Bantamweight champion Stephen Loman defended his title in style as he beat rival Frans Mlambo in a five-round war at Brave 13: Europe Evolution, which took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this Saturday. In front of MMA superstar Conor McGregor, the Filipino fighter imposed his will in the main event, using his wrestling to neutralize Mlambo’s offenses and took home a unanimous decision.
Mlambo, who had the superstar McGregor cheering for him from the sidelines, has been defeated for the second time by Loman – he also lost to the champion at Brave’s first-ever event, back at September of 2016. This time around, both fighters spent more time in the striking department, with Frans’ boxing skills making the difference in the first round.
However, “The Sniper” started to find success in the second frame, using his wrestling and heavy top game to overwhelm Mlambo on the ground. In the third round, he almost finished the fight with a rear-naked choke but “The Black Mamba” survived.
The fourth round was more balanced, but Loman kept the pressure and once again was able to steal the round with his perfectly executed gameplan. The fifth and final frame was a repeat, with the champion guaranteeing his belt with yet another takedown-filled performance.
After the fight, challenger and champion exchanged pleasantries, with Mlambo admitting Loman was a “true champion”.
In the co-main event, the rematch eight years in the making had the same winner: once again Norman Parke came out victorious against Myles Price, using his wrestling skills to overwhelm the Englishman en route to a unanimous decision.
Another highlight of the fight night was Rodrigo Cavalheiro’s performance. Coming off a brutal win in his Brave Combat Federation debut, the Brazilian Welterweight thrust himself in the conversation for a title shot with yet another devastating KO, this time over a tough and experienced Karl Amoussou.
Bantamweight: (c) Stephen Loman def. Frans Mlambo by unanimous decision
Catchweight (73 kg): Norman Parke def. Myles Price by unanimous decision
Welterweight: Rodrigo Cavalheiro def. Karl Amoussou by KO – R2
Flyweight: Bryan Creighton def. Andy Young by submission (guillotine) – R2
Featherweight: Zach Zane def. Declan Dalton by submission (rear-naked choke) – R2
Catchweight (72 kg): Erick “Índio Brabo” def. Erik Carlsson by unanimous decision
Middleweight: Konrad Iwanowski def. Glenn Irvine by submission (rear-naked choke) – R1
Middleweight: Chad Hanekom def. Dominic McConnell by submission (kimura) – R1
Catchweight (73 kg): Cian Cowley def. Daniel Olejniczak by TKO – R1
Catchweight (79 kg): Ben Bennett def. Sebastian Kozok by TKO (Retirement) – R1
Featherweight: Sam Slater def. Piotr Tokarski by unanimous decision
Featherweight: Aidan James def. Tommy Martin by TKO – R3