With the persistent growth of mixed martial arts (MMA) in Europe through BRAVE Combat Federation, Tatsiana Kukhareva—the director of Rukh Sport Management—expects a bright future for the local scene in Belarus.
Rukh Sport Management recently partnered with the Bahrain-based promotion to host the historic BRAVE CF 51: THE FUTURE IS HERE, which took place at the state-of-the-art Falcon Club Arena last June 4.
BRAVE CF’s inaugural event on Belarusian soil featured 11 high-octane bouts, captivating the global audience from start to finish. The host country has plenty to be proud of as three of its hometown heroes walked away with their hands raised in triumph.
Denis Maher kept his undefeated professional record intact by stopping previously-unbeaten standout Rinat Sagyntay of Kazakhstan in the opening salvo to extend his impressive winning streak to eight matches.
On the other hand, Vadim Kutsyi put the entire super welterweight division on notice by turning in a masterful performance against fellow debutant Daniyar “Doni” Abdibaev of Kyrgyzstan via unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, Vadim Rolich authored a highlight-reel knockout at the expense of Kurbonsho Jamolov, shutting the lights out on the Tajikistani stalwart courtesy of a spinning back-kick and follow-up punches with 25 seconds left on the clock in the final round.
“I believe these fighters we have now can be successful in world-famous promotions such as BRAVE CF,” Kukhareva quipped.
Kukhareva is delighted with the fact that Belarusian MMA rising stars have found a home for their elite skills in BRAVE CF.
“The development of our athletes stagnate because the non-competitive environment does not develop them the right way. Because of this, it is impossible to attract fans, which is bad for business,” she shared.
“MMA is developing exclusively on a commercial basis, which complicates its development,” Rukh Sport Management executive continued. “To have BRAVE CF put a show in Minsk, it just gives our athletes an avenue to grow.”
In restoring the old glory of Belarus in MMA, Kukhareva believes that the recently-concluded show in Minsk is a step in the right direction.
“We really enjoyed working with BRAVE CF. BRAVE CF does a lot for the development of the MMA community and unites people, athletes and business representatives,” she said. “Considering the number of guests we invited and their reaction to the event, which was held in Minsk for the first time in a long time, we can talk about a great success.”
Belarus was once a hub of the best MMA fighters, producing the likes of Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski, Alexei “Brick” Kudin, Dmitry Voitov and Igor Litoshik. However, it has largely fallen out of context over the past decade.
Now, Belarus is poised to reclaim its position among the powerhouse MMA nations in Europe and the world through BRAVE CF.
“BRAVE CF has contributed so much to the reemergence of Belarus in MMA. Football, hockey, and basketball are the most popular sports in our country. But thanks to a promotion like BRAVE CF, the future of MMA in Belarus is secured,” Kukhareva stated.
Kukhareva’s claim was supported by Kutsyi, who is touted to lead the Belarusian MMA industry along with Maher and Rolich.
“We see this as a huge development, for the first time in years. This is an indicator that BRAVE CF has done a great job to put Belarus back in the MMA limelight. I think this is just the beginning, and I am excited for things to come,” Kutsyi stressed.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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