Brave Combat Federation and Khalid Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Mixed Martial Arts have revealed the five mixed martial artists who will compete in the first-ever KHK World Championship. They were chosen from the shortlist of 15 MMA fighters who applied to join the one-night, four-men, open weight tournament.
Signing up for the KHK World Championship was free to all athletes whether or not they were under contract with a promotion making the tournament a pioneer. Hundreds of fighters signed up to be a part of it and KHK MMA and Brave CF narrowed the list down to 15 shortlisted athletes then to five semifinalists.
The inaugural KHK World Championship will have two semi-final matches, which are included in the fight card of “Brave 29,” which will be part of the Brave International Combat Week. Aside from the four semi-finalists, one will be reserved as an alternate in case of a semi-finalist pulling out of the card due to injury.
The KHK World Championship semifinals and final will take place on the same night, which is during the “Brave 29” fight night at the Khalifa Sports City Arena, Isa Town, Bahrain on November 15, 2019. The champion will receive US$100,000 and the KHK belt, a special award adorned with 6.2kg of gold.
Including the three KHK World Championship matches, “Brave 29” will feature 15 MMA bouts. A total of 18 countries will be represented.
In the following days, KHK MMA and Brave CF will announce the semifinal matchups, as well as the odd man out, who will stay in the tournament as an alternate in case a fighter is injured and unable to continue. Here are the five semi-finalists:
Guto Inocente, 33, Brazil
light heavyweight and heavyweight
Born in Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil on May 29, 1986, Inocente was seven years old when he started his Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. As a professional MMA fighter, he competed from 2005 to 2015.
In 2014, Inocente competed in “The Ultimate Fighter 19” finale and at “UFC Fight Night 55” and lost both bouts. He holds a professional MMA record of 7 wins and 4 losses.
Azamat “The Professional” Murzakanov, 30, Russia
Murzakanov is an undefeated MMA fighter with 7 wins and 0 loss. He has been competing professionally since 2010.
In 2017, Murzakanov was set to debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship but he was given a two-year sanction for a violation of the promotion’s anti-doping policy. He has yet to compete again since.
Malik “L’Astre” Merad, 29, France
Merad was born in Limoges, France on July 2, 1990. He has been competing professionally since 2009.
Among the promotions Merad competed in were 100% Fight, Pancrase, Lyon Fighting Championship, Bellator MMA, Cage Warriors and Fight Nights. He currently holds a professional MMA record of 24 wins and 16 losses.
Mohammad “The Latest” Fakhreddine, 35, Lebanon
Born on July 20, 1984 in Lebanon, Fakhreddine made his professional MMA debut in 2012. He has been competing in Brave CF since 2017.
Before joining Brave CF, the Lebanese MMA fighter competed in Desert Force. He is training at Tiger Muay Thai Lebanon in Beirut, Lebanon and at Shishani Submission Systems in Amman, Jordan.
Moise “Swamp” Rimbon, 42, France
Rimbon was born in France on April 20, 1977. He has been competing professionally since 2000.
Riding a two-bout losing streak, Rimbon holds a professional MMA record of 25 wins, 13 losses and 3 draws. He has competing in numerous promotions including X Fight Nights, Phoenix Fighting Championship and King of Warriors MMA.