On Sunday, Aug. 1, Brave CF holds its first event in Italy. A TV studio in Milan — due to COVID-19 restrictions in Italy — is the stage of Brave CF 52: Bad Blood. The event is headlined by a clash between Medi Fakhreddine and Said Maalem for the vacant light heavyweight title.
Fakhreddine and Maalem were scheduled to fight at Brave CF 50 last April. But the bout was cancelled due to a last-minute illness by the middleweight champion Fakhreddine. Since then, the two fighters have talked trash on social media. The Lebanese fighter Fakhreddine holds a pro record of 14 wins, four defeats and one no-contest. He is a real knockout machine, with 11 of his 14 victories coming by stoppage. This includes snatching the middleweight title from Brazilian Daniel Pereira.
For the Swiss-Algerian Maalem, this is his third match in Brave. He made his debut in December 2019 winning by decision. Last November he knocked out Croatian fighter Zvonimir Kralj in the first round. His pro record is 11-3 with six knockouts and five decisions. He has won his last six, five by knockout and four in the first round. This is expected to be a brawl with a finish.
The co-main event is a middleweight bout with the Italian Enrico “The Killing Machine” Cortese facing Rustam “The Russian Bear” Chsiev. This is the third fight for Cortese in Brave where he boasts two victories. As a pro he holds a 7-2 record, with one no-contest. That includes three knockouts, three submission and five first-round finished. He is only 23 years old but made his MMA debut when he was just 16. He is a former World and European champion in Sanda and former member of the national junior UWW italian grappling team.
The Russian from Ossetia, Chsiev, is a very difficult opponent. His record of 4-2 with three finishes is deceiving. We are talking about a former freestyle wrestler and accomplished pro grappler. In the cage he initially struggled to adapt but has won his last two fights despite being the underdog.
At a catchweight of 179 pounds, Abdoul Abdouraguimov faces Nursulton Ruziboev. The two combatants have a total amount of 52 fights. “Lazy King” Abdouraguimov hails from Nantes, France, and is the former welterweight champion of the promotion. He holds a record of 12-1 with on no-contest, that includes 10 finishes.
The “Black” Uzbek Rubizoev has fought 39 times amassing 29 wins, eight loses and two draws. His has 10 knockouts and 17 submissions. He held titles in Russian promotions WEF and AFC. His Brave debut took place last March. A very technical fight is expected with a high probability of a finish.
Moldova native — but Rome-based — Valeriu Mircea faces Ayub Gaziev from Austria. Mircea is 27 years old and has lived in Italy since he was 14. In his new country he first became a junior national judo champion and then moved to MMA. “The Solitary Wolf” has fought 33 matches in seven years with 25 wins and 21 finishes. In 2020 he was voted by the Italian MMA press as the best fighter in the country among those not signed with a top promotion. Since 2017 he’s been a member of Aurora MMA Team in Rome.
Mircea joined Brave as Eagles FC featherweight champion and also fought in M-1 Global and Bellator. In the Scott Coker promotion, he lost his debut against Goiti Yamauchi and defeated Ultimate Fighter season 22 fighter Djamil Chan. In his last two bouts, he lost by split decision to Martun Mezhlumyan and dropped a decision against Ukranian Omar Solomonov.
The Austrian Gaziev is champion in Inferno FC and SFN. His pro record is 12-2-1 with eight knockouts and two submissions. Mircea is a well-rounded fighter with nine knockouts and 12 submissions victories.
In the bantamweight division, Dagestan’s Gamzat Magomedov fights Austrian Mochamed Machaev. Magomedov trains with KHK team of the Prince of Bahrain, Khalid Bin Hamad Al Khalifa. As a pro he is 5-1 and 7-1 as an amateur, including a gold medal at the 2017 IMMAF World Cup. His opponent Macachev is undefeated with knockouts and one submission. This Austrian-based athlete is 21 but has been fighting since he was 16.
Virgiliu “The Iceman” Frasineac is another Moldova native living in Italy like Valeriu Mircea. His MMA career began in Italy and has a 9-2 record with seven knockouts and one submission. His opponent, Lebanon’s Ahmad “Shadow” Labban is a member of the renowned London Shootfighters team. He holds a 10-4 record.
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