European mixed martial arts fans have every reason to get excited as the BRAVE CF 69 fight card has been signed, sealed, and delivered for the ground-breaking show on February 18.
Nine epic fights await the Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, when BRAVE Combat Federation returns to the Central European nation for the second time after BRAVE CF 56, in December 2021.
BRAVE CF 69 will host fighters from Serbia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Bahrain, Poland, Croatia, France, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, and will serve as the headliner for the BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week, the biggest combat sports festival in European history.
In the main event, BRAVE CF’s interim lightweight champion, and Kyrgyzstan’s Abdisalam Kubanychbek, will have the chance to unify the 155-pound world title when he takes on Russia’s Kamil Magomedov. This reality came about after former lineal champion Ahmed Amir was stripped of his title due to uncertainty regarding his return to competition.
The co-main event is a mouth-watering heavyweight clash as Serbia’s Darko Stosic takes on undefeated Bahraini Shamil Gaziev. Gaziev - a former amateur European, Asian, and African champion - who is unbeaten since turning professional and looks to go 2-0 in BRAVE Combat Federation following a successful debut at BRAVE CF 65. Stosic makes his promotional debut and will step into the BRAVE CF cage with lots of hype around him after fighting in various well-known promotions. It will be Darko’s first fight on home soil since 2017.
The third last fight of the night will be another treat for Serbian fans as local superstar Aleksandar ‘Joker’ Ilić takes on Poland’s Marcin Naruszczka in a 90-kg catchweight bout. ‘Joker’ was set to face Brazil’s Cleber ‘Clebinho’ Sousa, but that fight fell through, allowing Naruszczka to step in with the opportunity to shock the world and earn the biggest win of his career – in front of a crowd that hasn’t seen its hero fight live since 2018.
The BRAVE Serbia International Combat Week will be the first to be hosted outside Bahrain. The festival will host athletes from over 60 nations when the IMMAF World Championships also go down in the capital. The action will kick off on Saturday as more than 500 athletes are expected to represent their motherlands in what will be known as the largest edition of the number one amateur MMA competition - as well as the biggest MMA event to take place on the European continent.
This incredible combat sports celebration is a joint effort between BRAVE CF, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), and Serbian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (SMMAF). The support offered by the Serbian government has been a first for mixed martial arts in Europe.
During a recent Press conference, European and Serbian MMA received a major boost as 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 that he expects other European countries to follow that example which will see the private sector also moving into MMA. This will help create a sustainable MMA sports economy in these nations and one that will further develop the sport on a continental level.