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Mixed martial arts (MMA) has swept across the globe like a tidal wave in less than a generation, charting one of the most remarkable trajectories of growth that the world has ever witnessed in a sport.
One of the organizations that have been responsible for elevating MMA into a mainstream staple is BRAVE Combat Federation, a brainchild of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa from the Kingdom of Bahrain.
BRAVE CF may have firmly established its roots in the Persian Gulf, but the company has developed into one of Asia’s global sports juggernauts by holding a series of blockbuster shows in the region and its neighboring continents.
“The MMA industry can’t use social media numbers to start talking about who’s bigger. That’s funny because this can be increased in any number of ways. It has nothing to do with actual business success,” said BRAVE CF president Mohammed “The Hawk” Shahid.
“The true business success is based on action, making starts instead of bringing already-made stars and on-ground presence wherever you go in the MMA markets,” he continued. “That’s true business talk. Those are true points of comparison.”
Since its inaugural card in September 2016, BRAVE CF has staged 50 live events in 21 different countries–ten of which are Asian nations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, India and Pakistan.
In line with its strategy of building talents from the grassroots level, BRAVE CF took advantage of venturing into untapped Asian markets like Kyrgyzstan, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
“The impact that BRAVE CF has on these nations is huge, and it’s all for the development of the sport. His Highness’ vision is to truly bring the world together through sports,” Shahid stated.
Aside from housing the best and brightest athletes in the sport today such as Ali Bagautinov, Jose “Shorty” Torres, Elias Boudegzdame, Zach Makovsky and Mohammad Fakhreddine, the MMA outfit has also been pivotal in the development of local and homegrown stars like Khamzat Chimaev, Stephen Loman, Eldar Eldarov, Abdisalam Kubanychbek, Muhammad Mokaev and Jarrah Al-Silawi.
“We have the best scouting program in the world, there’s no doubt about it. 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,” BRAVE CF’s top executive explained.
Acknowledging the efforts of its counterparts to push MMA into greater heights in Asia, BRAVE CF made an effort to secure its ground and pole position in the territory through BRAVE CF 47: ASIAN DOMINATION last March 11 that featured competitors from the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Lebanon and Bahrain.
With all the barriers and records that BRAVE CF has shattered in the continent, the only way for the organization to go is up.
“We’re not just showing numbers. We’re just stating facts. BRAVE CF beats everyone in Asia,” Shahid declared.
BRAVE CF will go outside Asia on June 4th to return to Europe, hosting its maiden fight card in Belarus. Multiple fighters have expressed their desire to be part of the historic event, including Fakhreddine and Mokaev as well as Filipino veterans Rolando Dy and Jenel Lausa.