BRAVE Combat Federation’s upcoming bantamweight rematch between India’s Mohammed ‘Sher-e-Hind’ Farhad and the Philippines’ Ruel ‘Bagsik’ Panales is shaping up to be the culmination of a huge rivalry, as we countdown to BRAVE CF 70, which takes place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on April 23.
These two athletes have unfinished business after a ‘No Contest’ result at BRAVE CF 66, when Farhad landed an unintentional kick to Panales’ groin in the second round of their scrap in Bali, Indonesia, last year. While Panales seemed eager to continue, his grimace and body language forced BRAVE CF officials to call off the fight.
The result left a bitter taste in the mouth of India’s MMA star, who was left fuming and felt that Panales took the easy way out. In his post-fight interview, Farhad - hungry to climb the rungs of the 135-pound division in his quest to become the first-ever Indian BRAVE CF champion - did not hold back when sharing his thoughts on what transpired inside the BRAVE CF cage.
“Both Ruel and I know what happened in that cage,” said Farhad. “If I really connected that way, I would have felt embarrassed. The first kick was a toenail. The second kick was a shin block. It was by no means a kick to his groin area. After the incident, he was in the cage, ready to fight again because he knew he could continue. But then his coach spoke to him in Filipino. From what I understood, his coach instructed him to ‘end the fight’. His coach knew that he was getting beaten and informed Ruel not to continue fighting,” said the veteran with 11 knockouts.
“How can you be okay with a fight ending this way? I really did not expect that. I am a fighter. We are all martial artists and warriors. And if you are a warrior, then you should fight. But the truth is, he knew that if he was going to continue fighting in that second round, I was going to destroy him,” said Farhad.
“There was no second option left for him. It was clear for all to see that I was dominating him. I could read his eyes. That is why he called off the fight. Be a warrior, Ruel. Come back, and let’s do this again,” added the top Indian fighter, who got his wish, as he will take on Panales at BRAVE CF 70.
Farhad and the Philippines’ rising star, Panales, have now had the chance to reboot and improve as they prepare to close this chapter and work their way up the 135-pound ladder at BRAVE CF’s 20th event in Europe. BRAVE CF 70 will be co-promoted with leading local organisation WFC, which returns to action with WFC 25 on the same night.
The main event sees Slovenian MMA legend Marko Drmonjic compete against Bosnian superstar Erko Jun in a light heavyweight bout, while the co-main fight is another bantamweight clash that potentially doubles up as a number-one contender bout between USA’s Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres and South Africa’s Nkosi ‘The Future’ Ndebele. For more information, visit www.bravecf.com