KEY POINTS

  • Italy is most known for motorsports and football rather than MMA
  • Local MMA will be given a boost thanks to BRAVE CF's August 1 card in Milan
  • BRAVE CF hopes to create an environment that brings MMA in a positive light

Italy is best known for its rich culture and heritage.

From the historical centerpiece that is the city of Rome and its Seven Hills to the masterpieces made by master artists in Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Italy is on most people’s dream destination lists.

However, the Italian peninsula has also seen the rise of many sports.

European football remains the most popular sport in the country as the national team has won the FIFA World Cup on four different occasions, most recently in 2006.

Motorsports is a close second as the country is the home of many Italian engineers and drivers--not to mention the most recognizable team in Formula One is Ferrari.

However, combat sports isn’t much of a focus for the Italians, but they do have professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino and fencer Edoardo Mangiarotti as their greatest exports.

Mixed martial arts (MMA), in particular, hasn’t caught on yet.

On August 1st, BRAVE Combat Federation looks to change all of that as it hosts BRAVE CF 52: Bad Blood in Milan, Italy.

The promotion has an explosive card set for this weekend’s clash, headlined by Mohamed “L’Ambience” Said Maalem as he faces off against middleweight titleholder Mohammad “The Latest” Fakhreddine for the vacant light heavyweight championship.

The Golden Cage, a local MMA organization, is more than happy to welcome BRAVE CF as the group has been trying to get the sport off the ground in the country since 2017.

The Italian MMA scene has produced some heavy-hitters with names such as Marvin Vettori, Alessio Sakara and Alessio Di Chirico, yet many local talents have opted to leave the country in search of greener pastures.

The Golden Cage’s partnership with BRAVE CF allows them to bring more eyes to the sport locally as the Bahrain-based outfit has already held 51 shows in 22 countries– seven of which are European nations.

“Our goal, apart from national sports development, is also to bring a positive change to MMA that will see the best talent from each country becoming global stars with talent being the only variable,” BRAVE CF president Mohammed Shahid stated.

BRAVE CF Italy BRAVE CF will be holding its first card in Italy on August 1, 2021 Photo: BRAVE CF

“There are plenty of European fighters who are yet to be given an opportunity and we look forward to showing the excellence of European fighters to the world,” he added.

Europe has been the center of BRAVE CF’s attention for 2021 as the company had a stacked card in Sochi, Russia last January.

Swiss standout Kevin Ruart feels that Italian MMA is set to benefit the most with BRAVE CF’s backing going into the August 1 event.

“BRAVE CF has top-level fighters on their roster that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Aside from that, they offer world-class production. Look at the events that they held in the past. The production value is second to none. Truly marvelous,” said Ruart.

Italian fans also get to watch their very own Enrico Machine” Cortese get into the spotlight as a co-headliner as he faces Russian grappling maestro Rustam Chsiev.

Former BRAVE CF featherweight titleholder Elias Boudegzdame will also make his much-awaited return as he squares off against France’s Brice Picaud.

Another former BRAVE CF champion is also on the card as ex-welterweight kingpin Abdoul Abdouraguimov locks horns with 2021 Knockout of the Year candidate Nursulton Ruziboev.

BRAVE CF 52 Full fighter lineup for BRAVE CF 52 happening on August 1. Photo: BRAVE CF 52 full fighter poster

Rounding out the main card are Chechnya-born Swiss fighter Husein Kadimagomaev battling Azerbaijan’s Agshin Babaev and Gazmat Magomedov taking on the 2020 BRAVE CF Breakout Fighter of the Year in Mohamed Machaev.