Belarus

Finland’s Olli Santalahti: BRAVE CF is taking over Europe

Olli Santalahti (©BRAVE Combat Federation)
Olli Santalahti (©BRAVE Combat Federation)

Olli “The Amazing” Santalahti, 27, of Turku, Finland is one of the European mixed martial artists currently signed with BRAVE Combat Federation. The MMA promotion based in Bahrain is set to make its debut in Belarus.

“I can say that BRAVE CF is taking over Europe,” Santalahti said. “The fighters, they are getting are high level. Though they originated from the Middle East, I think they are also the top European organization at the moment.”

Competing professionally since March 13, 2010, Santalahti made his BRAVE CF debut on March 18, 2021 at “BRAVE 48: Arabian Night” at Arad Fort in Arad, Bahrain. He said, “BRAVE CF is a high-level organization and it’s my pleasure to be part of the roster.”

At “BRAVE CF 48: Arabian Nights,” Santalahti fought Georges “The Lebanese Bulldozer” Eid, 30, of Lebanon. The Finnish MMA fighter won via split decision.

“To me, this is just the start,” Santalahti stated. “I eagerly wait for fighters from other countries in Europe to join BRAVE CF. They did events in Sweden last autumn. Hopefully, they can also come to Finland and hold an event in my home country.”

Now holding a professional MMA record of 12 wins and 3 losses, Santalahti feels the itch to get back into action. He said, “I am really hungry to get back in there.”

“My debut happened on days’ notice but it was an opportunity that’s hard to pass up,” the Turku native revealed. “Now, I am eagerly waiting to showcase my whole skill set because I have so much to offer. When I get back inside the cage, I will surely go for the finish.”

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Founded by Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, 32, in 2016, BRAVE CF has staged 50 shows in 21 different countries. Six of these are in Europe namely Northern Ireland, England, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Russia.

In line with its strategy of building talents from the grassroots level, BRAVE CF took advantage of venturing into untapped European markets like Slovenia and Romania. Despite the ravaging effects of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, the promotion remained committed to its mission to empower the European MMA scene by holding four consecutive cards in Sweden during the weekends of August 2020.

Overall, BRAVE CF was able to hold seven events in a calendar year in Europe, doing it under extraordinary circumstances due to the global health crisis. In association with Rukh Sport Management, the Bahrain-based MMA promotion will hold “BRAVE CF 51: The Future is Here” at the Falcon Club Arena in Minsk, Belarus on June 4, 2021.

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