Brave Combat Federation will crown their first ever welterweight champion in Curitiba, Brazil when Carl Booth and Mohammad Fakhreddine throw down on August 12th.
The matchup is a long time coming as Fakhreddine has been calling Booth out since Brave 2. With both fighters scoring multiple big wins under the banner, they have emerged as the promotion’s top 2 welterweights.
Booth is coming off a controversial no contest versus Tahar Hadbi, a fight that was originally scored in his favour. In what was originally scheduled to be a 5 round main event fight, was eventually changed to a three round fight on the night. The confusion led to Booth’s decision win to be overturned and scored a no contest.
Despite the slight blemish on his near perfect pro MMA record, his performances in his last fight and his knockout win over Gadzhimusa Gadzhiev have earned Booth a title shot at Brave 8.
Lebanon’s Fakhreddine has competed twice for Brave, taking out two opponents in just two months. He most recently stepped in on short notice at Brave 6 in Kazakhstan, finishing Lukasz Witos in the first round.
Booth and Fakhreddine will co-headline a championship double header in Curitiba, in one of the most anticipated fights this year. I spoke to Booth on the title fight versus Fakhreddine, the controversial end versus Hadbi and fighting all over the globe. Check it out below.
Sports Rants: You’re about 3 weeks away from your big title fight, how are you feeling going into this one and how’s the weight cut going?
Carl Booth: This training camp has probably been the best one out of all of the ones I’ve had on Brave. I’m feeling really good, I’m lean at the moment, I haven’t got a lot of weight to cut for this fight.
Sports Rants: You’re co-headlining the show for a chance to become the promotion’s first ever welterweight champion, how much does it mean to you that Brave want to introduce the title through you?
Carl Booth: It means a lot. I’ve really wanted this belt. Obviously it’s a new show and they didn’t have a champion and I realised it would be great to go down as the first ever champion so yeah it means a lot.
Sports Rants: You’ve fought in Europe, the Middle East, India in your last fight and now Brazil, how excited are you to get to compete in front of one of the most passionate and knowledgeable crowds in MMA?
Carl Booth: I’m really excited. When they first announced Brazil the last time I was on their case, I was like get me on that show but it didn’t happen. This time around, they said it right away, you’re going to fight for the title and I was stoked.
Sports Rants: Your last fight ended in a no contest in a rather bizarre situation, what’s your take on what went down with Hadbi?
Carl Booth: I don’t think it should have been a no contest. They had already announced it as a win and they announced the fight as a three round fight on the day. I don’t know if it was the federation at the end that was at fault. For me on the actual day I thought maybe Hadbi had a point and that the fight may have been close or something so he thought he could have won in the next three rounds and I watched the fight back and was like no way. I didn’t see him win a round so I wasn’t impressed with him ranting out about it.
There’s definitely unfinished business. It’s a fight I’ll be up for in the future but it’s not something I wanted to do straight away. As Brave already told me, if I win my first two fights there’s a chance I could be fighting for the title so I had that in my mind anyway. Plus Fakhreddine had already called me out quite a while back so that was on my cards as well. For me it seemed like a sideways step to fight the same guy twice.
Sports Rants: What was your whole fight week experience like in India and the opportunity to main event in an ever growing MMA market?
Carl Booth: The fight Week in India was awesome. The fans there were mixing up with us, talking to us and everyone wanted photos. I can see that they’re going to grow it really well over there. I was impressed with the fighters as well, the Indian fighters. Obviously going to some of their gyms and seeing where they train. The level of dedication it must take for people from there to be coming to the gym, it’s a hot country and some of the people there aren’t well off. If you really want to focus on your MMA it’s a hard struggle. I’m really happy that they got to see me as the main event.
Sports Rants: Let’s shift the focus to Moe Fakhreddine, what do you think of him as an opponent and where do you feel like he’s most dangerous?
Carl Booth: He’s a worthy opponent. I’ve been watching his fights and where he’s most dangerous I think probably on top control on the ground but I see a lot of openings in the fight. To be honest he wants to fight with me but I don’t think it’s a great fight for him. I’ve got the more accurate shots and more variety I think as well. It’s definitely going to be an exciting fight for everybody to watch. He’s aggressive, I’m aggressive and I think it’ll be awesome.
He did call me out initially. I had asked him to fight but then he asked for a warm up fight or something which I wasn’t too impressed about. Then he went and fought some other guy, missed weight and I wasn’t really impressed with that either. I’m excited to get the fight on with him, he wanted it and you have to be careful what you ask for so you can expect a 100% Carl Booth coming on the night.
Sports Rants: Are you impressed with his last couple of performances and what he’s done under the Brave banner?
Carl Booth: Yeah they were good, they were good quick finishes. Kind of what I expect from him though, that’s his style he runs in and tries to get the job done as quickly as possible. I wouldn’t say I was impressed but I’d give it the nod, it was alright and makes him a worthy opponent.
Sports Rants: Tell me a little bit about this training camp, I saw a recent post of you training with Paul Daley.
Carl Booth: Paul is a good friend of mine, we’ve trained with each other for quite a few years and he’s a perfect training partner for somebody like Fakhreddine. This training camp I’ve been focusing on sharpening up, making sure I wasn’t too high on my weight so I didn’t have to focus too much on my fitness rather than my actual skill set. On the night you’ll see a better version of what you’ve seen before. I won’t be as hesitant because I’ll be sparring more and stuff. I’ll be a lot more accurate.
Sports Rants: Finally how does the fight go down, how do you get the job done?
Carl Booth: Surgical precision. I’m just going to take him out. Whatever opportunities I see, whether it’s a sub, it’s a knockout, if it’s a TKO I’m going to do it. Whatever happens on the night, I’m the kind of guy, I see an opportunity, I take it.