BAGUIO

Pinoy fighters groomed for Brave's debut in Russia

LONGEST CHAMP. Stephen Loman will be among the Filipino fighters eyed to see action in BRAVE Combat Federation's upcoming event in Russia next year. (Brave CF Photo)

FIVE Filipinos, including four from Team Lakay, are eyed to see action in Brave Combat Federation's upcoming event in Russia.

The Bahrain-headquartered promotion will be in Sochi to host the company's first-ever event in Russia on January 16 next year.

Although no matches are announced as of Wednesday, November 18, Brave president Mohammed Shahid hinted at the possibility that Filipino fight fans may see the best and brightest talents from the Philippines as part of the landmark affair.

"The Philippines has been a focus for Brave Combat Federation (CF) from the very beginning. From time to time, warriors from the Philippines prove that they have not only the skill to compete at the international level but also the heart that matters when it comes to combat sports," said Sahid.

Eyed to see action is Brave world bantamweight champion Stephen Loman (14-2) as one of the feature attractions, if not the extravaganza's main event, according to a recent release by the promotion.

The 25-year-old Baguio City resident has been a top draw for BRAVE CF, headlining three high-profile cards that included the outfit's first foray into the Philippines in March 2019.

Since becoming the first BRAVE CF Bantamweight world champion, Loman has been on a tear, beating opposition after opposition.

The Team Lakay champion is the longest-reigning titleholder in the promotion's fledgling history.

Loman last saw action when he routed Canadian challenger Louie Sanoudakis at BRAVE CF 30 in November 2019 by way of unanimous decision.

Shahid believes that Loman has the potential to follow the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao as the next great Filipino sports hero.

"I really believe that he (Loman) will take the sport of MMA to another level in the Philippines. He keeps on proving that he is a deserving champion," he said. "He is the biggest combat athlete in the Philippine along with Manny Pacquiao. I said it before and I'll say it again."

"People say we gave him the opportunity, but it's actually the opposite. He gave us the honor of fighting in our organization. I was sad that not a lot of Filipinos knew him, but now I'm the happiest man because the country found a new hero, a fighter who proudly represents the country."

Another Filipino eyed in the fight card is Rolando Dy (14-9), the son of Filipino boxing legend Rolando Navarrete.

The 29-year-old has competed in several notable international organizations and has been a member of the BRAVE CF roster as early as 2017.

Aside from Loman, other Team Lakay fighters expected to see action in Russia are Jeremy Pacatiw, Harold Banario, and Jomar Pa-ac.

Pacatiw holds the most bouts under the BRAVE banner and holds exciting victories over the likes of Thiago Dela Coleta, Keith Lee, Uloomi Karim and compatriot Mark Alcoba.

Banario (5-2), the young brother of former world champion Honorio, took a four-year hiatus from the sport in order to earn a college degree at the University of the Cordilleras.

But when he made his return to active competition, it was nothing short of spectacular. Banario compelled fellow Filipino Ariel Oliveros to wave the white flag with a kneebar submission in the opening salvo of their Brave CF 22 clash.

Pa-ac (6-2) has been a diamond in the rough among Team Lakay representatives in Brave CF, acing three of his four assignments since arriving in December 2016.

He has yet to re-enter the Brave Arena after outpointing Satya Behuria via unanimous decision at Brave CF 22.

Since its inception in late 2016, Brave Combat Federation has grown from a mere upstart with dreams of bringing its own brand of mixed martial arts (MMA) to the mainstream, into a combat sports powerhouse taking key markets by storm.

Brave has staged nearly 50 live events and has visited 20 different countries, including United Arab Emirates, India, Mexico, Sweden, Brazil, South Africa, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.


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