Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Most of the world’s leading promotions are in it to make money. The UFC succeeded spectacularly; its $4 billion sale in 2016 was the largest of a sports property in history. The Viacom-owned Bellator has similar aspirations, as does ONE Championship. However, Brave Combat Federation operates with a different vision.

Brave CF as founded on September 23, 2016, by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the fifth son of Bahrain’s King Hamad. The owner is a prince of a man, literally and figuratively. And he’s not trying to use MMA as a vehicle to generate monetary wealth.

Brave has done 13 shows in its first year and a half, in ten countries, and has 150 fighters under contract. Brand ambassadors include Wanderlei Silva, Frankie Edgar, and Khabib Nurmagmodov. The latest event was Brave 13 in Belfast, Ireland, and enjoyed a rapturous Irish audience, including Conor McGregor.

At the latest event Brave CF president Mohammed ‘The Hawk’ Shahid spoke with Fight Book MMA and discussed HKH’s vision.

“The vision of Brave – we are trying to provide to the MMA community something that has never been done till today, and that is to globalize the sport,” said Shahid. “We have events and promotions that are highly considered and have global attention, but that’s all that they have is global attention, they are not truly global.

“When you say ‘truly global’ you need to give the opportunity to athletes, and the country, from local ground level all the way to the top level, and give them a global exposure opportunity. And no promotion truly has been able to do that, including the top promotion in world – expecting athletes to provide them exposure at some level rather than creating the athletes and giving them something.

“So we are not here to come for one time, and go back, we are here to stay. The most important thing is to enter the market of Europe and make sure the top athletes of Europe get the global exposure opportunity. Brave’s vision is that.

“We’re here to give value to the country, rather than take as much as we can. We don’t care about how much money we’re going to make after the event and how much revenue in 2018. None of that.

“The vision of His Highness is to make sure we come into a country and give as much value as we can. That’s why we have gone to ten different countries today. We have gone to all the continents except Africa and Australia, and that’s going to be our next step.

“No fighter who’s training hard – me being an ex-fighter, I understand the feeling of a fighter – whoever is training hard, I think they should get the opportunity to fight and get global exposure. Not many promotions are able to do that. Either they are a regional promotion or they are promotions sticking to countries and athletes they can get more benefit from.

“I think that is wrong. I think someone has to take a step to change that. Brave Combat Federation is here to do that.”