‘Brave 22: Storm of Warriors’ delivers festival of finishes in the Philippines

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Based in Bahrain, mixed martial arts promotion Brave Combat Federation made a historic debut in the Philippines as the local fans cheered on one of their own in reigning Brave CF Bantamweight Champion Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, 23, of the Philippines. He dominated his main event bout  at “Brave 22: Storm of Warriors” against Elias “Smile” Boudegzdame, 25, of France and Algeria eventually landing a finishing blow to walk away with the technical knockout.

However, Loman’s was not the only finish on the stellar fight card of “Brave 22: Storm of Warriors,” which took place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on March 15, 2019. Out of the nine bouts, six ended in finishes, an encouraging 66.6 percent rate of finishes to kick off 2019.

Aside from the champ’s KO, another Filipino finished his fight with his fists. Rolando Dy needed less than a round to knock out Pakistan’s Mehmosh Raza, who’s the owner of Brave’s fastest submission. Speaking of which, there were four tap-outs during the fight card.

 

The most exquisite one was a kneebar, locked in by Harold Banario, who made his Brave debut one to remember, with a decisive victory over Ariel Oliveros. Another rare move was used by Abdul Hussein. In his Flyweight preliminary bout against John Cris Corton, the Finnish standout locked in a ninja choke to make his opponent quit.

 

Brave Bantamweight contender Jeremy Pacatiw dominated his countryman Marc Alcoba throughout the first two rounds before attacking with an armbar to add yet another finish on his Brave resume.

 

Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman to dedicate ‘Brave 22: Storm of Warriors’ fight to uncle who recently passed away

Stephen Loman (© Brave Combat Federation)
Stephen Loman (© Brave Combat Federation)

When Brave Bantamweight champion Stephen Loman takes to the stage to face Elias Boudegzdame this Friday, in the main event of Brave 22: Storm of Warriors, he will be fighting for more than the pride he feels for his country. He will fight to honor his family. Last week, one of Loman’s uncles passed away after falling victim of a hit and run incident, during the closing stages of his nephew’s grueling training camp for Brave 22.

Stephen Loman remains focused on the task ahead, but his teammates at Team Lakay can sense his sadness and have expressed their support, trying to make fight week easier for the champion, who successfully defended his belt twice before, and has represented the Philippines in different countries such as Bahrain and Northern Ireland.

“The Sniper” will dedicate the fight to his uncle, win or lose. He was one of Loman’s biggest supporters and was looking forward to watching his nephew rise to the occasion of representing the Philippines in the biggest global MMA stage once again, but this time as a member of the live audience. In order to appease his family’s grief, half of them have stayed behind in Baguio City, also to not distract Stephen and keep him focused on the tough task ahead.

Brave 22: Storm of Warriors marks the first time the biggest MMA promotion in the Middle East lands in the Philippines. The groundbreaking show will be headlined by Loman’s third title defense, against Elias Boudegzdame, and the co-main event will be a Lightweight bout between Ireland’s Cian Cowley and New Zealand’s John Brewin.

 

Brave CF fighters light up Resorts World Manila during ‘Brave 22: Storm of Warriors’ open workouts

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Two days before Brave Combat Federation officially debuts in the Philippines, six of the 18 “Brave 22: Storm of Warriors” contenders lit up the passionate crowd inside the Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The venue is one of the Bahrain-based mixed martial arts promotion’s entertainment partners for the groundbreaking show.

The “Brave 22: Storm of Warriors” fight night will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on March 15, 2019. During the open workouts, the six athletes including Brave CF Bantamweight Champion Stephen “The Sniper” Loman, 23, of the Philippines and his challenger Elias “Smile” Boudegzdame, 25, of France, the six athletes showcased some of their skills and a little of what can be expected of them on fight night.

As expected, the Filipino fighters received the greatest applause. Loman was one of the most celebrated fighters by the fans as well as his Team Lakay teammate Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw, 22, who takes on countryman Mark “The Ruthless” Alcoba, 27.

Loman and Boudegzdame will headline “Brave 22: Storm of Warriors.” In the co-main event, Cian “The Warrior” Cowley, 25, and John Brewin, 24, of Auckland, New Zealand will compete in the lightweight division.

Cowley and Brewin were well received by the crowd during the open workouts. Rolando Gabriel “Dy Incredible” Dy, 28, of the Philippines was also in the event along with his opponent Mehmosh “The Renegade” Raza, 23, of Pakistan.

After the open workouts, the athletes sat down to answer fan and media questions with Brave CF commentator Kirik Jenness at the helm. Boudegzdame was the only one missing from the fighters who did the early open workouts.

Dy lit up the crowd when he talked about the pride he feels in representing his own country at Brave CF. He said, “I’ll be honest; “I was always an average student.”

“I got my college degree because I had to,” Dy confessed. “I was an average basketball player and an awful dancer. Fighting is what I really know; it’s what I love. Being able to be here and representing my country back to Brave, it’s amazing.”

Training out of Bali MMA in Bali, Indonesia, Brewin shared what it meant to him to fight in Manila and promised to put on a show for the Filipino fans. He said, “I’m living the dream.”

“Two years ago, I was here in Manila, cornering one of my good friends and teammate at Bali MMA,” Brewin recalled. “I thought one day, I’ll get back here for my own fight. I never thought it’d be so fast though.”

“I went from all kinds of temporary jobs to co-headlining a card in Manila,” Brewin continued. “I know a lot of people say that their stories are all about struggle and overcoming but that’s nothing but the truth in my case. I live for fighting; I’m here to put on a show and I’ll fight until my last breath.”

 

Bubba Jenkins: Stephen Loman will beat Elias Boudegzdame at ‘Brave 22: Storm of Warriors’

Bubba Jenkins (© Brave Combat Federation)
Bubba Jenkins (© Brave Combat Federation)

Featherweight world champion Bubba Jenkins is still enjoying the fruits of his labor after dethroning Elias Boudegzdame at last year’s Brave 16. However, he has an eye on this Friday’s Brave 22: Storm of Warriors. The show, which takes place in Manila, Philippines, will be headlined by Bantamweight titleholder Stephen Loman defending his belt against his old foe Boudegzdame.

 

Jenkins says he’s excited about the matchup and claims he expects a much-improved Elias Boudegzdame from their encounter in Abu Dhabi. However, he’s putting his money on the champion successfully defending his title for the third time on fight night.

 

“I truly believe Elias has learned a lot. Stephen and I are very different fighters, but I bet he’s had a very smart training camp. He’s a true champion and I’m sure he will put on a great fight. But I have so much respect for Loman. He’s very comfortable in this weight class, he’s very comfortable as the champion. I don’t see Elias beating Stephen in Loman’s own home country and in his own weight class”, says Bubba.

 

As he has no trouble making the 145lbs (65,9 kg) limit of the Featherweight division, Jenkins is also looking for new challenges. And he guarantees a drop to Bantamweight in case Elias beats Stephen Loman at Brave 22.

 

“I mean, I want Stephen Loman to win. I think he will win. But if Elias somehow beats Loman, then “Bubba J” is going to have two Brave belts. If Elias wins, I’ll drop down to Bantamweight to challenge him and become Brave’s first champ-champ”, promises Jenkins.

 

Brave 22: Storm of Warriors marks the first time the biggest MMA promotion in the Middle East will land in the Philippines. In addition to a main event for the ages, the organization has also matched up two of the biggest prospects at Lightweight, as Cian Cowley meets John Brewin in the co-headliner.