Living up to his moniker “The King Puncher” with a career-defining 12 months, in which he claimed three noteworthy victories to inch him closer to a chance of vying for a World Title in the flyweight division, Ali Bagautinov was voted by fans as BRAVE CF’s 2021 Fighter of The Year.
Even among the dominant World Champions, serial finishers, and other stars on the BRAVE CF roster, no one can quite match his run in 2021 as he won all of his bouts that included two wins in the prestigious BRAVE CF Flyweight Title Tournament to punch a ticket to the finals against the highly-touted Velimurad Alkhasov at a yet-to-be-announced event in 2022.
Bagautinov kicked off his 2021 by making his highly-anticipated promotional debut at BRAVE CF 46 this past January, dominating Oleg Lichkovakha throughout three rounds to clinch a clear-cut unanimous decision win and secure a slot in the BRAVE CF Flyweight World Title Tournament.
The Russian dynamo then picked up where he left off nearly three months later by eliminating fellow veteran Dustin Ortiz from the tourney in the same fashion at BRAVE CF 50.
At BRAVE CF 55, “The King Puncher” capped off his amazing run by stopping short-notice opponent Sean Santella in 61 seconds to set a date with Alkhasov for the inaugural BRAVE CF Flyweight World Championship.
Joining Bagautinov is Nursulton Ruziboev, who won the KO Of The Year award for a rare slam KO win reminiscent of Quinton Jackson vs Ricardo Arona, when he knocked out Ibrahim Mane at BRAVE CF 47.
Asu Almabaev, the Flyweight star from Kazakhstan, won two prizes – sub of the year for his rear-naked choke finish of Aleksander Doskalchuk, and breakthrough fighter of the year.
Finally, a Super Welterweight war between Ismail Naurdiev and Olli Santalahti, at BRAVE CF 54, was voted Fight of The Year.
BRAVE CF 2021 Award Winners
Fighter of The Year – Ali Bagautinov
KO of The Year – Nursulton Ruziboev def. Ibrahim Mane – BRAVE CF 47
Sub of The Year – Asu Almabaev def. Aleksander Doskalchuk – BRAVE CF 53
Breakthrough Fighter of The Year – Asu Almabaev
Fight of The Year – Ismail Naurdiev def. Olli Santalahti via Unanimous Decision – BRAVE CF 54