BRAVE Combat Federation’s Bantamweight contender Nkosi “The Future” Ndebele has asked for an immediate rematch with the new 135-pound champion Jose “Shorty” Torres following their epic five-round bout at BRAVE CF 73 in the highlight event of the Pan-American Combat Week.
The two global stars captivated the world for over 25 minutes when they threw down for the vacant title in the main event at the Coliseo El Salitre in Bogota, Colombia, on Saturday evening.
Torres eventually got the judges’ nod via a split-decision (49-45, 48-47, 49-47) result which left the South African frustrated and mind-boggled.
“I just don’t know which fight the judges were watching. He didn’t even do damage. The only punch that he caught me with was a proper over hook. The others were Judo throws, but I stood up very quickly. I didn’t feel like those hip tosses should have even counted,” said Ndebele in a post-fight interview.
“I thought I did very well. I was feeling good, and I wasn’t really under pressure. I definitely deserve a rematch. When “Shorty” is ready to go, I’ll be ready. I’m feeling fine. I took no damage.”
Ndebele drew first blood in the first and second rounds with his teep-like kicks, knees to the midsection, and inside leg kicks to nullify Torres’ high-level wrestling.
Ndebele looked very comfortable with his silky striking and reach, cutting his American opponent open with his knee at one point in the clinch.
Despite the dangers posed by Ndebele at range and in close combat, Torres managed to close the distance at various stages of the fight, producing many hip tosses, which Ndebele did well to escape from.
Ndebele used his height to his advantage as Torres battled to implement a strong wrestling game, but the American continued to use angles and leg kicks to try and weaken Ndebele’s lead leg that he used to strike from a distance.
Round three saw the two athletes grapple for two minutes before Torres produced another big hip toss followed by an unsuccessful guillotine choke.
Instead of returning to the feet where he had been dominant with his striking, Ndebele opted to try and take the back of Torres, who tossed his opponent again before transitioning from a Kimura to an arm bar.
Torres’ work rate played a role in the judges’ books as the American had been more active in the clinch and in the grappling exchanges for the duration of the fight, but it was Ndebele who had landed a higher volume of clean shots, doing more damage to his American opponent.
In round four, Torres continued working the lead leg of Nkosi, who returned to his bread and butter, landing kicks to Torres’ body while working his straight jab before Torres closed the distance, pulling off another impressive hip toss.
In the final minutes of the fifth round, Ndebele shot for a takedown before transitioning to top control. It was there where Torres used his Jiu Jitsu to chase another armbar for longer than one minute as Ndebele held on until the end of the fight.
“It makes me sad because the scorecard was just ridiculous, and unfortunately the game was unfair to me tonight, but I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of what I did, and part of me still believes I am the Champion.
“My ‘Future Citizens’ saw what happened, they all know, as I am still receiving messages. The people know I won that fight. But we move and don’t give up. Nothing’s going to get me down. I will be a Champion in the future,” added Ndebele.