KEY POINTS

  • MMA continues to be a big attraction for the better part of the last two decades
  • BRAVE CF looks to change the way the sport is viewed
  • BRAVE CF is set for an August 1 debut in Milan, Italy

Over the last twenty years, mixed martial arts (MMA) has developed into one of the most popular sports in the world as its greatest champions showcased their ability to knock people out and pull off a win in the unlikeliest of submissions.

The UFC remains the biggest MMA promotion in the world as it led the way for the general acceptance of the sport. But in recent years, the organization has seen some competition.

ONE Championship has been a force in Asia, and many people think of it as the UFC’s best rival in the MMA scene.

However, a Bahrain-based organization is looking to usher in a "new age of MMA."

BRAVE Combat Federation is the brainchild of Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and it aims to build the best MMA talent from the ground up with a grassroots approach.

"The vision His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa was clear to us from the first day one, which is to reform the MMA industry from an event business to a sports business and to give opportunities to fighters around the world, regardless of marketability, language, nationality or region. Talent would be the only variable,” company president Mohammed Shahid said

Mohammed Shahid, BRAVE FC President Mohammed Shahid, BRAVE FC President Photo: BRAVE FC

Since its first card in 2016, BRAVE CF has held 51 live events in five continents and across 22 different including Russia, Sweden, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Mexico, and the Philippines.

The promotion is also proud to have signed 500 athletes from previously untapped markets such as India, Pakistan, Columbia, Romania, South Africa, Morocco and Jordan.

BRAVE CF just doesn’t look to sign the biggest names in the MMA world but to also promote the sport.

In 2019, BRAVE CF partnered with the IMMAF to hold the World Championships where amateur fighters were given a chance to fight on a global stage.

“We have the best scouting program in the world, there’s no doubt about it,” Shahid proudly shared. “That’s because we connect with MMA people around the world, we connect with the gyms, with their national federations, with everyone involved in the sport. That’s how you unearth the gems that we have.”

Hoping to increase its influence in Europe, BRAVE CF started 2021 with an event in Sochi, Russia last January. It then followed it up with its maiden show in Minsk, Belarus that featured six up-and-coming fighters from the host nation.

A debut in Italy is on BRAVE CF’s next agenda as the company has announced that it will be holding an event in Milan on August 1.

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

“The company is breaking records and making history towards the new age of MMA. It’s an absolute honor to be a small part of this global vision,” Shahid stated.