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EVENT: BRAVE COMBAT FEDERATION: BRAVE 4 – UNSTOPPABLE DATE: 31/3/17 LOCATION: ABU DHABI, UAE RINGSIDE: – GARY REDWIN
Elias Boudegzdame beat his Mexican opponent Masio Fullen inside two and a half minutes to win the first Brave Combat Federation Featherweight title fight on a historic night in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
The French-Algerian fighter tapped out Fullen with an unstoppable display starting with some heavy punches before trapping his opponent. The fantastic submission move came via a head lock with his legs despite looking in a vulnerable position on his back with Fullen stalking over him. The night’s co-main event was over quickly after the devastating move by the Brave veteran, taking his record to 15 wins and the 12th by submission, and will now face his next title bout against the Brazilian Lucas ‘Mineiro’ Martins. Martins, who beat Paulo Goncalves at Brave 3, was in attendance to observe his next opponent. Nicknamed ‘Smile’, Boudegzdame was asked “is this the biggest smile you have had in your life?” to which the new champion replied “Now we have a real champion.”
Former UFC fighter Fullen, who stopped Walel Watson by submission in December at Brave 2, went into the fight full of confidence but the six year age gap showed and his young opponent was too quick for the Mexican. Fullen must have been disappointed in having to tap out so early in the first round but has shown enough in the past to ensure his chance to prove himself as of one sports best will come again.
The Brave Combat Federation was created in Bahrain and its goal is to unite the world through Mixed Martial Arts – it put on a good show in the UAE with a truly global under card with fighters competing from all over the world. This was the 4th event put on by the Federation having the opening two in the land of its creation before heading to Brazil. The event in the UAE was the fourth on a calendar that only started in September before we head to Mumbai in India next month for Brave 5.
The fight of the night happened on the under card when the undefeated Ottman Azaitar beat Englishman Charlie Leary in a bout of blistering speed. A kick to the face by Leary early on looked to put the Moroccan fighter on the back foot but after trading punch after punch, Azaitar showed his class. After a combination of heavy blows to the head he managed to knock down his opponent, before the referee intervened to end this lightweight battle.
In the Welterweight Division and co-main event Brazilian fighter Vinicius Cruz came up against Mohammed Fakhreddine from Lebanon (who was originally scheduled to be the main event at Brave 1 before injury denied him the chance). The match started with both fighters trading blows before Fakhreddine was twice grounded early on with blows to the unmentionables, causing a long time-out so the twice Middle Eastern champion could recover. Just before the end of the first round and with the fight delicately poised, Cruz once again hit his opponent with a low blow leaving the referee no option but to deduct a point from the Brazilian.
Cruz, who is the current main sparring partner of UFC superstar Anderson Silva and on a five fight unbeaten run, looked much quicker than his larger opponent and was able to avoid everything thrown at him in the first round, but could not find a way through to hurt his opponent except through his illegal kicks. However, when the bell rang for round two, Fakhreddine was fired up and came out angry striking his opponent to the ground with a right hook. The man from Beirut got in a great position on top of his opponent and with blow after blow caused a huge cut on Cruz, and with blood covering the canvas and both boxers, the referee had no other option but to stop the fight.
The win takes Fakhreddine’s record to 9 wins and 1 loss and the Lebanese fighter will certainly be one to watch at future Brave events.
The fifth instalment of the Brave series will now head to India where the title fight of Martins v Boudegzdame will be set up. When asked about the fight Martins replied “My belt” so we expect to see both fighters at the top of their game for this spectacular show down.