International promotion BRAVE FC returns to the UK for their second event this weekend for BRAVE FC 24, and it’s a bit of a unique setup: the event will be ‘invitation only’ and the promoters promise the event will be packed with important businessmen and multi-millionaires looking to lift the sport of mixed martial arts to the next level across Europe and beyond.
BRAVE FC president Mohammed Shahid is talking a big game about transforming the sport, touting a vision for MMA that will help things reach that mythical soccer / F1 level as far as investment and corporate involvement. But while speaking to Bloody Elbow about their plans, he also proved he wasn’t above stepping outside the bounds of traditional MMA promotion to make a huge fight for their International Combat Week event in November.
“Artem Lobov v Amir Khan in a boxing match is something that we would be interested in,” Shadid said. “John Kavanagh wanted that bout in BRAVE CF so we are prepared to talk about it. If we can work with both sides, this could happen although there are other options for Lobov out there. I’d like to see him take on any boxer at the top level but no talks have happened yet. Lobov will be in attendance on July 25th so discussions may begin then.”
Lobov is coming off a somewhat shocking win over former IBF and WBA boxing champ Paulie Malignaggi in a June Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship bout (watch the highlights here). That event set the internet on fire due to a combination of Malignaggi antics and both men’s association with Conor McGregor. Estimates peg the PPV has having sold over 20,000 units, an impressive number for an independent promotion like BKFC with such a brutal and niche appeal.
At this point we don’t know if we’d continue to doubt Artem “The GOAT,” but a straight boxing match probably wouldn’t go down as well for him as the bare knuckle affair with the retired Malignaggi did. Amir Khan still sits at the top of the boxing world having fought four times in the past two years (with two of those bouts for major boxing belts).
But with the financial backing of the Bahraini royal family (and other potential deep pocketed investors attending BRAVE FC 24), who knows what kind of offer Shahid could put in front of Lobov to make this seem like a good idea.