In order to formally kick off the Serbia BRAVE International Combat Week, the first edition to take place outside of the Kingdom of Bahrain, BRAVE Combat Federation, the International MMA Federation (IMMAF), and the Serbian MMA Federation convened a press conference today in Belgrade, Serbia.
The 2022 IMMAF World Championships will start off the biggest combat sports week in Europe in 2023 on February 11, and BRAVE CF 69 is anticipated to take place inside the Stark Arena in Belgrade on February 18 to bring it all to a close.
Representatives from the three organisations, the Serbian Minister of Sports Mr. Zoran Gajic, and MMA fighter Aleksandar Rakic all attended the news conference. Presidents of the IMMAF Kerrith Brown, the BRAVE CF Mohammed Shahid, and the Serbian MMA Federation Luka Nikolic also attended.
In addition to thanking the hosts, Mr. Mohammed Shahid praised the role that His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the creator of BRAVE CF, had played in altering mixed martial arts not only in Bahrain or the Middle East, but also all over the world.
‘’First of all, I would like to thank the Prime Minister of Serbia and Luka Nikolic, the president of the Serbian MMA Federation for their support. I want to also take this moment to thank His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa. His vision for BRAVE CF was always about developing MMA not just in Bahrain or in the Middle East – and the vision was very simple: change MMA from an event business to a sports business. We always knew that this was not possible by ourselves, we needed the right people and partners and we found the right people and partners to make it happen’’.
Mr. Shahid also discussed what fans may anticipate from this historic occasion, which is expected to have the same transformative effects on MMA in Europe as it did in the Middle East and Asia when the World Championships were held in Bahrain from 2017 to 2019.
‘’We have seen the case study of how much the sport has changed in the Middle East and Asia. What we are witnessing today is the massive change that we saw in a whole continent also happening now in Europe. This will be a historic moment for all the athletes in the continent and around the world. They will be competing in Europe for the first time in a World Championship’’, said Mr. Shahid, who finalized by saying what fans can expect from the curtain-closer of the Combat Week, BRAVE CF 69.
“We have fighters from across the world coming for BRAVE CF 69, athletes from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and we have one of the top Serbian stars also fighting on that card, they will all be in action to put on a show for the Serbian fans’’.
The first International Combat Week took held in Europe for the first time and firmly set records for the year in the continental MMA scene, and Mr. Kerrith Brown, president of IMMAF, made sure to praise BRAVE CF for their long-standing collaboration with IMMAF.
‘’I would like to thank the president of the Serbian MMA federation, Luka, and the Prime Minister for hosting the IMMAF and BRAVE CF events between February 11 and February 18. I want to also thank His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Mohammed Shahid, and the entire BRAVE CF team for their support in making this event happen’’, said Mr. Brown.
Abdisalam Kubanychbek, the interim Lightweight world champion, will fight Kamil Magomedov in the main event of BRAVE CF 69, which will be the main event of the International Combat Week. For the first time in over five years, Serbian MMA superstar Aleksandar Ilic fights Brazil's top Middleweight Cleber Sousa in the co-main event's Catchweight contest of 88 kg.