A tough test awaits Bair Shtepin in his third trip to the BRAVE Combat Federation cage, but the Kazakhstan-born Russian believes that he will be the roadblock to Brad “Superman” Katona’s ascent in the promotion’s talent-loaded bantamweight division. Shtepin is set to lock horns with Katona in a three-round clash on the undercard of BRAVE CF 53, which takes place in Almaty, Kazakhstan on August 21st.
Katona, who first emerged in the mainstream consciousness of the North American audience before becoming an international staple, is one of the most regarded blue-chip recruits signed by the Bahrain-based outfit earlier this year as he holds an impressive 9-2 professional record with four victories coming by way of finish.
“Superman” left a lasting impression in his promotional debut at BRAVE CF 50 this past April, submitting Borislav Nikolic in the third round with a guillotine choke.
Shtepin admitted that he is fully aware of who Katona is and what he can bring to the table, but he believes his versatility and experience will play a pivotal role in trumping the highly-touted Canadian.
“Brad is a tough and experienced opponent, but I can stop his wrestling. I am more creative, can punch and kick in different ways. I won’t give him a chance to lay on me. I will get up and put pressure on him. That’s my plan,” he declared.
Shtepin is hitting two birds with one stone on August 21 as apart from washing away the taste of defeat from his most recent outing, he also seeks to be in pole position to vie for the vacant BRAVE CF Bantamweight World Championship with a thunderous victory over Katona.
Although he acknowledges that it won’t be a walk in the park, Shtepin is confident that he will be able to handle whatever Katona throws at him on fight night.
“I am faster than him. My speed will be my advantage over him come fight night. I don’t think he will be able to handle that,” he stated.