Rafols replaces Pitpitunge at Brave CF's maiden event
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fighter Jessie Rafols will step in to replace Crisanto Pitpitunge in a 3-round flyweight bout against Mexican stalwart Ivan Lopez on the undercard of Brave Combat Federation's inaugural event on September 23.
Pitpitunge, who accepted a one-fight stint in Brave Combat Federation after parting ways with Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) last March, pulled out of his match with Lopez due to a knee injury.
The Bahrain-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion found a short-notice opponent in Rafols, who was last seen in action when he yielded to Shane "Pikaboo" Alvarez via first-round submission in August 2015 under the PXC banner.
Rafols (8-5) is known for his 5-year stint in the Philippine-based Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), where he had 10 professional fights and faced the likes of Rey Docyogen, Andrew Benibe, Hideo Morikawa, and Reydon Romero.
The biggest victory in Rafols' 8-year prizefighting career was when he savagely submitted Morikawa with a first-round rear-naked choke to capture the interim URCC bantamweight belt in April 2011.
The 30-year-old Philippine MMA veteran also strutted his wares in ONE Championship, bowing to South African combatant Irshaad Sayed by first-round knockout courtesy of a body shot February 2012.
In the other corner, Lopez (13-2-1) has won 5 of his previous 7 fights. He has not lost a single bout since October 2013 when he suffered a unanimous decision setback to Brazilian journeyman Sidney Lessa de Oliveira.
One of Lopez's two career defeats came from Dominick Cruz, who is the reigning UFC bantamweight kingpin.
Brave Combat Federation's maiden fight card, which takes place at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Manama, Bahrain, will also feature the bantamweight showdown between Team Lakay's Stephen Loman and Frans Mlambo. – Rappler.com