From rock bottom to the top: Jose “Shorty” Torres is the new BRAVE CF Bantamweight champion
Aug 12, 2023
The BRAVE CF 73 fight card successfully paid tribute to the passionate and fighting nation of Colombia as sixteen warriors put on an unforgettable night of action in Bogota.
Competing at the Coliseo El Salitre, stars from the USA, South Africa, Colombia, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, El Salvador, Peru, and Ecuador all shone on the most-global MMA stage as Latin America’s finest superstars mixed it up with the world’s best in the main attraction of the BRAVE Pan-American Combat Week.
BRAVE CF 73 - co-promoted by the Latin Fighter Championship - lit up the Bogota sky with five stoppages in eight fights, as the night produced new contenders and saw the crowning of a new BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight champion when USA’s Jose Torres beat South Africa’s Nkosi Ndebele via split decision in the main event of the evening.
Ndebele drew first blood in the first round with his teep-like kicks, knees to the midsection, and inside leg kicks to nullify Torres’ high-level wrestling. The South African looked very comfortable with his silky striking and reach, cutting his American opponent open with his knees in the clinch. At one point in the first round, Torres closed the distance and produced one of many hip tosses, but Ndebele did well to escape the moment he hit the canvas.
Torres realized that he’d need to close the distance and take the fight to Ndebele and started doing just that in the second round. Ndebele used his height to his advantage as Torres battled to implement a strong wrestling game, but the American’s experience and high level soon found him making inroads, using angles and quick bursts of leg kicks to try and weaken Ndebele’s lead leg that he relied on so much to strike from distance.
Round three saw the two athletes battle each other in the clinch for more than 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 then 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.
In round four, Torres continued working the lead leg of Nkosi, who went back to his bread and butter, landing kicks to Torres’ body while working his straight jabs. Torres used his angles to close the distance again and pulled out another impressive hip toss.
In the final minutes, Ndebele made the mistake of shooting 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.
“I just want to thank BRAVE Combat Federation. I have hit rock bottom in life, and now, I am back up top again. I am so grateful,” said Torres in the post-fight interview. “I was confident with my takedowns and knew that would play a huge role. Nkosi is the future, but today is my day. He is so damn tough. I am looking forward to getting a rematch with him. This was truly a phenomenal fight, and I am excited to see what is next,” added the new BRAVE CF Bantamweight champion.
The co-main event saw the rise of a new Flyweight contender when Brazil’s Flavio de Queiroz knocked out USA’s Zach Makovsky in the first round. The Muay Thai black belt star used his footwork and range well to subdue Makovsky’s wrestling and the Brazilian was clinical in stuffing the American’s takedowns every time he attempted to level change.
De Queiroz gathered his reads and timing before pouncing, landing a vicious straight right which landed flush on Makovsky’s jaw, dropping the Flyweight star to the canvas. “I am very happy for this victory tonight. I trained a lot for Zach, he is a champion athlete. I have now proven that I am ready to go up and fight for the title. This is my time,” said De Queiroz in his post-fight interview.
Brazil’s Luis Cado may have jumped the line and could soon meet BRAVE Combat Federation Super Welterweight champion and Poland’s Marcin Bandel after pulling off an incredible first-round submission (via guillotine choke) win over his compatriot Willker Lemos. Cado sent out a statement in the 175-pound division after dismantling Lemos with his powerful hands and debilitating leg kicks before locking in a suffocating choke forcing Lemos to tap as he gasped for air.
In the first main card fight, Colombia’s favorite MMA son Eduardo Mora pulled off the most important win of his professional MMA career when he knocked out Trinidad and Tobago’s Keron Bourne in the first round of their Bantamweight bout. Mora and Bourne started like a house on fire as the two unleashed fists of fury before Mora got the takedown and enjoyed top control landing short shots to the body and head of his opponent. Just as Bourne found his way back to his feet, Mora landed a spinning back elbow and overhand right, followed by a combination of hooks, rocking Bourne before the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Mora has now broken a three-fight losing streak in BRAVE CF and is also the first man to break Bourne’s seven-fight win streak.
The final fight on the LFC prelim card, unfortunately, ended in a disqualification. In what should have been a memorable BRAVE CF debut for Andres Gomez turned out to be a night to forget after the Featherweight landed two illegal knees to the head of a grounded Jefferson Gomez.
In one of the most exciting prelim fights, Colombia’s veteran fighter Mauricio Otalora secured his second win in BRAVE Combat Federation when he overcame El Salvador’s Carlos Belloso via unanimous decision (29-27 29-27 29-28) in their Welterweight bout.
Otalora had the dominant position for the majority of the fight and pushed the pace with his front-foot movement. The first round saw both athletes finding their range before Belloso clinched up after a wild overhand. Otalora was quick to react, securing one of three significant takedowns before going to work on Belloso. The second round saw Belloso land a head kick to his Colombian opponent, who brushed it off, egging Belloso on before delivering more crisp lefts and rights. Otalora tried to level change, initiating a single-leg takedown, but Belloso was the wiser and chased an unsuccessful guillotine choke. The third round saw Otalora go in for the finish on multiple occasions as he clinched up before launching a big takedown. Once he had his El Salvadorian opponent on the canvas he tried to end the fight with a ground and pound, but his lack of superior position was the main factor in his failure to do so. From that moment on Otalora’s experience came through as he maintained his position, riding the back of his opponent, landing shots before looking for a rear-naked choke in the final thirty seconds of the fight.
Ecuador’s Diego Morillo and Colombia’s Gabriel Bula set the tone for an explosive night when they opened the LFC prelim card with a stand-up war which ended with Morillo securing a knockout victory in the second round of the Lightweight fight. From the first bell, both athletes made it clear that they were there to stand and trade as the fans in attendance spurred them on with countless roars. Morillo gained the ascendancy early on, using his range to land cleaner shots and doing damage with his leg kicks.
Just before the halfway mark of the second round, Morillo did well to fake a left jab before unleashing a lethal right knee to the head of Bula that immediately sent the Colombian to the canvas before the referee stopped the fight.
BRAVE Combat Federation will now travel to Nantes, on September 7, for its debut event in France. The show will take place in association with leading French organization Hexagone MMA and will make France the 29th country to host a BRAVE CF show in less than seven years of operations – an absolute record in the MMA industry.
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.