Accrington’s Ian ‘The Locksmith’ Entwistle returns after a near five year absence to main event Brave CF’s latest show in Bahrain. Brave CF 45 was originally set to be headlined by a featherweight contest between Gabriel Miranda and Dumar Roa, only for Miranda (14-5) to test positive for Covid-19, thus forcing him to withdraw from the bout.
In stepped Entwistle (9-3) taking the fight on just three days notice at a catchweight of 68 kg, but with the tragic passing of Bahrain’s prime minister, Royal Highness Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the event was postponed a week, now taking place Thursday the 19th of November at a new catchweight of 75 kg.
Entwistle blazed his way through the domestic scene, racing to 8-1 in just three years while finishing all eight of his victories in the very first round. His only loss during this time came against Brad Wheeler, a rematch of a bout he’d won by DQ three months prior.
In December of 2013 the Brit made the decision to move out to Thailand, joining Phuket Top Team alongside the likes of Andrew Leone and Jumabieke Tuerxun in order to improve his standup game. Within five months he’d been signed to the UFC, and made his debut against fellow debutant Dan Hooker in Auckland, losing via first round TKO.
He dropped down to bantamweight for his next bout, submitting the tough Anthony Birchak with a heel hook in round one, earning his first UFC win and a performance of the night bonus in the process. After a 15 month layoff he returned with another first round TKO loss, this time to Alejandro Perez.
After some difficulties cutting weight that forced him to pull-out of two bouts, he was released from the UFC and subsequently announced his retirement from the sport at just 30 years of age in 2017.
Having allowed his body to rest and recover from the tough stress it had been put under, Entwistle now returns with a tough assignment in Colombia’s Dumar Roa (14-8). The 30 year old has been a professional since 2011 and has fought for a number of prominent South American promotions, gaining a sizeable following in the process.
Making his Brave CF debut as a late notice replacement against former UFC veteran Felipe Silva (losing via TKO) he rebounded with a first round win of former Brave CF lightweight champion Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady. The Colombian has already fought twice this year, going 1-1 and has finished eleven of his fourteen wins (eight KO’s and three submissions).
The card features seven bouts, six of which take place at catchweights due to the late nature of the previous shows postponement and features an impressive eleven different nationalities. The highlights of the undercard are undoubtedly a competitive co-main event between Mohamed Said Maalem (10-3) and Zvonimir Kralj (7-3) and the debut of two time IMMAF world champion Murtaza Talha Ali.