Brave Combat Federation will make history in Manila with a groundbreaking Brave 22: Storm of Warriors today at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
Bahrain’s biggest sports property will organize a groundbreaking show featuring some of the biggest MMA athletes in the world, as they collide with the Philippines’ finest inside the Brave cage. The show has already been deemed a success, as Filipino politicians, personalities and influencers have praised His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s vision for the sport and the development of mixed martial arts in the country.
Representing Bahrain in an official visit to President Rodrigo Duterte, His Highness discussed his plans for the sport in the short, medium and long terms, which was more than well received by His Excellency. Mr. Duterte was quick to congratulate Sheikh Khalid on his efforts in the sport and the transforming power MMA has in the lives of citizens around the world.
The origins of Brave 22 can be traced back to Mr. Alfonso Ver. Philippines’ Ambassador in Bahrain, Mr. Ver was thoroughly impressed with the organization during his visits to Brave 18 fight week and personally requested a Brave CF event to be held in his home country in 2019.
While His Highness was welcomed by His Excellency Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, Mohammed Shahid, Brave CEO, was also in the Philippines recently to meet top officials from the country. Mr. Shahid met with the Secretary of Trade and Industry, Mr. Ramón López, and his team. They were introduced by Mr. Ver, who was also present in the meeting.
They also discussed the impact that Brave 22 will have in the sport of mixed martial arts in the Philippines, and in the society as a whole. Mr. Shahid talked about how all Brave events around the world are a national project, with the goal of developing the sport and giving opportunities for local athletes to perform on a global platform.
Two days before Brave Combat Federation officially debuts in the Philippines, a few of the main card fighters for Brave 22: Storm of Warriors lit up the passionate crowd inside the Newport Mall, located at the luxurious World Resort Manila, one of Brave’s entertainment partners for the groundbreaking show. The athletes, including Bantamweight champion Stephen Loman and challenger Elias Boudegzdame, did an open workout, showcasing some of their skills and a little of what can be expected of them on fight night, set for the iconic Mall of Asia Arena, on March 15th.
As expected, the Filipino fighters received the greatest applause. Loman was one of the most celebrated fighters by the fans, as well as Jeremy Pacatiw, who takes on countryman Marc Alcoba. The foreigners, represented by Ireland’s Cian Cowley, New Zealand’s John Brewin and Pakistan’s Mehmosh Raza, were also in attendance and were well received by the crowd. When their workout was done, the promotion organized the first staredowns of fight week.
After the open workouts, the athletes sat down with Brave CF commentator Kirik Jenness at the helm, to answer fan and media questions. Title challenger Elias Boudegzdame was the only one missing from the fighters who did the early open workouts. Philippines’ own Rolando Dy lit up the crowd when talking about the pride he feels in representing his own country at Brave.
“I’ll be honest, I was always an average student, I got my college degree because I had to. I was an average basketball player and an awful dancer. Fighting is what I really know, it’s what I love. Being able to be here and representing my country, back to Brave, it’s amazing”, said Dy, who takes on dangerous Mehmosh Raza in a Featherweight bout in the main card.
John Brewin, who co-headlines the card against Cian Cowley, was one of the fighters to get emotional after talking about what it meant to fight in Manila and promised to put on a show for the Filipino fans.
“I’m living the dream, two years ago I was here in Manila, cornering one of my good friends and teammate at Bali MMA. I thought “One day I’ll get back here for my own fight”, I never thought it’d be so fast, though. I went from all kinds of temporary jobs to co-headlining a card in Manila. I know a lot of people say that their stories are all about struggle and overcoming but that’s nothing but the truth in my case. I live for fighting, I’m here to put on a show and I’ll fight until my last breath”, promised Brewin.