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Rustam “Russian Bear” Chsiev is entering enemy territory for his three-round middleweight clash against Italian rising star Enrico “The Killing Machine” Cortese at BRAVE CF 52: Bad Blood in Milan on Sunday, August 1, but his opponent’s hometown advantage doesn’t seem to bother the grappling maestro from Vladikavkaz.
It is given that the entire crowd in the venue will be screaming for his Italian opponent, who is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming athletes in the growing European mixed martial arts (MMA) circuit today.
However, Russian fans will be with Chsiev in spirit as he is already used to competing overseas throughout his career. He has won two of his last three out-of-the-country matches, but it will be his first time to face a local favorite on his home soil.
With the track record of Chsiev in fighting abroad and defying insurmountable odds, he has a big chance of giving 144.4 million Russians something to cheer at home this weekend.
However, many are expecting Cortese to give Chsiev a run for his money as he hasn’t had the luxury of competing in front of a hometown crowd since 2019 when he inked an exclusive multi-fight deal with the Bahrain-based outfit.
Like Chsiev, he is riding high on an impressive streak overseas. “The Killing Machine” has won two bouts in a row, beating French stalwart Jorick Montagnac by way of unanimous decision in his promotional debut at BRAVE CF 30 in September 2019 before authoring a quick stoppage victory over Romania’s Claudiu Alexe ten months later.
With both men raising their stocks by winning fight after fight on the international stage, the winner could get a future date with BRAVE CF Middleweight World Champion Mohammad “The Latest” Fakhreddine, who vies for the vacant BRAVE CF Light Heavyweight World Championship against Mohamed Said Maalem in the headliner of the same card.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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