The biggest names in sports and entertainment were in attendance for the historic BRAVE CF 53 in Almaty, Kazakhstan last August 21, and two of the respected luminaries who watched the event live at cageside were Brazilian actor Caio Castro and renowned fitness trainer Caio Franco.
Franco did not mince words to describe how the 14-bout card kept him on the edge of the seat. The evening culminated with a show-stealing performance by Tae Kyun “Ares” Kim, who battled to a unanimous decision win against Nurzhan “Bizon” Akishev in the main event.
“They (BRAVE CF) are so much bigger, year by year. Now, they are the most international show here in Asia and Europe for sure. I am happy to be here,” Franco stated.
The match-up lived up to the promise of a galvanizing encounter between two up-and-coming combatants from a division that houses a deep pool of talent. Kim and Akishev figured in an intense war of attrition for three whole rounds. It was an incredible performance from the two promising athletes as they both showcased their full repertoire of skills.
In the end, it was Kim who was awarded a close unanimous decision victory for his efforts.
Meanwhile, Castro—who attended BRAVE CF 51: The Future Is Here in Minsk, Belarus this past June, could not still wrap his mind around the fact the Bahrain-based mixed martial arts (MMA) organization managed to outdo itself for its return trip to Almaty, Kazakhstan.
“I’m glad to be here today, I can’t wait to see the fights. We’re excited,” Castro said. “The promotion is very good. As I said before, it’s getting bigger every year. So congratulations.”
Since its establishment in 2016, BRAVE CF has been very active in holding shows across the globe, visiting 23 different countries in the span of fewer than five years. Its list includes Brazil, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Mexico, India, Pakistan, Columbia, Romania, South Africa, Morocco, Jordan, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Its strategic expansion has been credited to its unique business model that focuses more on the development of MMA per region by creating an ecosystem, which will educate athletic commissions about the sport as well as provide a platform for promising athletes to hone their craft.
This year, BRAVE CF has been very busy expanding its profile as an MMA promotion in Europe, hosting fight cards in Russia, Belarus, and Italy. It is scheduled to have another event in the continent with its debut in Konin, Poland on September 25th.
Castro hopes that MMA will grow as big as football because of companies like BRAVE CF that keep on pushing the boundaries further for the betterment of the sport.
“Day by day, it’s becoming bigger. I remember me and my daddy years ago watching Pride [Fighting Championships], and at the time, the sport was just starting. Now, MMA is bigger with fans around the world. MMA is much bigger. I don’t know if it can be bigger than football someday, but I hope so,” he shared.
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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