Russia may be known for sambo and wrestling, but in recent years, the nation has been well represented on the global stage in another combat sport—mixed martial arts (MMA).
Elite athletes who call Russia their home have been transitioning from these disciplines to the all-encompassing sport to bring a more diverse skill set to BRAVE Combat Federation.
Several of the country’s finest warriors have already proven that they can roll with the best of them under the banner of the Bahrain-based promotion.
One of the sought-after Russians on its active roster is BRAVE CF Super Lightweight World Champion Eldar Eldarov, who owns a professional record of 13-1 with eight victories by way of submission and two via knockout. His only loss was a short-notice fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Eldarov, who currently resides in Bahrain and trains at the world-renowned KHK MMA, captured the organization’s inaugural Super Lightweight World Title at BRAVE CF 23 in April 2019 by defeating Tunisia’s Mounir “The Sniper Lazzez via unanimous decision.
In his most recent outing, the 29-year-old authored a successful first defense of his silver-plated belt, beating Brazil’s Leonardo Mafra by doctor stoppage before the second round at the historic BRAVE CF 46 in Sochi, Russia this past January.
Another notable Russian name in the outfit’s ranks is Ali “The King Puncher” Bagautinov (21-7), who has been competing for more than a decade and has a wealth of fight experience under various promotions on his resume.
Bagautinov booked his spot for the prestigious BRAVE CF Flyweight World Title Tournament after beating compatriot Oleg Lichkovakha via unanimous decision in his promotional debut at BRAVE CF 46.
“The King Puncher” advanced to the semi-finals of the eight-man tourney by outpointing American veteran Dustin Ortiz at BRAVE CF 50 last April, scheduling a battle for a seat in the finals against Jose “Shorty” Torres.
Joining Eldarov and Bagautinov is Velimurad Alkhasov (8-1, 1NC), a Chechen Republic resident who recently scored an upset victory at the expense of Zach Makovsky by split decision at BRAVE CF 50 to punch a ticket to the championship round of the BRAVE CF Flyweight World Title Tournament.
Completing the cast of Russian exports in BRAVE CF are Ikram Aliskerov (11-1) and newcomer Kamil Magomedov (14-1).
An all-Russian featherweight bout is seen as a potential show-stealer on the supporting card of BRAVE CF 51: THE FUTURE IS HERE, which takes place at the state-of-the-art Falcon Club Arena in Minsk, Belarus.
Before Brazil’s very own Lucas “Mineiro” Martins and Mohamed Grabinski square off in the main event, up-and-comers Roman Bogatov (11-1) and Abdulmutalip Gairbekov (15-2-1) will try to bring the house down as they face each other in a three-round clash.
Fans can expect a contest between two well-rounded competitors who are usually in exciting matches because of their tenacity, durability, and stamina. Both are best known for their grappling skills, but they have been known to thrill on the feet as well.