Much was made of the success of BRAVE Serbia International Fight Week, which was held in Belgrade, Serbia, this past week, as the curtain came down on Europe's largest combat sports event.
As it staged the greatest amateur mixed martial arts event prior to the most international MMA promotion launching its 69th show in Serbia's capital, the BRAVE Serbia International Fight Week revived and strengthened the European MMA scene.
As it did in the Middle East and Asia when IMMAF and BRAVE CF held the World Championships in Bahrain between 2017 and 2019, the week-long festival made good on its promise to change MMA in Europe.
One of the greatest legends in mixed martial arts history was in awe of BRAVE CF as BRAVE CF 69 took place on Saturday in front of 15,000 spectators in a sold-out Stark Arena to cap off an epic week of fights. As a special guest of BRAVE Serbia International Fight Week and Mr. Luka Nikolic, president of the Serbian MMA Federation, Renzo Gracie flew to Serbia to take part in the International Combat Week.
“BRAVE CF 69 was beautiful. The Stark Arena was sold-out. I have never seen so many cars parked outside,” said Gracie.
It was an amazing night of fights. You could not even blink! The production team had fireworks when they announced my arrival, too. It was so nice to see. I am definitely coming back to the BRAVE CF shows. It was such an honor.
“As for the IMMAF World Championships, it was really inspiring to watch. The future of MMA is in good hands. You can actually still hear the noise as we speak,” added Gracie while being interviewed outside the Stark Arena late last night.
More than 550 amateur athletes from 63 national federations battled for international honours at the IMMAF World Championships this year, while the final event of the week, the BRAVE CF 69, featured twelve of the greatest professionals. Combat Week elevated the bar and expectations around the sport throughout Europe when the entire world turned its attention to the Serbian capital, making for an intense seven days for MMA athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, aficionados, and related sectors.
Yesterday night, Renzo Gracie, a famed combat sports athlete and top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, and Kerrith Brown, the president of the International Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), both offered nothing but admiration for the BRAVE Serbia International Fight Week.
“To see the whole transformation from the amateurs to the professionals, what a transition. This has truly been an amazing week,” said President Brown.
"This World Championships and BRAVE CF 69 will definitely impact the rest of Europe. This was the first time Europe had ever put on a World Championship of this magnitude, as 550 athletes from 63 national federations competed under one roof before the massive BRAVE CF 69 card played out. It’s history in the making''
"It was a case of going from zero to one hundred. It set a benchmark for federations to emulate a certain standard and platform. A big thank you goes out to Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, Serbian MMA Federation President Luka Nikolic, His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and BRAVE CF President Mohammed Shahid," Brown concluded.