Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions is set for November 17th at the Khalifa Sports City Arena, in Manama, Bahrain, and the promotion has announced a special guest will attend the biggest-ever Middle East MMA event. John Kavanagh, known as superstar Conor McGregor’s head coach and founder of Straight Blast Gym, in Dublin, Ireland, will be cageside to watch the action.
But the Irish MMA precursor will not only attend as a guest as he coaches Bantamweight fighter Frans Mlambo, who faces German-Brazilian Michael Deiga-Scheck at Brave 9, and Daniele Scatizzi, set for his Lightweight debut against Charlie Leary.
It will be Mlambo’s third Brave bout as he looks to go 2-1, after being defeated by Stephen Loman in his promotional debut. The former boxer got back on track at Brave 4: Unstoppable, when he submitted Jalal Al Daaja with a guillotine choke, showing his improved ground game under Kavanagh, the first-ever Irish jiu-jitsu black belt. “Scat” also had a rough promotional debut, falling to a unanimous decision against Jarrah Al-Selawe at Welterweight, and looks for his first Brave victory against Leary.
Aside from McGregor, Scatizzi and Mlambo, Coach Kavanagh also trains the likes of Gunnar Nelson, James Gallagher, Artem Lobov and Aisling Daly. He was also instrumental in the careers of former Irish MMA pioneers such as Tom Egan, Paddy Holohan and Cathal Pendred.
Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions marks the promotion’s return to Bahrain after a year. During 2017, the organization has put on groundbreaking events in countries such as Brazil (twice), Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, India, and Kazakhstan. Brave 9 will be the culmination of the International Combat Week, alongside the IMMAF World Championships, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions Fight Card:
Lightweight: Ottman Azaitar x Alejandro Martínez (for the inaugural title)
Featherweight: Elias Boudegzdame (champion) x Lucas Mineiro
Bantamweight: Gurdarshan Mangat x Stephen Loman (for the inaugural title)
Welterweight: Jarrah Al Selawe x Carl Booth
Lightweight: Gesias Cavalcante x Alan Omer
Lightweight: Erick “Índio Brabo” x Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady
Welterweight: Mohammad Fakhreddine x Tahar Hadbi
Bantamweight: Mohammad Farhad x Hamza Kooheji
Bantamweight: Felipe Efrain x Nawras Abzakh
Lightweight: Ahmed Amir x Erik Carlsson
Bantamweight: Frans Mlambo x Michael Deiga-Scheck
Middleweight: Jeremy Smith x Ikram Aliskerov
Catchweight (150 lbs): Hardeep Rai x Alex Trinidad
Lightweight: Charlie Leary x Daniele Scatizzi
Bantamweight: Jeremy Pacatiw x Jalal Al Daaja
Strawweight: Atif Mohammed x Haider Farman