The prestigious Flyweight World Title Tournament is almost near its epic conclusion as Jose “Shorty” Torres of the United States is set to battle hometown favorite Ali “The King Puncher” Bagautinov in the competition’s last semifinal bout at BRAVE CF 55, set for November 6th in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
The eight-man tourney was announced in February 2020 to crown its very first Flyweight World Champion in the aftermath of the promotion’s unsuccessful attempt to herald the inaugural titleholder at 125 pounds when Velimurad Alkhasov fought Marcel Adur at BRAVE CF 18 in November 2018. Though Alkhasov won the bout by way of unanimous decision, the throne remained vacant as the Russian standout missed weight during the official weigh-ins.
Alkhasov gained an opportunity to redeem himself as he was one of the fortunate eight participants in the single-elimination, stepladder contest, joining the likes of Torres, Adur, Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky, Abdul “Abba” Hussein, Flavio de Queiroz, Sean Santella and Dustin Ortiz.
Adur withdrew from the competition, citing an injury that he sustained in training. During fight week for his bout against Zach Makovsky, Abdul Hussei had to pull out with weight-cut issues, compelling the organization to allow Makovsky to advance to the semifinal round.
Torres and Santella battled to an anticlimactic majority draw at BRAVE CF 42 in September 2020, while Alkhasov defeated de Queiroz via unanimous decision on the same card. Bagautinov entered the picture when he made his highly-anticipated promotional debut at BRAVE CF 46 this past January, dominating Oleg Lichkovakha over the course of three rounds to clinch a clear-cut unanimous decision win and secure a slot in the BRAVE CF Flyweight World Title Tournament. Bagautinov replaced Adur on the field and was then scheduled to face Dustin Ortiz.
“The King Puncher” then picked up where he left off nearly three months later by eliminating Ortiz from the tourney in the same fashion at historic BRAVE CF 50. Torres punched his ticket to the semifinals when he outpointed Ireland’s Blaine O’Driscoll—who filled in for Santella after an injury forced the American out of the tourney—via unanimous decision at BRAVE CF 49: Super Fights last March.
On other hand, Alkhasov got hold of the first slot in the finals by defeating Makovsky in an exciting three-round clash at BRAVE CF 50 via razor-thin split decision. Bagautinov and Torres are now slated to slug it out for the last remaining seat in the finals—with the winner moving on to face Alkhasov to determine the first-ever BRAVE CF Flyweight World Champion.
Bagautinov and Torres are scheduled to meet in the main event of BRAVE CF 55, which serves as the return of the fastest-growing MMA organization in the world to Russia, and takes place November 6th, in association with PRO FC.