BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week to have the biggest impact on MMA in European history

BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week to have the biggest impact on MMA in European history

The BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week will have the biggest impact for mixed martial arts in Europe as the largest event to take place in the continent. Being hosted in Belgrade, Serbia, between February 11 and February 18, the combat sports festival is a joint effort between BRAVE Combat Federation, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), and Serbian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (SMMAF). During recent weeks, the level of support given by the Government of Serbia to the sport has been recognized as the first of its kind for mixed martial arts in Europe. During last week’s launch press conference, Mr. Zoran Gajić, the Serbian Minister of Sports, officially endorsed mixed martial arts as a sport and announced the inclusion of MMA as part of the sports development initiative of Serbia.

BRAVE CF president Mohammed Shahid says he expects other European countries to follow that example, which will see the private sector also moving in the sport of MMA to create a sports economy for mixed martial arts in these nations to further develop the sport on a continental level. He noted recently that the impact of BRAVE International Combat Week can be exemplified by the Kingdom of Bahrain – which was supported by His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa, with that government support snowballing onto the Middle East, and eventually in Asia – with government from other nations following Bahrain’s lead into including MMA in their sport development program. Mr. Shahid is confident that the same snowball effect will be seen in Europe, with Serbia as the starting point.

The action in Belgrade will kick off on February 11 with the IMMAF World Championships, as more than 500 athletes are expected to represent 60+ nations in what will be known as the biggest edition of the number one amateur MMA competition in the world.

The festivities will come to a climax on February 18, when BRAVE Combat Federation kicks off its 2023 campaign with BRAVE CF 69, headlined by a unification bout in the Lightweight division, as interim world champion Abdisalam Kubanychbek takes on top contender Kamil Magomedov for the lineal world title at 155 pounds. Also set for fight night are the homecomings of two of Serbia’s biggest-ever stars – Darko Stosic takes on Shamil Gaziev in his first bout in Serbian soil since September 2017, while Aleksandar Ilic faces Marcin Naruszcka in a Catchweight bout of 88kg, for his first fight in his home country since April 2018.

The official poster for the BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week has now been released, featuring top fighters from the IMMAF World Championships, with world champions Fergus Jenkins (New Zealand), Sabrina Sousa (Bahrain), and Yersultan Shakenbay (Kazakhstan) among the amateur athletes heavily featured. They are joined by the professional stars that will feature in the BRAVE CF 69 fight card, such as Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al-Qahtani, Egypt’s Olympic wrestler Mahmoud Sebie, and the aforementioned interim champion Kubanychbek.

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Founded in 2016 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, BRAVE CF’s vision is to change mixed martial arts from an event business to a sports business and to provide MMA fighters with the opportunity to showcase their talents on a global platform.

Since its inception nearly six years ago, BRAVE CF has established itself as the fastest-growing mixed martial arts organization in the world, having now travelled to a record-breaking 28 countries in 68 events.


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