The last three months have been a turbulent time for the whole world with the spread of COVID-19. And the global repercussions of this pandemic are still affecting millions of lives, economies, and businesses around the globe.
In this difficult time, we saw the good and bad in humanity. On one side there were the people who came together, united in a mission to help in any way possible
On the other side, there were those who looked for financial gain from the situation, regardless of what this could mean to those around them.
The sports world was a prime example of this. On one side, BRAVE Combat Federation, not only postponed its own shows ahead of time but also initiated a global COVID-19 Awareness campaign, the largest and only of its kind in the MMA industry.
On the other side of the coin, you had the UFC, determined to go ahead with their event, despite the obvious health risks attached to the event and against the advice of all local and global health organizations.
BRAVE CF President Mohammed Shahid voiced his immense frustration with the UFC going ahead with the event and stipulated the necessity of regulating mixed martial arts sports-wise as the only plausible way forward for the sport itself.
Mr. Shahid led the way as the only major organization promoter to speak up and point out the flagrant flaws in the UFC’s plans and reiterating that MMA would only grow if the focus was the development of the sport, and not money.
“It is our duty as representatives for the sport of MMA to move forward in a way that doesn’t put anyone at risk. We need to take a step back and we need to set an example. This is a collective issue, we can’t show the rest of the world our sport doesn’t care about this issue”, said Shahid, who is frustrated at MMA being misrepresented as a sport.
“Today we are being misrepresented as a sport because of decisions like this. We are the toughest sport? Yes. Do we have the toughest athletes? Yes, we do. But that’s not the toughness we embody as a sport, to keep going, and to disobey rules and regulations. We need to have stronger regulations and we need to collaborate as a sport. Decisions must be made with the well-being of people in mind, and not based on money”
“Certain regulations must be put in place, by a professional regulation body, not from one man’s agenda, which is always money-based”.
And his opinions were soon echoed by federations, sports governing bodies, health authorities and respected sports athletes, leading to further pressure on the UFC to finally succumb to the pressure and the much-debated UFC 249 event was finally called off.