No Team Lakay, Pinoys yet in January 2021 Brave event

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BRAVE Combat Federation announced last month that it would hold its first show in Russia on January 16 in the city of Sochi, Russia

The Bahrain-based promotion will did not announce any fighters in the card at that time but recent developments  confirmed that BRAVE CF 46 will be headlined by Super Lightweight world champion Eldar Eldarov, who makes the first defense of his crown with an yet to be named contender.

Also confirmed to see action are Roman Bogatov, Ali Bagautinov, Konstantin Erokhin, Issa Isakov, former Lightweight world champion Luan Santiago, Leonardo Mafra, Murtaza Talha and Rustam Chsiev.

No Filipinos were confirmed to participate in the event but earlier reports noted that these Pinoys could possibly be in the ring come fight night:

Stephen Loman

Team Lakay’s Stephen Loman (14-2) seems to be the best choice to be one of the feature attractions, if not the extravaganza’s main event. The 25-year-old Baguio City resident has been a top draw for BRAVE CF, headlining three high-profile cards that included the outfit’s first foray into the Philippines in March 2019.

Since becoming the first BRAVE CF Bantamweight world champion, Loman has been on a tear, beating opposition after opposition. Now, he is the longest-reigning titleholder in the promotion’s fledgling history.

Loman was last seen in action when he routed Canadian challenger Louie Sanoudakis at BRAVE CF 30 in November 2019 by way of unanimous decision.

Shahid believes that Loman has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao as the next great Filipino sports hero.

“I really believe that he (Loman) will take the sport of MMA to another level in the Philippines. He keeps on proving that he is a deserving champion,” he said. “He is the biggest combat athlete in the Philippine along with Manny Pacquiao. I said it before and I’ll say it again.”

“People say we gave him the opportunity, but it’s actually the opposite. He gave us the honor of fighting in our organization. I was sad that not a lot of Filipinos knew him, but now I’m the happiest man because the country found a new hero, a fighter who proudly represents the country.”

Rolando Dy

Rolando Dy (14-9), the son of Filipino boxing legend Rolando Navarrete, has been a household name in Philippine MMA for almost a decade. The 29-year-old has competed in several notable international organizations and has been a member of the BRAVE CF roster as early as 2017.

Dy is best remembered for his promotional return at BRAVE CF 22 when he scored a highlight-reel knockout victory over Mehmosh Raza. There, he sent the Pakistani’s mouthguard flying with a left hook-right straight combination in the first round.

Most recently, Dy eked out a unanimous decision win against John Brewin in a Lightweight title eliminator at BRAVE CF 44 last November 5, earning a future date with newly-minted division kingpin Amin Ayoub.

With both men making a gentlemen’s agreement to face each other for the belt a few weeks ago, matchmakers will definitely consider booking the championship showdown between Dy and Ayoub in Sochi next year.

Jeremy Pacatiw

Another Team Lakay standout in the form of Jeremy Pacatiw (10-4) has been turning heads lately. He owns the record of most bouts under the BRAVE CF banner and holds exciting victories over the likes of Thiago Dela Coleta, Keith Lee, Uloomi Karim and compatriot Mark Alcoba.

In his last BRAVE Arena outing, the 24-year-old Baguio City native thwarted former title contender Felipe Efrain in the very first round at BRAVE CF 33 in December 2019.

Pacatiw is a well-traveled competitor, having undercard bouts held in nations such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Morocco, Brazil, Bahrain, India and Indonesia. It will be no surprise if “The Juggernaut” gets a plane ticket to Sochi on January 16.

Harold Banario

Harold Banario (5-2), the young brother of former world champion Honorio Banario, took a four-year hiatus from the sport in order to earn a college degree at the University of the Cordilleras.

But when he made his return to active competition, it was nothing short of spectacular. Banario compelled fellow Filipino Ariel Oliveros to wave the white flag with a kneebar submission in the opening salvo of their BRAVE CF 22 clash.

Though Banario failed to author the perfect follow-up to his scintillating promotional debut as he bowed to Gamzat Magomedov at BRAVE CF 33, he vowed to redeem himself in the eyes of the die-hard Team Lakay supporters. His road to redemption may likely lead him to Sochi.

Jomar Pa-ac

Jomar Pa-ac (6-2) has been a diamond in the rough among Team Lakay representatives in BRAVE CF, acing three of his four assignments since arriving in December 2016.

He has yet to re-enter the BRAVE Arena after outpointing Satya Behuria via unanimous decision at BRAVE CF 22.

Despite the pandemic, Pa-ac has found ways to keep himself in tip-top shape, training with his teammates like Joshua Pacio and Danny Kingad at Team Lakay’s state-of-the-art facility in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Having Team Lakay’s loyal fanbase behind him when he fights, there is a huge chance that Pa-ac will get a call to wear the stable’s signature bright red trunks in Sochi.

By: Armando M. Bolislis

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