Stellar Welterweights steal the show for Brave
Since its inception, Brave Combat Federation has invested heavily in its Welterweight division and it has paid off as the weight class ranks amongst the best in the promotion. Fans around the world are engaged with Welterweight fighters, and names like Jarrah Al-Selawe, Mohammad Fakhreddine, and Tahar Hadbi are some of the organization’s biggest stars.
However, none of them have tasted the feeling of calling themselves champion. That honor belongs to Brave’s current and only Welterweight titleholder Carlston Harris. Out of action due to injury, the fighter from Guyana has seen the rise of numerous contenders and is sure to have his hands full once he comes back to the picture.
Aside from Al-Selawe, Fakhreddine and Hadbi, stars Sidney Wheeler, Pawel Kielek, and Rodrigo Cavalheiro have also made waves in the last year with feuds, big performances, and online support. Let’s take a look at the Brave Welterweight division’s biggest stars.
“Moçambique” was crowned the first-ever Brave Welterweight champion in a whirlwind of events last year in Brazil. Initially scheduled to take on Rodrigo Cavalheiro at Brave 8, Harris was called to the co-main event after Mohammad Fakhreddine fell ill during his weight cut and gave way against Carl Booth. In a hard-fought contest, Carlston came out with the win and a shiny new belt for his efforts.
The championship performance changed his life. Fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Harris became a local star, but hasn’t fought since. He signed on to defend his title against Jarrah Al-Selawe back at Brave 10 but ended up pulling out due to injury.
As he completes his rehabilitation, Harris will get back to action with a completely different title picture. Even though Al-Selawe continues to be the number one contender, other Welterweight fighters have emerged since last August. Saying Harris has his hands full is an understatement.
“The Jordanian Lion” continues to prove he’s one of the most dangerous Welterweights in the world. After earning his title shot with a grueling victory over Carl Booth back at Brave 9, Al-Selawe has chosen to remain active while champ Carlston Harris recovers from injury.
And the bet on himself has paid off, as Al-Selawe piled up two wins in 2018, over tough Frenchmen David Bear and Tahar Hadbi. Showing improved stand-up to go along with his world-class grappling, Jarrah is the biggest winner in Brave Combat Federation history: he’s the only fighter to earn five victories with the promotion.
After taking care of business against Hadbi, Al-Selawe now looks for a second-semester title fight against Harris and hopes the champ recovers in time for him to possibly finish 2018 with the belt around his waist.
“The Latest” is arguably Brave’s biggest star. With a loyal following in the Middle East, Fakhreddine made his much-awaited promotional debut with a ferocious TKO win over Vinicius Cruz back at Brave 4. Another finish over Lukasz Witos earned him a title shot. However, he was forced to pull out due to illness from his scheduled bout against Carl Booth.
With Carlston Harris earning the belt at Brave 8, Fakhreddine’s attentions were turned to Tahar Hadbi, in what was once described by Brave president Mohammed Shahid as the promotion’s “biggest-ever rivalry”.
After a No Contest at Brave 9, the duo finally resolved their differences at Brave 10, with Fakhreddine suffering his first TKO loss. The Lebanese icon hasn’t fought since, as a scheduled bout with Sidney Wheeler at Brave 13 didn’t materialize after the American fell ill during the week of the event. “The Latest” is still hunting for a number one contender’s bout in order to get to what he feels is deservedly his: Brave’s Welterweight belt.
Frenchman Tahar Hadbi was signed on to Brave Combat Federation as a possible future challenger for the belt. However, his start with the promotion was far from ideal: his two first bouts were declared No Contests. That didn’t stop “Fast Hands” from soldiering on and he finally got his win when he TKO’d arch-rival Mohammad Fakhreddine at Brave 10.
Not afraid to put his money where his mouth is, Hadbi then challenged number one contender Jarrah Al-Selawe. After a few weeks of speculation and trash talk, they finally faced each other. After having his arm broken in the first round, Tahar succumbed to a decision loss.
Hadbi has continued to be active on social media, where he enjoys a large following and has challenged the likes of Karl Amoussou and Rodrigo Cavalheiro. But his focus remains on the same goal, the Welterweight title.
Once a journeyman, fighting all over the world and for different promotions, Brazilian Rodrigo Cavalheiro found a home at Brave Combat Federation. But his start was far from ideal as his first fight with the organization was canceled last minute due to a turn of events stemming from Mohammad Fakhreddine’s illness back at Brave 8.
Cavalheiro had to wait a few more months for his debut, but his patience paid off as he brutally knocked out Alessandro Gambulino at Brave 11, in his home country. Two months later, Welterweight star Karl Amoussou suffered the same destiny as he was knocked out cold by a whooping right hand from Rodrigo.
Even though his next fight with Brave isn’t signed yet, Cavalheiro has traveled to Florida to work on his game and recently earned his black belt in jiu-jitsu. However, his mind is set on another belt, the Brave Welterweight belt.
“The All-American Kid” has developed into one of Brave’s most interesting characters. Not afraid to use his social media presence to make his controversial points, Wheeler feels he’s one fight away from a possible title shot.
After a near-perfect performance against Pawel Kielek in his promotional debut, Sidney was quick to call out Brave star Mohammad Fakhreddine. The bout was then scheduled for Brave 13, but Wheeler had problems during the weight cut and the fight was canceled. He has assured his growing fan base that these problems are behind him.
Wheeler is set to take on Abdoul Abdouraguimov at Brave 14, in Morocco, on August 18th. Even though the French-Russian fighter is making his debut, Abouraguimov comes in with an undefeated record of 7-0-0, 1 NC, and a Sambo championship. A win over such an accomplished fighter could propel Wheeler up the rankings.
Polish standout Pawel Kielek is only 22 years old but his MMA record is that of an experienced fighter: 9 wins and four losses, including a decision dropped to Sidney Wheeler. Kielek, however, had the perfect response to his debut defeat: a perfect performance and win against Welterweight star and former UFC fighter Mehdi Baghdad.
His win over Baghdad immediately put him in the conversation for the Welterweight title, as he used his wrestling and ground game to nullify Mehdi’s offensive weapons. Another performance like this against a higher-ranked opponent is what Kielek needs to definitely be in line for a title shot.