Since its inception in 2016, BRAVE Combat Federation has arguably worked harder than its more established rivals to introduce mixed martial arts (MMA) to new audiences.
Morocco, Colombia, Pakistan, and Jordan are just some of the nations where the Bahrain-based promotion has broken ground. Now the company is looking to make a splash in England. It intends to do so by hosting an event that will be attended by a mix of business people, influencers, celebrities, and politicians. The exclusive invite-only black-tie affair may seem at odds with BRAVE’s aim of growing MMA. Yet, in a country like England where MMA already has a foothold, BRAVE is looking at new ways to help propel the sport further into the mainstream.
BRAVE 24 takes place this Thursday, July 25 inside the Copper Box Arena, London, England. The main event of the seven-bout card sees BRAVE Featherweight Champion Bubba Jenkins defending his title against Brazil’s Lucas Martins.
This will be the first time that Jenkins has headlined a BRAVE CF card. When listening to the 31-year-old, it’s hard not to get swept away by the sheer enthusiasm the former Bellator veteran exudes for MMA, his current promotion and his upcoming bout:
“I’m so excited about the London card, I’m excited for everyone involved you know BRAVE is doing an amazing job making it [MMA] global bringing the world closer together through combat, “Jenkins said speaking to LowkickMMA.
“For us to merge on London on 25 July with me the headliner going against a formidable Lucas Minero Martins. I am truly excited, and I cannot wait for fight week. I am excited as to what the rest of the world of MMA will look at it as.”
Jenkins officially signed with BRAVE in July 2018. Two months later the American made his promotional debut, successfully capturing the featherweight title from Algeria’s Elias Boudegzdame at BRAVE 16 in Abu Dhabi.
Jenkins’ return to action came after almost a year sitting on the sidelines. After parting ways with Bellator in 2017, the California resident briefly plied his trade under the ACB banner. However, it appears the former college wrestler has now found himself with a promotion that aligns perfectly with who he is and where he sees himself going:
“I am a big fan as to the way BRAVE has treated me, as you can see it’s been a while since I fought, but they have rewarded me with such a [major] event,” Jenkins said.
“I cannot complain. There would not be one iota of a bad thing I would say about them. Not because I am trying to be this company man and say the right things. But because they have truly taken care of their business as an organization, when it comes to supporting the fighters and wanting them to feel at home and feel appreciated.
A long-time advocate of fighter’s welfare, Jenkins has given the new kid on the block his tick of approval when it comes to their relationships with their athletes:
“I have been in some of the biggest and the best organizations, I have coached for the UFC, so have seen how they treat their athletes. I can say that BRAVE is top of the line. They are up there with the best in the world, with how they care for their fighters, how they care for their champions, how they make you feel like you are very important. You are not just a number in a weight class,” Jenkins said.
“I think with BRAVE doing what their doing, and with fighters buying into it I see it [ MMA] being more like soccer, how soccer is everywhere. It is major as well as baseball and basketball. I see MMA when people buy into it, and they don’t just stick to the formula we have here in America. They can stick to a more global understanding of helping the fighters themselves. It creates a much bigger platform.” Jenkins continued.
“Therefore if you don’t get signed to the biggest organizations, you can still be a professional fighter and feed your family and not have to worry about taking horrible fights on horrible cards in horrible places. It fixes the sport, and I truly appreciate the mindset that it takes to view it like that.”
After almost a decade in the sport, Jenkins now has his chance to step out onto the world stage. He will do so in partnership with a promotion carrying the same level of ambition for MMA as he does. When the cage doors shut on Thursday, expect Jenkins to grab this opportunity with both hands.
For fans based in the United States, BRAVE 24 can be watched via Fite TV.