It was a dream night for Kazakhstan. The biggest international MMA event ever held in the country, BRAVE CF 53 was the stage for the Kazakh MMA to show the world its undeniable talent. The icing on the cake, though, was missing for the home crowd, as Tae Kyun Kim stopped a five-win streak for local fighters in the main card to remain undefeated and become the number one contender in the Featherweight division.
It was a battle for the ages, arguably one of the best fights ever held inside the BRAVE CF Arena and definitely one to be listed as a potential Fight of the Year by the end of 2021. Tae Kyun Kim and Nurzhan Akishev left it all inside the cage and delivered 15 memorable minutes of action to fans watching around the world.
The fight started with Akishev willing to make this a short night of work. The hometown hero unloaded a huge combo and rocked Kim, who seemed to be about to quit at any moment. But the South Korean showed, once again, resilience and composure, getting back in the zone and gradually shifting the fight’s control.
Taller and longer than his opponent, Tae Kyun Kim used his reach really well and started playing the long-distance game, jabbing and following-up whenever possible. In addition, he used his clinch, with devastating knees to the face, which caused an absurd amount of damage to Akishev.
Between the second and third rounds, it appeared that Akishev’s corner had thrown the towel but the fighter stood up, emerging from the ashes like a phoenix, and came back for another back-and-forth, action-packed, 5-minute war.
At the end of the three rounds, Tae Kyun Kim was declared the winner by unanimous decision, expanding his professional record to 9 wins and no losses. The South Korean star said in his post-fight interview exactly what he expects next. “I want that Featherweight world title next”, he stated.
But despite the setback in the main event, Kazakh fighters emerged victorious in a handful of important bouts. The most shocking one, without a doubt, was the second-round, rear-naked choke submission of the newcomer Olzhas Eskaraev over the former world champion Lucas “Mineiro” Martins.
In the co-main event of the evening, Vasiliy Takhtay displayed all his versatility and, after a strong performance while striking, finished the job against Roger Sampaio with a second-round submission.
For more results, highlights and videos of the finishes visit the official social media accounts of BRAVE Combat Federation on Twitter and Instagram.
BRAVE CF 53 Results:
Featherweight: Tae Kyun Kim def. Nurzhan Akishev via unanimous decision.
Catchweight 73kg: Vasiliy Takhtay def. Roger Sampaio via submission (RNC) at 1:24 of R2
Flyweight: Asu Almabaev def. Aleksander Doskalchuk via submission (RNC) at 3:47 of R2
Catchweight 74kg: Olzhas Eskaraev def. Lucas Martins via submission (RNC) at 2:49 of R2
Bantamweight: Brad Katona def. Bair Shtepin via unanimous decision
Flyweight: Azat Maksum def. Flavio Queiroz via TKO at 3:00 of R1
Catchweight 68kg: Akhmed Magomedov def. Ilyar Askhanov via unanimous decision