Pakistan’s first and the biggest Mixed Martial Arts event, Brave 17 took place in Lahore at Nishtar Park on Saturday, where local and international fighters showcased the amalgamation of their technique and power.
The crowd was all charged up, the setting was spot on, it did not look like Pakistan is hosting their first-ever international MMA event.
The mega MMA event kicked off with undercard fights. The first bout was between Abbas Khan and Sikander Badar in Amateur Welterweight category. Khan took just 14 seconds of the first round to defeat his opponent via TKO. The small bout proved to be a promising start for Brave 17.
In the second encounter of the event, Pakistan’s Najam Khan faced off against Afghanistan’s Mohammad Waseem in the Welterweight category. The emotions were high and both the fighters wanted to show the world what they are capable of, Khan exhibited some inspiring martial arts skills and won the game by submission as he got ninja choke on Waseem, which gave him the win.
Haider ‘the giant’ Farman took on Ariel Oliveros in Strawweight category, the local fighter looked to be in control at the end of first round. But, his opponent made a comeback in the next round with the takedown, though he managed to survive. In the third round, Farman put ninja choke on his opponent fighter, forcing him to tap out.
‘The Butcher’ Ahmed Amir and John Brewin entered the octagon for the next fight in Lightweight category. Amir tried to lock in submission moves, but Brewin was agile enough to get out of from it. In the end, the latter claimed the win via technical knock out.
Yibugele and Zia Mashwani entertained the crowd with some impressive skills in a featherweight category fight, it was arguably the most entertaining fight of undercard category. Yibugele was the better striker in the match, while his opponent was skilful on the floor. Both the pugilists were at their A game. As the fight was nearing the end, Yibugele managed to land a powerful blow that knocked Mashwani out.
The first fight of the main card was between Aidan James and Frans Mlambo in Bantamweight category. Mlambo was the favourite to win the bout, but MMA is an unpredictable sport. James was impressive throughout the match and eventually clinched the victory by submission.
Mehmosh Raza and Arben Escayo, in the Featherweight category, dominated his opponent in front of his home crowd. One of the most iconic MMA fighters of Pakistan, Raza knocked out Escayo in the much-anticipated fight to maintain his impressive career record of 9-2.
The most awaited fight of the night was between Pakistan’s Uloomi Karim Shaheen and Phillippines’ Jeremy Pacatiw in Bantamweight category, which Shaheen lost via a unanimous decision. Both the fighters were impressive during the co-main event, Shaheen made some praiseworthy comebacks in the match, but it was Pacatiw, who got the decision in his favour from the jury.
Brazil’s Rodrigo Cavalheiro and France Abdoul Abdouraguimov fought in Welterweight category in the other main event of the night. The French fighter entered the fight as the underdog, but he showed the world that he can defeat any fighter on his day as he defeated a much-experienced Cavalheiro via unanimous decision, keeping his track record 9-0 as a professional fighter.
The MMA event impressed all the viewers. The founder and CEO of ARY Digital Network had signed a deal with three companies to bring Brave Combat Federation in the country and was also elected as the President of Brave 17.
Brave Combat Federation was founded by Sheikh Khalid Bin Hammad Al Khalifa. The federation has held MMA competitions in Brazil, Bahrain, and 43 other countries, featuring more than 250 fighters.
The co-main eventer of the night, Uloomi Karim Shaheen had all praise for ARY Digital Network for giving it such an amazing coverage.
“There was world-class coverage and amazing camera work,” said Shaheen after the event. “Everything in the event was world-class and absolutely praiseworthy.”
Earlier, Shaheen had appreciated Mr Salman Iqbal’s efforts for promoting this sport in the country and how beneficial this step would be for the young fighters of the country.
“A big shout out for ARY and Mr Salman Iqbal for supporting mixed martial arts in Pakistan,” Shaheen had said while talking to ARY Sports ahead of the mega event.
“ARY is the first and the only channel to take MMA onboard, who have signed an agreement to promote the sport in Pakistan,” he said. “This is a huge step, I believe MMA stars in Pakistan will start getting the recognition,” he had told.