In one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of Brave Combat Federation's 2023 schedule, South Africa's Nkosi Ndebele sensationally dethroned Jose "Shorty" Torres to capture the Brave CF bantamweight title at Brave CF 80.
The pair faced off in the main event in Bahrain, with the two men widely regarded as the premier 135-pounders on the Brave roster going head to head in a top-drawer rematch for the bantamweight crown.
After two initial fight bookings fell by the wayside due to event cancellations, the duo eventually faced off for the first time in August at Brave CF 73, where Torres edged a split-decision verdict.
But in the rematch Ndebele turned things up a notch and, in a stunning performance, overwhelmed Torres with his stand-up game as he peppered the champion with strikes throughout the first two rounds.
By the time the bout had reached the third round, Torres' face was a bloody mess, with the American former two-time amateur world champion eventually signaling to referee that he'd had enough and that he couldn't see the strikes that were coming his way.
Torres' verbal submission to Ndebele's striking onslaught meant that the South African – who has fought all of his professional bouts inside the Brave CF cage – was crowned the new Brave CF bantamweight champion.
In the co-main event, former super welterweight champion Jarrah Al-Silawi marked his return to Brave Combat Federation with a much-needed unanimous decision victory over Serbia's Nenad Avramovic.
Al-Silawi had previously captured the Brave 175-pound title with victory over Ismail Naurdiev at Brave CF 50, but headed to the United States to try his luck in the Professional Fighters League. But after a promising start to life Stateside, he suffered three successive stoppage defeats.
It meant his bout with Avramovic was pivotal to his career, and Al-Silawi delivered a dominant performance to claim a unanimous decision and bounce back into the win column.
The event also saw the promotional debuts of British trio Jack Grant, Dean Garnett and Chad Griffiths, and all three picked up impressive victories.
Longtime Cage Warriors welterweight contender Grant claimed a buzzer-beating submission with a last-second armbar finish of Ahmed Labban, while Garnett claimed his fourth straight victory with a shutout decision victory over Izzedine Al-Derbani. Unbeaten lightweight prospect Griffiths extended his perfect professional record with a first-round guillotine choke finish of Abbas Khan.
The event also marked the start of the professional career of the greatest female fighter in amateur MMA history, three-time amateur world champion Sabrina De Sousa, who got her career off to a flying start with a 29-second TKO finish of Monika Kiran Ghag in their bantamweight matchup.