By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
Former IMMAF amateur world champions Frans Mlambo (pictured above) and Abdul Hussein continued their exciting professional careers at Brave 10: The Kingdom Rises, in Amman, Jordan.
Brave continues to thrive as the top flight professional organisation for Arabic MMA. The promotion’s success has been built on staging international cards and drafting global up-and-comers to compete in the Middle East alongside local talent. In addition, the promotion has ventured into new territory, as far as Brazil and Mexico, to stage its events.
From his South African roots, SBG Ireland product Frans Mlambo represented Ireland at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships, taking gold in the Men’s Featherweight division before transitioning to go professional as a Bantamweight.
Currently 5-2 as a professional, Mlambo faced lessons in defeat during the early stages of his career. However, “The Black Mamba” has now finished his last three opponents in devastating fashion, most recently upsetting 12-3 Brazilian Filipe Efrain. Mlambo snapped at his opponent with damaging boxing fundamentals, picking away with jabs leading to the right cross, paving the way for a second round TKO stoppage.
At age 18 Finland’s Abdul Hussein became the youngest ever amateur world champion, winning gold in the Bantamweight division at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships after taking home the European Open title in the previous year.
Hussein suffered his first defeat at Brave 10, dropping to 4-1 as a professional after a TKO loss to Jordan’s own Nawras Abzakh (7-1). Nevertheless, like Mlambo, the young contender draws inspiration from what was a valuable experience with a perhaps fated lesson that he believes will greatly impact his future success.
“I enjoyed the experience of course,” Hussein told IMMAF.org. “The fight was a big lesson for me as a fighter, the way it went. He caught me early right on the eye with a nice hook. It was hard to fight with one eye so I hesitated on the takedown attempt and he has a beautiful technique on the guillotine, he snatched it right away, nice and tight. I tried to scramble but suddenly I woke up and I knew right away that I lost.
“The big lesson for me was to not hesitate during a fight, no matter what happens – it is a fight. Obviously, the loss makes me more motivated than ever because I don’t want to experience that ever again. I’m sure it will help me reach new levels in my training.”