BAHRAIN-BASED Brave Combat Federation (CF) has its lightweight division stacked with a number of fighters making strong cases for the title.

Currently ruled by Frenchman Amin Ayoub, the division is not short in notable challengers, led by Rolando “Dy Incredible” Dy (14-9) of the Philippines.

Mr. Dy, 29, and son of Filipino boxing legend Rolando Navarette, has thrust himself to the fore after a fruitful season in 2020 notwithstanding the limitations presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

He capped things off by being named Brave Fighter of the Year.

The Dasmariñas, Cavite resident has openly expressed his desire to get a shot at Mr. Ayoub and the lightweight belt and further show his worth as a fighter.

“If Brave CF thinks I have to prove it again, then so be it. I am a fighter, and my job is to fight and win fights. Like I said in the past, line them up and I will keep knocking them down. It’s that simple,” Mr. Dy said of the mind-set he has in his chase of the top prize.

Another in the hunt is Egypt’s Ahmed “The Butcher” Amir, who holds an 11-3-1 professional record with an 82 percent finishing rate and has been a mainstay of the organization since its inaugural event in 2016.

He reinserted himself in the weight class’ world title picture by winning two bouts in a row against the likes of Yousef Wehbe and Cian Cowley.

Kyrgyzstan’s Abdisalam Kubanychbek also has his sights on the belt wrapped around Mr. Ayoub’s waist.

He has been on a tear of late, knocking out both Joao Paulo Rodrigues and Vagif Askerov before pulling off a second-round submission of Jahongir Saidjamolov at Brave CF 46 in Sochi, Russia last January.

Mr. Kubanychbek recently made known he is interested in taking on Filipino Dy.

The other lightweight contender is English spitfire Sam Patterson, who owns a 6-1-1 slate as a professional and is currently riding a five-match winning streak. The Team Crossface standout accomplished the biggest win of his young career when he knocked out Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Felipe Silva in the first round of their September 2020 clash.

In the history of Brave, the lightweight (155lb) division has been competitively fought in, with the weight class seeing five different champions from 2017 to 2020.

Will 2021 bring in a new titleholder?

Founded in 2016, Brave has made significant headways in bringing top-class MMA action in different parts of the globe, including the Philippines.

Since being established, the company has visited more than a dozen countries.

Brave said that by taking mixed martial arts (MMA) to a wider range, it hopes to give a truly global platform to athletes for their in-cage abilities and fighting qualities. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo