Cape Town — It may sound cliche, but becoming a Brave CF lightweight champion on Friday would be the sweetest thing for Abdisalam Kubanychbek.
The man says that he has had to work so hard to finally get his shot at the title and now with the opportunity on the horizon, two spanners have been thrown into the works.
Firstly, he will have to settle for an interim belt shot as current undisputed champion, Ahmed Amir recovers from injury. Secondly, Kyrgyzstan’s Kubanychbek (18-3) was set to face former lightweight champ, France’s Amin Ayoub (16-5) but will now have to take on a late replacement in the shape of Brazil’s Cleiton Silva (15-3) after the promotion confirmed that Ayoub has been forced to withdraw from the Brave CF 57 event taking place at the Khalifa Sports City Arena, in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
“I have been waiting for this title for a very long time, exactly a year, I don’t know why the league delayed my shot, because I deserved it. It was the main and that was the only thing I wanted,” says Kubanychbek.
Kubanychbek has been on a 10-fight winning streak since 2018 with four of his last five wins taking place in the Brave cage building up a notorious reputation being known as one of the most feared men in the Brave lightweight division.
“I have a great desire to get the interim belt and then eventually take the undisputed title from Ahmed Amir the same evening.
“Amin Ayoub and Ahmed Amir will never fight me, they are afraid to take risks, which means they have to go to football, where they get paid more to run. MMA is a sport for real modern warriors,” says Kubanychbek, who reminded people once again of how lethal he is when the Philippines Rolando Dy’s (14-11) corner threw in the towel during round two of their last fight.
Backed by fellow countrywoman and Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, the man known as Omok is excited about flying his country’s flag high.
“I am always proud that I raise the flag of my country, my small-but-proud country and its people are behind me, and this makes me believe in myself. I am fighting to become the best fighter in the world, all my life I asked Allah to give me the opportunity to become the best,” he said.
Former lightweight champion, Silva made waves back in 2018 and 2019 winning three straight fights under the Brave CF banner to become the fifth lightweight champion in the promotion’s history before losing the title to Ayoub in 2020. He was scheduled to make his return to competition this weekend against Kamil Magomedov.
He now gets a shot to be fast-tracked to the belt conversation again should he claim victory in this short-notice fight and potentially face the undisputed champion, Amir - a man he beat back in 2018.
BRAVE CF 57 has three title fights, headlined by Hamza Kooheji taking on Brad Katon for the vacant Bantamweight world championship. The co-main event is a grudge match between two of the biggest names in Arab MMA as Middleweight champion Mohammad Fakhreddine gets another crack at Mohamed Said Maalem and the vacant Light Heavyweight title after a No Contest in their first meeting.
BRAVE CF 57 Fight Card
Bantamweight title fight: Hamza Kooheji (11-2) v Brad Katona (10-2)
Light Heavyweight title fight: Mohammad Fakhreddine (MW-C, 14-4, 2 NC) v Mohamed Said Maalem (11-3, 1 NC)
Lightweight interim title fight: Abdisalam Uulu Kubanychbek (18-3) v Cleiton Silva (15-3)
Super Welterweight fight: Nursulton Ruziboev (32-8-2, 2 NC) v Luis Felipe Dias (14-3)
Lightweight: Sam Patterson (8-1-1) v Khunkar-Pasha Osmaev (10-6-1)
Lightweight: Kamil Magomedov (14-2) v TBD
Flyweight: Asu Almabaev (14-2) v Imram Magaramov (4-0)
Lightweight: Husein Kadimagomaev (8-1) v Agshin Babaev (22-7, 1 NC)
Light Heavyweight: Murtaza Talha (4-0) v Mikheil Sazhiniani (7-1)
Bantamweight: Mohamed Farhad (12-3) v Maysara Mohamed (5-0)
Catchweight 59kg: Magomed Idrisov (4-0) v Rahmatullah Yousufzai (4-0)
Bantamweight: Abdullah Al Yaqoob (1-0) v Omar Emad (3-2)
Amateur Lightweight: Hussain Muhammad (1-0 AM) v Adon Ayoub (2-1 AM)