SINCE its inception in late 2016, Brave Combat Federation (CF) has grown from a mere upstart with dreams of bringing its own brand of mixed martial arts to the mainstream, into a combat sports powerhouse taking key markets by storm.
The Bahrain-headquartered promotion has staged nearly 50 live events and has visited 20 different countries, including United Arab Emirates, India, Mexico, Sweden, Brazil, South Africa, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines.
To further cement its position as the fastest-growing MMA organization in the world, the prominent Brave Arena will land in the beautiful city of Sochi to host the company’s first-ever event in Russia on Jan. 16 next year.
In spite of the public confirmation of BRAVE CF’s maiden venture on Russian shores, no matches were announced. Questions arose as mystery shrouds the identities of the athletes who will strut their wares on the aforementioned card.
Brave CF president Mohammed Shahid hinted at the possibility that Filipino fight fans may see the best and brightest talents from the Philippines as part of the landmark affair.
“The Philippines has been a focus for Brave Combat Federation from the very beginning,” he stated. “From time to time, warriors from the Philippines prove that they have not only the skill to compete at the international level, but also the heart that matters when it comes to combat sports.”
Here are the five Filipino fighters who may end up donning the country’s colors in Brave CF’s inaugural trip to Russia.
Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman (14-2) seems to be the best choice to be one of the feature attractions, if not the extravaganza’s main event. He has been a top draw for Brave CF, headlining three high-profile cards that included the outfit’s first foray into the Philippines in March 2019.
Since becoming the first Brave CF bantamweight world champion, Loman has been on a tear, beating opposition after opposition. Now, he is the longest-reigning titleholder in the promotion’s fledgling history.
Loman was last seen in action when he routed Canadian challenger Louie Sanoudakis at Brave CF 30 in November 2019 by way of unanimous decision.
Rolando Dy (14-9), the son of Filipino boxing legend Rolando Navarrete, has competed in several notable international organizations and has been a member of the Brave CF roster as early as 2017.
Dy is best remembered for his promotional return at Brave CF 22 when he scored a highlight-reel knockout victory over Mehmosh Raza.
Most recently, Dy eked out a unanimous decision win against John Brewin in a lightweight title eliminator at Brave CF 44 last Nov. 5, earning a future date with newly minted division kingpin Amin Ayoub, which could happen in Sochi next year.
Another Team Lakay standout in Jeremy Pacatiw (10-4) has been turning heads lately. He owns the record of most bouts under the Brave CF banner and holds exciting victories over the likes of Thiago Dela Coleta, Keith Lee, Uloomi Karim and compatriot Mark Alcoba.
In his last Brave Arena outing, he thwarted former title contender Felipe Efrain in the very first round at Brave 33 in December 2019.
Harold Banario (5-2), the young brother of former world champion Honorio Banario, took a four-year hiatus from the sport in order to earn a college degree.
But when he made his return to active competition, it was nothing short of spectacular. Banario compelled fellow Filipino Ariel Oliveros to wave the white flag with a kneebar submission in the opening salvo of their Brave CF 22 clash.
Though Banario failed to follow up it up another win, he vowed to redeem himself come his next fight.
Jomar Pa-ac (6-2) has been a diamond in the rough among Team Lakay representatives in Brave CF, acing three of his four assignments since arriving in December 2016.
He has yet to reenter the Brave Arena after outpointing Satya Behuria via unanimous decision at Brave CF 22.