Light-heavyweight juggernaut Murtaza Talha Ali is cashing in his undefeated amateur streak and will complete his professional debut on the November 12 BRAVE CF 45 card in Bahrain.
The monstrous 24-year-old spent the entirety of his amateur MMA tenure competing on the IMMAF platform. The Dagestan born wrestling specialist was recruited by the Bahrain based KHK talent development program ahead of the 2017 IMMAF World Championships and represented the kingdom via the Bahrain MMA Federation national team.
Murtaza was unrivalled on the premier international amateur platform and was a leading figure as Bahrain ascended to become the world’s number-one ranked nation under IMMAF, his contribution included two world championships gold medals, the European Open title and the Oceania Open title.
Murtaza soon development a formidable reputation. Opponents were often forced to evade his big right hand and unrelenting forward momentum, often finding themselves backed against the fence with nowhere to left to go before being forced to hit the canvas as a result of the takedown where Murtaza’s strength was overwhelming.
Murtaza won his first amateur title at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships with 5 win within the week-long event against rivals from Wales, the Czech Republic, Poland and Australia before a well-focussed performance over Pavel Pahmoneko of Belarus saw Murtaza control his final opponent for the duration of the bout in order to claim the gold medal.
In 2018 Murtaza stormed to the IMMAF European Open title with a further 3 victories at the Bucharest tournament with, including wins against the likes of Irish Cage Warriors veteran Cathal Manning and the now standout Swedish professional Anton Turkalj (6-0) who is also now a current contender with BRAVE.
His amateur tenure may have spanned an even more substantial hitlist had it not been for a hand injury which ruled Murtaza out of the 2018 World Championships and majority of the 2019 circuit. In his absence, Magomed Shakhrudinov of Team Russia took over and won the senior light-heavyweight gold medal at the 2018 IMMAF Worlds. The pair would face off upon Murtaza’s eagerly anticipated return at the 2019 World Championships. The reigning champion – Shakhrudinov, and former yet undefeated champion Murtaza, faced off in the semi-finals where the duo’s exceptional skill level and similar styles cancelled each other out, however it was Murtaza who did enough to earn the split-decision win (pictured above) and went on to reclaim the world title. The world’s no.1 light-heavyweight capped off his amateur tenure by stamping out Australia’s Patrick best to claim the 2020 Oceania Open title in Palm Beach, Australia. Of his 12 amateur triumphs, Murtaza completed 6 stoppages and very rarely conceded a round on the scorecards.
Murtaza commented: “Since 2017 I have been part of IMMAF. I’m really grateful to IMMAF staff and directors that I had an opportunity to use their platform to start and shape my career. Thanks to IMMAF I signed a contract with Brave CF, one of the leading world MMA promotions.”
Following the likes of Muhammad Mokaev, Murtaza’s professional debut is no doubt one of the most intriguing amateur transitions of the year and this Thursday he will face 4-1 Belarusian, Vadim Litvin, at BRAVE CF 45.