Ali “The King Puncher” Bagautinov has drawn a last-minute formidable new opponent for BRAVE Combat Federation’s return to Russia this Saturday, November 6. The Russian hometown hero will face American Sean “Shorty Rock” Santella in the last semifinal clash of the prestigious BRAVE CF Flyweight World Title Tournament, which serves as the headliner of BRAVE CF 55 in Rostov-on-Don.
Santella will replace compatriot and fellow Flyweight contender Jose “Shorty” Torres, who has withdrawn from the contest due to difficulties making weight for the match with less than 24 hours to go before the official weigh-ins.
The promotion’s matchmakers then offered the semifinal tourney spot to Santella, who’s originally scheduled to compete on the supporting card of BRAVE CF 55 against another Russian talent in Rizvan Abuev – ‘’The Predator’’ Abuev will receive his show money.
Brave President Statement
BRAVE CF President Mohammed “The Hawk” Shahid made an official statement following Santella’s acceptance of the offer to fill in for Torres to face Bagautinov within 48 hours of fight night.
“It was a crazy 24 hours. Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres is out of the main event and the flyweight tournament. If anyone could have stepped up, it was Sean Santella, and he did step up last night. Ali Bagautinov, like a true champion, is ready for it all,” he said.
The 37-year-old veteran from Budd Lake, New Jersey, fought Torres in the quarterfinals of the eight-man competition, which kicked off late last year to crown the Bahrain-based outfit’s inaugural Flyweight World Champion. However, the clash ended in an anticlimactic majority draw.
This past March, the two were supposed to run it back at BRAVE CF 49, but Santella withdrew from the bout due to an injury. As a result, Torres fought and prevailed over short-notice replacement Blaine O’Driscoll via unanimous decision to advance to the semifinals.
Now that he’s back in the tournament, Santella is ready to capitalize on the significant opportunity this weekend against Bagautinov. The winner of the semifinal showdown between Santella and Bagautiov will secure a seat in the championship round versus the highly-touted Velimurad Alkhasov.
Other Notable Changes
Bagautinov vs. Santella is not the only new bout made for BRAVE CF 55. In addition, Daniel Gaucho, Luis Felipe Dias, and Nemat Abdrashitov have been forced off the fight card. Gaucho and Dias have been replaced by Abdulsupyan Alikhanov and Vitaly Tverdokhlebov, respectively, while Abdrashitov vs. Abdulmutalip Gairbekov has been scratched from the card.
As always, all BRAVE CF events are available live and free worldwide on the BRAVE CF TV website.
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Featured Image Credits to BRAVE CF