It was during the first hour of Friday (07) when Arnold “Silverback” Quero was officially declared unable to compete at the Brave 19 co-main event against Frans Mlambo in South Africa. Last-minute changes are the worst nightmare of promoters but being in Sun City, the beautiful and isolated resort at least two to three hours away from any major South African city, the challenge is even bigger. Nonetheless, the gods of MMA decided to intervene and Brave 19 is now co-headlined by what has been called by Brave’s official commentator Kirik Jenness as the “Miracle Fight”.
Dansheel Moodley is one of the top prospects in South Africa, with a professional record of 4-1 and currently on a three-win streak, and has been on Brave’s radar for a while now. He ended up not being called to the promotion’s debut in his home country but never gave up on his dream. So much that when one of his teammates invited him to be his cornerman at Fightstars, the amateur event leading up to Brave 19 during the 2018 Brave Africa Combat Week, he decided to come, stay in the same hotel of the fighters, and bring his fight shorts. “Just in case”, Moodley explained.
Around 3 AM, less than 6 hours before the official weigh-ins, he was getting the phone call that sealed the most unlikely last-minute replacement ever in the history of Brave Combat Federation. Moodley ran against the clock, traveled a few hours back-and-forth to get all his medical tests done, signed his new contract minutes before entering the weigh-ins room, and showed up with 65.9 kg, a few grams below the agreed featherweight limit for the upcoming bout.
His opponent, Frans Mlambo, who was actually having breakfast before the weigh-ins to move up from the original bantamweight division, celebrated the unexpected sequence of events.
“I’m really happy! I’ve said many times before, this is the most important fight of my career, I have family members coming to watch me and will be fighting in my home country for the first time. I knew we’d have a happy ending and I’m glad it did”, Mlambo stated.
Frans Mlambo vs Dansheel Moodley, in the Featherweight division, is now the co-main event of the evening for Brave 19. The remaining nine bouts of the fight card are set and confirmed to take place next Saturday (08), at the Super Bowl, in Sun City, South Africa.