The fight week for Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions has kicked off with a bang as 16 fighters showed their skills in front of a packed The Avenues Shopping, in Manama, Bahrain, in the biggest-ever Open Workouts in promotional history. With the presence of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who wished good luck to all athletes involved, the event also served as the stage for the first staredowns ahead of fight night, on November 17th.
The biggest moment was between Welterweights Carl Booth and Jarrah Al-Selawe. Their rematch is scheduled for the main card, and there was no love lost between them, as they exchanged words during the staredown, with Al-Selawe, who lost their first meeting in 30 seconds, shoved the Englishman, who seemed unfazed.
Gesias Cavalcante, who will make his Brave debut on Friday, might be an MMA pioneer, but he was the innovator during the staredowns, as he chose to poke fun at his opponent, former UFC fighter Alan Omer, by filming his face with his mobile phone during their close encounter. The German didn’t appreciate JZ’s antics and things became tense.
Curiously, Alan Omer was involved in another infamous moment during his workout. The German Lightweight as hitting pads, when a combination of punched and kicks sent his trainer flying away from the stage. After confirming he was OK, Omer laughed the incident off.
Finally, all six fighters involved in the three title bouts received a big welcome from the crowd as they showed off some of the moves that got them to where they are. Featherweight challenger Lucas Mineiro and champion Elias Boudegzdame, alongside Lightweights contenders Alejandro “Pato” Martínez and Ottman Azaitar, and Bantamweight title hopefuls Gurdarshan Mangat and Stephen Loman also faced off with their opponents for the first time in three tense staredowns.
Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions marks the promotion’s return to Bahrain after a year. During 2017, the organization has put on groundbreaking events in countries such as Brazil (twice), Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, India, and Kazakhstan. Brave 9 will be the culmination of the International Combat Week, alongside the IMMAF World Championships, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions Fight Card:
Lightweight: Ottman Azaitar x Alejandro Martínez (for the inaugural title)
Featherweight: Elias Boudegzdame (champion) x Lucas Mineiro
Bantamweight: Gurdarshan Mangat x Stephen Loman (for the inaugural title)
Welterweight: Jarrah Al Selawe x Carl Booth
Lightweight: Gesias Cavalcante x Alan Omer
Lightweight: Erick “Índio Brabo” x Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady
Welterweight: Mohammad Fakhreddine x Tahar Hadbi
Bantamweight: Mohammad Farhad x Hamza Kooheji
Bantamweight: Felipe Efrain x Nawras Abzakh
Lightweight: Ahmed Amir x Erik Carlsson
Bantamweight: Frans Mlambo x Michael Deiga-Scheck
Middleweight: Jeremy Smith x Ikram Aliskerov
Catchweight (150 lbs): Hardeep Rai x Sam Patterson
Lightweight: Charlie Leary x Daniele Scatizzi
Bantamweight: Jeremy Pacatiw x Jalal Al Daaja
Strawweight: Atif Mohammed x Haider Farman