STEADILY built its name as the biggest combat sports property in the Middle East, Brave Combat Federation is trying to bring its mixed martial arts vision to more people around the world, including the Philippines, where it will stage its first-ever show later this year.
Founded in 2016, Brave, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, has made significant headways in bringing top-class MMA action in different parts of the globe.
Since September of 2016, the company has visited 14 countries: Bahrain, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Jordan, Indonesia, Northern Ireland, Morocco, Colombia, Pakistan, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia.
Brave said that by taking MMA to a wider range, it was able to give a truly global platform to athletes for their in-cage abilities and fighting qualities.
On March 15, Brave makes it first descent on the Philippines with “Brave 22” at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The company said it would be a great opportunity for Filipino MMA fans to get to see firsthand what Brave is all about.
“We are bringing Brave to the Philippines for fans to experience what Brave is. They should expect quality MMA action,” said Mohammed Shahid, Brave CEO, in a recent roundtable session with local media.
For its first foray in Manila, Brave 22 will feature as main event Filipino bantamweight champion Stephen “The Sniper” Loman (12-2), who will make his third title defense this time against former featherweight titleholder Elias Boudegzdame (15-5) from Algeria, by way of Montpellier, France.
Team Lakay stalwart Loman last defended his title in November, beating Felipe Efrain of Brazil by unanimous decision in Bahrain at “Brave 18.”
Apart from Mr. Loman, other Filipinos making waves in Brave are bantamweight Jeremy Pacatiw, who is currently the record-holder for most Brave appearances, with seven fights under the promotion’s banner.
Other Filipino stars such as Arben Escayo and Ariel Oliveros are also carving a name for themselves, which Brave said is a testament to the company’s connection with Filipinos and how the Philippines is a solid source of talent for MMA. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo