Eldar Eldarov scored his first title defense in Brave Combat Federation’s opening event of 2021.
Eldarov (13-1) put his 165-pound championship on the line against Leonardo Mafra Texeira (15-6) in the main event of Brave CF 46 at Wow Arena in Sochi, Russia, on Saturday. After a few seconds of studying, Eldarov teased Mafra with a boxing combination, setting the tone for the rest of the round. The defending champion looked pretty confident with his punches, many of which found their way to Mafra’s face with ease. The Brazilian challenger retaliated with a few punches and some knees of his own.
In the last minute, Eldarov pushed the pace to take Mafra to the canvas. Even though “Macarrao" managed to defend the takedown attempt, he ate a few punches from the clinch position. One of Eldarov’s shots reached Mafra’s eyebrow, opening a gash right above the Brazilian’s right eye. The ringside physician checked Mafra’s condition carefully after the round and decided not to allow the fighter to continue, giving Eldarov a doctor stoppage victory after five minutes.
The co-main event featured a catchweight clash between former Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight contender Ali Bagautinov (20-7) and Oleg Lichkovakha (14-5, 2 NC). It only took a few moments for “Puncher” to showcase his grappling skills by taking his opponent down. After escaping from a heel hook attempt, Bagautinov landed some merciless shots of ground-and-pound from above. A series of elbows from Bagautinov to the head mitigated Lichkovakha’s initiative every time he attempted to return to his feet.
“Puncher” took Lichkovakha down in the second round as well, capturing his opponent’s back in a matter of seconds. While Bagautinov failed to close a rear-naked choke, he controlled Lichkovakha on the canvas for the majority of the round, except for a brief moment when the Baltic Bears representative took his opponent’s back. Bagautinov started the third stanza by slamming his opponent back on the mat, from where he mauled him with heavy punches before attempting an unsuccessful guillotine choke. When it came time to announce the scorecards, all three judges rewarded Bagautinov with a unanimous decision victory (30-26, 30-26, 30-25).
Elsewhere, Roman Bogatov (11-1) overcame Nurzhan Akishev (11-3) via unanimous decision at the end of their catchweight bout. In a heavyweight clash, UFC alum Konstantin Erokhin (10-4) dropped Zhyrgalbek Chomonov (8-2) on the canvas following a barrage of punches that forced the referee to stop the action 41 seconds into the second round. The first bout on the main card saw a showdown between Magomed Absudalamov (6-0, 1 NC) and Andrey Lezhnev (19-9, 1 NC) end in a no contest following an accidental clash of heads 4:30 into the fight.
In preliminary action: Abdisalam Kubanychbek (16-2) scored his third Brave victory after submitting Jahongir Saidjamolov (14-5) via rear-naked choke in the second frame in a catchweight bout; Khunkar-Pasha Osmaev (11-6) defeated Yuriy Verenitsen (4-3) via decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in Brave’s super lightweight division; Murtaza Talha Ali (2-0) crushed Dmitriy Krivulets (3-2) with punches in the opening stanza; Murad Bilarov (4-1) submitted Fedor Babich (4-5) via kimura in the second round of their 155-pound encounter; Magomed Kamalov (5-1-1) smashed Zokirzhon Khoshimov (9-5) with punches and elbows at the 3:40 mark of the second round; Saidguseyn Surkhaev (2-0) submitted Erkinbai Abdusalamov (0-1) with ease via guillotine choke at the 3:02 mark of the opening stanza.