knows what it's like to fight for a title after winning the German middleweight title in 2013.
He has also earned two "Submission of the Night" awards with his impeccable grappling skills. At one point in his career he strung together a huge 12-fight win streak. He may not give the fans crazy knockout stoppages, but he is an absolute wizard when it comes to the submission game, with 18 finishes coming via chokes, bars, hooks and locks.
Bandel has endured various adversities in his career, yet, coming from the old school, he grit his teeth and fought through it all. After going through a bit of a slump in 2018 and 2019, suffering back-to-back losses in the cage, he returned to his bread and butter.
Being a second degree black belt in jiu-jitsu and a national champion in ADCC, he leaned on his grappling by entering submission-based tournaments where he rebuilt his confidence. Once he found himself again, he went on a three-fight win streak with his last two wins coming in BRAVE CF. His last win over Luis Felipe Dias secured his spot as BRAVE CF's No. 3-ranked super welterweight athlete.
Come BRAVE CF 63, these two athletes – who could not be more different in any way – will line up as equals as they both fight for the same thing, the vacant BRAVE CF super welterweight title and the chance to become the No. 1 175-pound athlete on the planet.