His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa has been the driving force behind several high-profile achievements for sports in the Kingdom of Bahrain. He has led Team Bahrain to the top of international mixed martial arts with the number one nation in the IMMAF world rankings, with the historic achievement proving Bahrain is the home of the sport worldwide.
Through KHK Sports, Shaikh Khaled has changed the global MMA industry focusing on the development of the sport on a national and international level. KHK Sports was founded by His Highness and has quickly become the biggest sports media property in the Middle East, with its vision and passion geared towards development and built on a foundation that athletes all around can rely on.
Changes in the combat sports landscape have been seen in full-force in Bahrain, as KHK Sports and KHK MMA have been able to achieve a top spot in the world rankings four years after starting the national team.
Until 2015, there was no organised Team Bahrain competing at any Amateur MMA tournament. However, the introduction of KHK Sports and KHK MMA to the equation have meant four years of development at the highest level, resulting in the top spot in the world rankings, which were achieved after the European Open in 2019 and defended with honor by Team Bahrain at home in the World Championship.
Number 1 ranked Junior world champion – The Muhammad Mokaev Story
One of the most dominant athletes in amateur mixed martial arts, two-time Bantamweight Junior amateur world champion Muhammad Mokaev is also a representative of KHK MMA and a product of KHK Sports. Hailing from Great Britain, Mokaev was brought under the wing of the team to develop his amazing skills and is one to watch in the world of mixed martial arts.
Mokaev boasts an unbelievable 23-0 amateur record and has been at the top of the Junior Ranking since becoming world champion for the first time. Mokaev has been one half of one of Amateur MMA’s biggest rivalries with Japanese fighter Reo Yamaguchi. He has come out on top in each of the three match-ups of this epic trilogy.
The last of the three fights took place in the Kingdom of Bahrain, as Mokaev continued to show his dominance over the division with yet another world title representing KHK MMA and KHK Sports.
As he continues his development under the watchful eye of KHK Sports, KHK MMA, and His Highness Shaikh Khaled, Mokaev has moved up to the Senior ranks.
Making his Senior amateur debut, Muhammad continued his winning ways at the Oceania Open 2020, getting a gold medal for Great-Britain and KHK MMA and dominating his opposition in the Senior amateur division.
Number 1 and 2 spots in world’s best athlete ranking
Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa's KHK development program has been responsible for the rise of several future superstars in MMA. Bahrain is the home of the number one and number two pound-for-pound senior amateur fighters in the world.
Both Ramazan Gitinov and Pasha Kharkhachaev have competed under KHK MMA and KHK Sports as well as presenting the Kingdom of Bahrain with world titles at Amateur Senior level.
Pound-for-pound king Gitinov has taken the Welterweight division by storm and was crowned amateur world champion in his home country back in November of 2019. Gitinov has followed it up with yet another gold at the Oceania Open to become the number-one ranked amateur fighter in the world regardless of weight classes.
Right behind him, at number two, lies yet another product of His Highness Shaikh Khaled's vision. Pasha Kharkhachaev is one of the most feared combat sports athletes in the world. He competes in the Super-Heavyweight division and is a two-time amateur world champion, known for his incredible knockout power and rare durability for a young man his size.
Bahrain number one ranked in World IMMAF ranking
From the first-ever Bahrain medal in IMMAF competition to the number one spot in the world rankings, four years transpired, proving that hard work and dedication are the best formula for success. In this time, the Kingdom of Bahrain has racked up an impressive 89 medals overall, with 35 golds, 17 silvers and 37 bronzes.
Athletes have joined the program and have realised their biggest dreams, by representing their beloved country at the highest level in competitions around the world, proving the Kingdom breeds fighters and winners.
In 2019 alone, Bahrain has been able to overcome tough rivals in the likes of Russia and Kazakhstan and successfully defended its top spot at home, during the 2019 Amateur World Championships, which took place during the month of November in Isa Town.
Featuring a smaller team than its rivals, Bahrain was able to overcome that difference with the quality of its athletes, bagging five golds, three silvers and six bronzes including Junior & Senior tournaments. The splendid result was enough to fend off the challenges of rival nations and maintain Team Bahrain on top of the world.
KHK Wrestling makes history
While mixed martial arts has enjoyed tremendous success through KHK Sports, another combat sport has also been rapidly developing in the Kingdom. Led by BRAVE CF Super Lightweight world champion Eldar Eldarov, KHK Wrestling has achieved great success in the sport, taking the flag of Bahrain towards international competition, including the Olympic Games.
KHK Wrestling has achieved several milestones, none bigger than the Silver medal in 2018 World Championships. Adam Batirov came close to becoming a world champion in Olympic sport and put on a great match against two-time champion Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov. In the end, he had to settle for silver.
KHK Wrestling has also been able to score gold in the Asian Championship 2016 and Asian Indoor Games as well as placing 1st in the Olympic Qualification Tournament before Rio-2016.
Daniel Kinahan appointed as KHK Sports special advisor
International boxing power broker Daniel Kinahan has been appointed as a special advisor for KHK Sports. Mr. Kinahan has been involved in the world of combat sports, at the highest levels, since his earlier days as one of the original founders of MTK Global before branching away and advising some of the biggest names and organisations in the industry for over a decade and has been instrumental in securing some of the biggest global events in the sport.
As advisor for Top Rank in the MENA the region, his expertise and connections will strengthen the KHK Sports brand and immediately expand its international reach.
In this significant move, Mr. Kinahan’s role will advise across KHK Sports entire portfolio, encompassing KHK MMA, KHK Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Promotion and BRAVE Combat Federation.
Under KHK Sports, the organisation has successfully launched KHK MMA, KHK Boxing, KHK Racing, KHK Wrestling, KHK Cricket, and Mixed Martial Arts Promotion BRAVE Combat Federation, in addition to investing in many other areas including European Soccer Clubs.
His Highness recognises the importance of sporting events in promoting the Kingdom of Bahrain globally and enhancing the Kingdom’s tourism industry and the economy. His Highness appreciates the tremendous value Mr. Kinahan will lend to the organisation.