KHK Team Bahrain continued to make waves last night when USA’s Jose “Shorty” Torres was crowned the new BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight champion at BRAVE CF 73 in Bogota, Colombia.
After various disappointments faced during his Flyweight run in the most-global MMA promotion, the former 125-pound contender moved up a division and wasted no time in grabbing this opportunity with both hands when he beat South Africa’s star Nkosi Ndebele via split decision (49-45, 48-47 49-47) in a closely fought bout that left Colombian fans on the edge of their seats in the Coliseo El Salitre.
Torres joins a distinguished list of KHK Team Bahrain athletes to hold a BRAVE CF title – including current Super Lightweight champion Eldar Eldarov and former Lightweight champion Ahmed Amir.
Torres did well to face adversity in the early rounds of the five-round fight as Ndebele was very comfortable at range working body and head shots with his slick striking.
Torres quickly realized that in order for him to do any significant damage, he would have to work his angles to close the distance and implement that high-level wrestling of his.
Despite securing a big takedown in the first round, it was late in the second round that Torres started finding his timing and rhythm that built the foundation for him to unleash more takedowns, clinch work, and superior grappling.
While Ndebele did well to stuff a few takedowns, Torres continued pushing forward, attacking Ndebele’s lead leg, which played a pivotal role in subduing the rangy attacks from the South African.
In the end, Torres’ higher work rate in the clinch and on the canvas helped him get the judges’ nod and help him secure his first BRAVE CF gold and KHK Team Bahrain’s third BRAVE CF belt.
KHK Team Bahrain has – and remains – home to many world-class athletes, including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Frankie Edgar, Shamil Gaziev, Hamza Kooheji, and more.
The brand – made possible by His Highness Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Khalifa – was created to foster a world-class environment and culture for athletes training in – or visiting – the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The brand has – not only – been home to some of the greatest stars, but coaches and names like Renzo Gracie, John Kavanagh, Bob Schirmer, and Pete Williams have also worked with KHK MMA.
BRAVE CF 73 Results
Bantamweight World Title: Jose Torres (USA) def. Nkosi Ndebele (South Africa) via split decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-47).
Flyweight: Flavio De Queiroz (Brazil) def. Zach Makovsky (USA) via KO at 2m3s – Round 1.
Super Welterweight: Luis Cado (Brazil) def. Willker Lemos (Brazil) via submission (guillotine choke) at 2m43s – Round 1.
Bantamweight: Eduardo Mora (Colombia) def. Keron Bourne (Trinidad and Tobago) via KO at 1m18s – Round 1.
Featherweight: Jefferson Gomez (Colombia) def. Andres Gómez (Colombia) via disqualification (illegal knees) at 4m05s of the second round.
Welterweight: Mauricio Otalora (Colombia) def. Carlos Belloso (El Salvador) via unanimous decision (29-27 29-27 29-28).
Flyweight: Edgar Torres (Peru) def. Carlos Toro (Colombia) via TKO (strikes) at 1m16s – Round 2.
Lightweight: Diego Morillo (Ecuador) def. Gabriel Bula (Colombia) via KO (head kick) at 3m40s – Round 2.