South Korea’s In Jae La had an amazing start to his international mixed martial arts career. Not only did he headline the very first BRAVE CF event in his homeland, but he also flew his nation’s flag high by beating South Africa’s Mzwandile Hlongwa via unanimous decision at BRAVE CF 58.
With only one loss in twelve fights, the former Road FC Middleweight champion is a national icon who carries pockets of clout. Now, “Mudtank” can take one step closer to his first world title by winning the BRAVE CF Middleweight belt.
However, he will need to get through another South African in the shape of number-two ranked BRAVE CF Middleweight Chad “Superman” Hanekom in the main event of BRAVE CF 66. While Hlongwa is the more mercurial striker, Hanekom could offer Jae La more of a challenge as he is a more polished mixed martial artist with powerful hands and a strong grappling/wrestling foundation.
At BRAVE CF 31 “Superman” failed to secure South Africa’s first-ever BRAVE CF title when he lost to Brazil’s Daniel Pereira. Since then, he has focused all his energy on working his way back and clinching that BRAVE CF gold.
The high-level grappler – who has an impeccable record of six stoppages out of eight wins – has since gone on a two-fight win streak with wins over Austria’s Dominic Schober and Poland’s Mateusz Janur, respectively. After his win over Janur at BRAVE CF 61, he pleaded with BRAVE CF matchmakers to let him fight the South Korean who is riding a three-fight win streak.
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Similar to “Superman”, “Mudtank” is an athlete who uses his wrestling prowess to dominate his opponents. His fight against Hlongwa was a reminder of his capabilities as he subdued the explosive African before dominating him on the ground and in the clinch at BRAVE CF 58.
With his number-two ranking, Hanekom is virtually one fight away from a title fight against the number-one-ranked Russian, Abusupyan Alikhanov.
He will have to get through “Mudtank” first, a man who aims to shake up the 185-pound division by collecting yet another South African scalp and booking his place in a vacant BRAVE CF Middleweight Championship fight himself.
BRAVE CF 66 takes place on November 26th as the world’s fastest-growing MMA organization returns to Indonesia after a four-year hiatus. For more information on BRAVE CF 66, visit www.bravecf.com.
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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