Brave 13 recap: How the IMMAF veterans performed on a big night in Belfast

Pictured: 2017 IMMAF welterweight world champion, Benjamin Bennett enjoys victory in his pro debut.

IMMAF.org contributor, Caoilte de Barra was on the scene at the SSE Arena in Belfast on June 9, taking in the action of Brave 13.

Brave CF 13 is in the books and 6 former IMMAF competitors took to the cage to show their skills, now as professionals.

The all IMMAF veteran clash between Aidan James and Tommy Martin kicked off proceedings. They quickly began to exchange big shots in the opening round. The first round was spent on the feet, for the most part, with a number of takedowns attempted by Martin. The Welshman arguably took the first round. The second round began with a high pace before heading to that mat where James maintained control. The final round was all Aidan James, and he pushed through to finish the bout on the ground via TKO.

Next, Sam Slater took on Piotr Tokarski. This bout went at an exceptional pace. Slater showed incredible striking ability and takedown defence to dominate in the first two rounds. In the third, Tokarski threatened with some takedowns and clinch work, but nothing as significant. Slater took the final round and earned himself the clear cut decision victory.

2017 IMMAF World Champion Benjamin Bennett was the third fighter to make the walk on the night as he took on Sebastian Kozok. Bennett’s boxing was exceptional and the American dropped his opponent in the opening stanza. At the close of the round, Kozok failed to get to his feet, thus the TKO and a first pro victory went to ‘Mr Alaska’. It appeared that Bennett broke Zozok’s ribs in a late exchange which deemed him medically unfit to continue.

Cian Cowley kicked off the main card in an explosive matchup with Daniel Olejniczak. Cowley was tagged and dropped early on but recovered without delay. After surviving the onslaught from Olejniczak, Cowley got to his feet and proceeded to land his own  significant strikes before a clean knee to sent his opponent to the mat. From there, Cowley worked to secure a back mount. After some strikes, the referee stepped in to call a stop to the bout at the end of the first round.

2015 IMMAF World Champion Frans Mlambo topped off the action, in the headline contest. Mlambo fought for the bantamweight title against Stephen Loman. Mlambo came within moments of a finish in the first round as an impact shot sent Loman to the canvas, however, Loman came back strong and gave a repeat performance of the their first meeting. It was a tough fight, but Mlambo was unable to secure the victory.

The event once again proved the high level of talent that comes through the IMMAF platform.