BRAVE boss: Middle East could have a 'Messi-style' MMA superstar

Monday, September 02, 2019

The hardcore MMA fanbase understands that the opportunities for fighters worldwide are woefully slim; the usual response is to throw up your hands. However, when Bahraini royal Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Khalifa, learned about the immense obstacles that local fighters faced, he set up KHK MMA, providing local prospects with a coaching staff, housing, food, stipend, medical care, and more.

And then his vision expanded from a world-class training facility, to a world-class MMA promotion, with goals far beyond the desire to put butts in seats, which characterizes most promotions worldwide, at all levels. Sheikh Khalid appointed Mohammed 'The Hawk' Shahid to carry out the vision.

Brave Combat Federation debuted in the Kingdom of Bahrain on September 23, 2016, and since then has expanded globally, to Brazil, UAE, Kazakhstan, India, Mexico, Jordan, Indonesia, Northern Ireland, Morocco, Colombia, Pakistan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, England, and most recently returned to Brazil last Friday, and Colombia this Saturday, on back to back weekends. Focusing as it does on providing national and international political and financial infrastructure worldwide, on both the professional and amateur levels, BRAVE has become the world's only truly global MMA organization.

In a recent interview with Bernd Debusmann Jr for Arabian Business CEO Mohammed Shahid detailed some of what's to come.

“It was started with a question: why do MMA athletes not live the lives of normal athletes, whether from football, tennis or cricket?" explained Shahid. "Why don’t we try to give resources to MMA athletes that any other athlete would get to perform to the best of the abilities? If you really make MMA an actual sport, you’ll get ten times better performances, and athletes can reach wherever they want. We need to do this for athletes around the world. We could have a Messi in mixed martial arts from this region.”

“We want to create a global eco-system for mixed martial arts. MMA is the only sport, along with football, that can globalize around the world. ... The next step would be to collaborate with other entities. There is no one promotion can control the sport."

"What did it take Khabib to be where he is today? That’s nine years in the UFC, winning every single fight. Somebody has to take the responsibility for any factor other than the talent that it takes an athlete to where he wants to be. That’s the unfair side of MMA we see today.”

Rather than only focusing on a top-down approach, Shahid is among other steps, promoting regional fighters locally, and building their local fanbase, which in turn will help them shine internationally.

“That will make them more valuable,” he said. “We think it would be able to create more international stars from regional stars, just by fighting.”