Just two days before BRAVE CF 55 is set to take place in Russia it seems the card has been shaken up. While quite a few fights have been altered or scrapped in the recent weeks, none have had quite the impact as the change in the main event announced earlier today.
Originally scheduled to meet Ali Bagautinov in the semi-finals of the BRAVE flyweight tournament, Jose “Shorty” Torres announced he is removing himself from competition citing weight cut issues as the main problem.
According to sources close to Torres’ camp, “Shorty” initially came in wanting an early weight cut, likely even prematurely. However by monday, four days from weigh-ins, his body began refusing to lose another pound. For three days the number on the scale would not budge no matter what he did to change it.
24 hours before Torres was scheduled to make weight, he said that “he just can’t do it anymore”. Those around Torres during this process have commented on how ‘sickly’ he was beginning to look, but it seems Torres is taking the disappointing turn of events well. While he is understandably frustrated, he did relent that “it is what it is” in a video message to his fans via social media.
While Torres has been relatively vague about what could have possibly caused the last minute cutting issues, a camp surrounded by far more travel than usual could be a potential culprit. Torres also stated via his Instagram that he will likely return at bantamweight next as he is getting older and weight cuts have generally become more difficult.
In his place, Sean Santella will step in to take on Bagautinov in the main event instead. Santella is a fitting replacement as in his most recent bout he actually went to a draw with Torres at BRAVE CF 42 last year. Luckily, as the card has been advertised, the main event will still be a clash between Russia and the United States, and the winner will still get a shot at Velimurad in the finals of the tournament.
Mohammed Shahid, president of BRAVE CF made this statement on the shockingly last minute changes:
“Sean is an original flyweight tournament fighter and did not lose a sight in the tournament, in fact he actually drew with “Shorty” Torres but could not make the rematch, which cut him off the tournament. So, it’s just the perfect fit when “Shorty” is out that Sean Santella steps into the tournament. The winner between Sean and Ali will face Velimurad in the finals. It’s BJJ vs Russian Sambo. This is USA vs. Russia, the main event will continue.”
For now it seems that it’s all respect between the two BRAVE 55 rivals. According to Santella, he has always looked forward to fighting Bagautinov, “always” considering him “one of the flightweight kingpins”. He also explained that this fight to him is “a bucket list” fight.
Along with this change, Rustam Chsiev now takes on Abusupyan Alikhanov at middleweight and Kamal Magomedov will now face Vitaly Tverdokhlebov in a super-welterweight bout.
Catch BRAVE CF 55 on Saturday, 12:00 EST (check local times) at BRAVECFTV.com live and free.