Ukrainian contender Omar Solomanov picked up the most important victory of his career as he outpointed Kazakhstan’s Ilyar Askhanov after three hard-fought rounds at Brave CF 71 in Riffa, Bahrain.
The event, which took place at the National Stadium in Riffa, Bahrain, saw Solomanov and Askhanov go head to head in a fight for the right to challenge for the Brave CF featherweight title later this year.
Solomanov showcased an at-times wild fighting style, chasing submissions from unorthodox angles on the ground, while throwing wide, winging punches as he threw for the fences on the feet.
But Askhanov stayed in the bout well, and connected with big shots from the clinch, as well as some nasty back elbows that connected to Solomanov’s forehead as the Ukrainian looked to take the Kazakh fighter’s back.
In the third and final round, Solomanov returned to his wrestling as he closed the distance and looked to grind out his opponent, but he had to be on his guard as Askhanov had one more bid for victory in the closing moments of the fight.
With the bout entering the final 90 seconds, Askhanov went for a Hail Mary submission as he snatched the neck and squeezed tight in a bid to submit Solomanov from inside his own guard.
The attempt proved unsuccessful as Solomanov escaped, then finished the fight strongly with a blazing salvo of strikes all the way to the final horn. After the bout, the three judges scored all three rounds to Solomanov, with all three scorecards reading 30-27 in favor of the Ukrainian.
Solomanov’s victory means his next bout will be for the Brave CF featherweight title against the winner of the featherweight title fight at Brave CF 72 on Friday, June 23, where defending champion Roman Bogatov takes on Nemat Abdrashitov.
In the co-main event, Velimurad Alkhasov outpointed previously undefeated EFC champion Nicholas Hwende in their bantamweight contenders battle.
Alkhasov was expected to have a significant grappling advantage, but when the action went to the mat three times during through the opening round, Hwende did superbly to work his way back to the feet on each occasion.
However, Alkhasov continued his relentless wrestling attack for the full 15-minute duration as he kept a game, dangerous Hwende on the back foot to earn a unanimous decision victory, with scores of 30-27 across the board giving the Russian contender the ninth win of his professional career.
There was also an important victory for Egyptian contender Mahmoud Sebie, who defeated Oussama Zeidi via first-round submission to put himself in the frame for a shot at the interim Brave CF super-lightweight title.
The event also saw the promotional debut of former amateur standout Ramazan Gitinov, who picked up a first-round technical submission victory over Abderrahman Errachidy to claim the second victory of his fledgling professional career.
Brave CF 71: Official results
- Omar Solomanov def. Ilyar Askhanov via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Velimurad Alkhasov def. Nicholas Hwende via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Abbas Khan def. Omar Hussein via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mahmoud Sebie def. Oussama Zeidi via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 1:12
- Ramazan Gitinov def. Abderrahman Errachidy via technical submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 1:55
- Khamzat Maaev def. Elias Farah via knockout (elbows and punches) – Round 1, 0:41
- Maysara Mohamed def. Ruel Panales via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 1:25
- Abdullah Al-Yaqoob def. Kenneth Maningat via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 3:15