The 2021 season in MMA starts on January 16 in Sochi. The Olympic capital will host the Brave CF tournament with the participation of promising Russian fighters – a Bahraini organization that is discovering a new direction.
Several interesting athletes from Russia will perform at the WOW Arena in Krasnaya Polyana. And will lead the tournament Eldar Eldarov – a fighter whom Khabib considers him his hero, and the prince of Bahrain calls him a friend.
MMA-exoticism of the Persian Gulf
The name Brave CF (Brave Combat Federation) is familiar to a wide circle of Russian fans of martial arts only from rumors about the signing of a contract by the Bahraini promotion with Alexander Emelianenko autumn 2019. But then the rumors remained rumors, and Emelianenko Jr. did not leave for the shores of the Persian Gulf.
Nevertheless, Brave CF is quite active.
Appearing on the world MMA map in 2016, the promotion initially positioned itself as international and set goals to hold tournaments on all continents. It is not surprising, because the royal family took patronage over Brave CF, and the sheikh is officially considered the founder of the organization. Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa… Over the four years of its existence, Brave CF held 45 tournaments in 20 countries. “Sheikhs” reached both neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, they reached Brazil with Colombia, and Sweden with Great Britain, they were noted in Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa and many other places.
Several times Brave CF has appeared in the post-Soviet space, having held one tournament each in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Before this year, there were no Brave CF events in Russia, but a whole galaxy of our fighters has long been successfully performing in the Bahrain promotion: Ikram Aliskerov, Rustam Chsiev, Akhmed Magomedov, Gadzhimusa Gaziev and many others.
But the most famous Russian in Brave CF is the pupil Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, the reigning champion of the promotion in super lightweight (75 kg) – Eldar Eldarov.
The fight with Eldarov’s participation will lead the tournament in Sochi. And the rival of Eldar, who is putting his title on the line, will be the Brazilian Leonardo Mafra…
Eldarov is an extremely remarkable character that deserves a separate story.
Bahrain national team leader
Once Eldar Eldarov came to the sambo hall of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and fought side by side with the future UFC superstar for many years Khabib Nurmagomedovwith whom he became very close friends.
Moreover, Eldarov played an important role in the signing of Khabib in the UFC, becoming one of the negotiators – helped by an excellent command of English.
By the way, it was Eldarov who developed the design of the famous T-shirt “If sambo was easy it would be called jiu jitsu” (“If sambo was easy, it would be called jiu-jitsu”), in which Nurmagomedov went to fight with Thiago Tavares, having turned against themselves the whole of Brazil, where they literally pray for jiu-jitsu.
Eldarov himself could have ended up in the UFC, but was never able to apply for a visa to the United States.
Later, Eldar moved to Bahrain, where he received an offer to lead the local MMA team and, at the same time, pursue a career as a fighter.
Since then, Eldarov lives in the island kingdom, performs under the flag of Bahrain, and even belongs to the royal family.
Of course, Eldarov joined the list of Brave CF fighters and won the organization’s super lightweight title a year and a half ago.
In Sochi, a Bahraini from Dagestan will defend the super lightweight champion belt for the first time. His opponent is Leonardo Mafra from Brazil. The most experienced guy who played in the UFC, but not enough stars from the sky. Eldar Eldarov is a clear favorite.
Yes, perhaps at the moment Eldarov is the main star of Brave CF.
But before the tournament in Sochi, the Sheikhs strengthened the roster with a whole group of eminent Russian fighters.
Veteran Kid, Champion Brawler, and High Hope
To participate in the co-main event of the tournament at Krasnaya Polyana, Brave CF signed a former challenger for the UFC Flyweight Championship Ali Bagautinova…
In the early 2010s, Ali was one of the most popular fighters in Russia, and his departure to the United States was promoted like a campaign of Russian hockey players for the Stanley Cup in the 90s.
But it didn’t work out to win the belt. And after leaving the UFC, Bagautinov began to lose more and more often and gradually his star went down.
But the 35-year-old fighter still has something to give Brave CF. Yes, and a young Lithuanian Oleg Lichkovakha, who will become Bagautinov’s rival in Sochi, is quite tough for Ali.
Will perform at the tournament on January 16 and another ex-UFC fighter Roman Bogatov… Moreover, the Russian’s stay in the Absolute Fighting Championship was short-lived, but very scandalous.
In July last year, Bogatov held his first and last fight in the UFC, losing to the Brazilian Leonardo Santos… During the battle, the Russian several times hit the opponent in the groin, then in the eyes, for which he was punished with the removal of two points, and after the fight he was fired! The UFC named the official reason for Roman’s repeated use of illegal strikes.
Bogatov did not calm down and began to threaten the referee of the fight via Twitter Mark Goddardby writing, “Just wait while I find you outside the octagon.” After that, the question of returning to the UFC was finally closed.
All this, however, does not beg for Bogatov’s merits in the octagon. Roman is a high-class fighter, which he proved more than once at M-1 Global tournaments, where he won the champion belt
At the tournament in Brave CF Bogatov will debut in a new weight category for himself – 67 kg, and his rival in Sochi will be Nurzhan Akishev from Kazakhstan.
At the Brave CF tournament, there will also be a resounding return to the octagon. Once upon a time Konstantin Erokhin was Russia’s big hope in the heavyweight division, but after leaving for the UFC his career began to decline. In the Absolute Fighting Championship, Erokhin lost twice and was fired, and then ended up knocked out and in the tournament of the Russian promotion of the ACV. Then he finished his career.
For more than three years, Erokhin did not go to the octagon, and it seemed that he would never do this again. But the managers of Brave CF managed to convince Konstantin to try on the four-ounce gloves again. The rival of the Russian in Sochi will be Jyrgalbek Chomonov from Kyrgyzstan.
And the complete BRAVE CF 46 fighting card looks like this:
As you can see, there are plenty of Russian fighters here, so there will be someone to cheer on Brave CF 46 for.
And there is a suspicion that the Bahraini League of the Braves will still try to return to Russia during 2021.