Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

In the main event of Friday’s BRAVE Combat Federation fight card, Canada’s Brad Katona tested himself in enemy territory when he took on Hamza Kooheji in Bahrain.

The card took place on the fourth of the five day International Combat week hosted by BRAVE CF, one of if not the largest MMA festival in the world. Not only was Katon and Kooheji in the spotlight of the week but it was also the return of the event after the last few were put on hold due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

BRAVE CF 57 was easily one of the largest cards in the promotions history. After five rounds the two stood waiting for a decision, competitive enough that fans waited with bated breath for the result. The results were 48-47, 47-48 and 49-47 with the nod going to Katona.

No one has held the BRAVE CF belt since 2017 when the promotion’s first champion, Stephen Loman vacated his title. Since, with the belt in flux, contenders have consistently tried to state their case as the next belt contender. Brad Katona is not only the second ever BRAVE CF Bantamweight champion, but also the first Canadian and second ever title holder to hail from North America. 

Prior to his fight in an MMA Island exclusive, Katona hinted at hopes for defending his belt in either his country of birth, Canada or Ireland, where he trains and has called home for several years. It would seem based on BRAVE CF’s dedication to globalizing the promotion and sport as well as it’s history of inclining to take the show behind their champion’s nations this is a very likely possibility. 

Leading up to the bantamweight title fight, two other belts were put on the line at BRAVE CF 57. First, a battle for the interim Lightweight world title between Abdisalam Kubanychbek and Cleiton Silva was stopped due to illegal shots to the back of the head and ruled a no contest. After that, Mohammad Fakhreddine became the first multi division champ when he secured the light heavyweight title against Mohammed Said Maalem. His new belt will be held next to his already existing champion role in the middleweight division.

BRAVE International Combat week continues with the MMA Super Cup Finals tomorrow.

By Braeden Arbour

I am a Media Studies and Literature graduate from Trent University in Ontario, Canada, a black belt in Shorin Ryu Karate, and a blue belt in Judo. I hope to persue a career in sports journalism and writing about various elements around the world of martial arts.