Brave CF

Brave CF 55 Preview: Return to Russia

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Brave CF started the year off in Russia, and with no event announced as of yet, Saturday’s action could be the final event held by the global promotion in 2021. Brave CF 55 will feature 10 bouts, with a spot in the Flyweight Grand-Prix up for grabs.

Russian athlete Velimurad Alkhasov earned his spot in the finale via split decision victory over former UFC and Bellator fighter Zach Makovsky at Brave CF 50. It could be an all-Russian showdown if Ali Bagautinov can overcome the short-notice semifinalist Sean Santella.

Main Event: Ali Bagautinov vs. Sean Santella

The main event is a fight fans were not expecting this weekend, with Bagautinov originally set to face Jose Torres. Describing on his Instagram, Torres stated he pulled out of the fight with health issues. Santella was already competing on the card, so he stepped in and took the opportunity without hesitation.

Former UFC flyweight title challenger Bagautinov was involved in a close quarterfinal affair with fellow former UFC flyweight Dustin Ortiz. Bagautinov won the fight via unanimous decision, and at 36 years old, he is looking as good as ever before.

The Russian lost his shot at flyweight gold when he was outclassed by the one and only Demetrious Johnson back at UFC 174. When he left the UFC, he went on to compete in Russia for Fight Nights Global. After a four-fight win streak, he lost his second shot at gold, losing via split decision now-UFC flyweight Zhalgas Zhumagulov.

Bagautinov could be one step closer to glory on Saturday night, but there is one man who will be thrilled he is getting the opportunity to try and stop him from getting there. Santella was due to fight Rizvan Abuev before the American jumped in for the last replacement for Torres.

Santella is an experienced wrestler, who makes the 34th appearance of his professional career. He’s become the CFFC champion on two separate occasions, and he’ll be looking for the 15th submission of his career.

Co-Main Event: Artur Sviridov vs. Ibrahim Mane

Russian hopeful Artur Sviridov makes his debut in the promotion, and with the super welterweight belt now up for grabs after Jarrah Al-Silawi joined the PFL, Ibrahim Mane will be looking to silence the crowd with a second victory in Brave.

Sviridov has been out of action since October 2020, and he faces the toughest test of his career in his return to the cage. The Russian holds powerful punching and kicking power and he’s shown strong wrestling skills in the five victories of his eight-fight career.

Mane is looking to get back to winning ways after falling to his second defeat inside the promotion at Brave CF 47, where a ruthless slam from Nursulton Ruziboev knocked Mane out cold. His only victory came at Brave CF 42, where he went to war with David Jacobsson, winning via unanimous decision.

Fighters to Watch Out For

Sam Patterson is the only other non-Russian fighter on the card besides Mane and Santella. Patterson is a veteran in Brave, where he first competed at Brave CF 19. Since then, the Englishman has gone undefeated in the promotion in his four fights and at 25 years old, he is one to seriously watch out for.

His opponent is the next fighter to keep an eye on. Submission artist Kamil Magomedov is another hometown hopeful, who has only been defeated once, with his last defeat dating back to March 2017. Twelve of his 14 wins have come via submission, with four first-round finishes in his last five victories.

The card is dominated by Russian talent, with 17 out of the 20 fighters competing in their home country. The action begins at 9am ET/6am PT, and can be seen for free on Brave CF TV.

Brave CF 55 Full Card

Main Event: Ali Bagautinov vs. Sean Santella

Co-Main Event: Artur Sviridov vs. Ibrahim Mane

Lightweight Bout: Kamil Magomedov vs. Sam Patterson

Welterweight Bout: Andrey Bragovskiy vs. Sergey Yaskovec

Middleweight Bout: Rustam Chsiev vs. Abusupyan Alikhanov

Super Welterweight Bout: Kamal Magomedov vs Vitaly Tverdokhlebov

Catchweight (72.5kg) Bout: Artur Aliev vs Ali Abdulkhalikov

Middleweight Bout: Gadzhimurad Magomedov vs Djabrail Aidamirov

Featherweight Bout: Islam Omarov vs Albert Mallakurbanov

Bantamweight Bout: Alan Balaev vs Vadim Pavlikov

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