Ali “The King Puncher” Bagautinov has drawn a tough new opponent for BRAVE Combat Federation’s return to Russia this Saturday, November 6. The Russian hometown hero will face American standout Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella in the last semifinal clash of the prestigious BRAVE CF Flyweight World Title Tournament, which serves as the headliner of BRAVE CF 55 in Rostov-on-Don.
Santella will replace compatriot and fellow Flyweight contender Jose “Shorty” Torres, who has withdrawn from the contest due to difficulties to make weight for the match with less than 24 hours to go before the official weigh-ins.
The promotion’s matchmakers then offered the semifinal tourney spot to Santella, who’s originally scheduled to compete on the supporting card of BRAVE CF 55 against another Russian talent in Rizvan Abuev – ”The Predator” Abuev will receive his show money.
The 37-year-old veteran from Budd Lake, New Jersey fought Torres in the quarterfinals of the eight-man competition, which kicked off late last year to crown the Bahrain-based outfit’s inaugural Flyweight World Champion. However, the clash ended in an anticlimactic majority draw. The two were supposed to run it back at BRAVE CF 49 this past March, but Santella withdrew from the bout due to an injury. As a result, Torres fought and prevailed over short-notice replacement Blaine O’Driscoll via unanimous decision to advance to the semifinals.
Now that he’s back in the tournament, Santella is ready to capitalize on the big opportunity this weekend against Bagautinov. The winner of the semifinal showdown between Santella and Bagautiov will secure a seat in the championship round versus the highly-touted Velimurad Alkhasov.
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Other changes made
Bagautinov vs Santella is not the only new bout made for BRAVE CF 55. Daniel Gaucho, Luis Felipe Dias, and Nemat Abdrashitov have been forced off the fight card. Gaucho and Dias have been replaced by Abdulsupyan Alikhanov and Vitaly Tverdokhlebov, respectively, while Abdrashitov vs Abdulmutalip Gairbekov has been scratched from the card.
BRAVE CF 55 Updated Fight Card
- Flyweight Tournament Bout: Ali Bagautinov vs Sean Santella
- Super Welterweight: Artur Sviridov vs Ibrahim Mane
- Lightweight: Kamil Magomedov vs Sam Patterson
- Middleweight: Rustam Chsiev vs Abdulsupyan Alikhanov
- Welterweight: Andrey Bragovskiy vs Sergey Yaskovec
- Catchweight (72,5kg): Artur Aliev vs Ali Abdulkhalikov
- Middleweight: Gazimurad Magomedov vs Djabrail Aidamirov
- Featherweight: Ahmed Omarov vs Albert Mallokurbanov
- Bantamweight: Alan Balaev vs Vadim Pavlikov
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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