Cape Town — Most athletes enjoy the thought of BRAVE Combat Federation visiting their homeland. The opportunity to perform in front of your family and friends is a privilege, not all athletes get to experience.
Over the years, BRAVE Combat Federation has granted hundreds of athletes that wish, with the brand being the most-global MMA promotion.
But BRAVE CF debutant Nicholas Hwende could not be more excited about the idea of traveling to Riffa, Bahrain, for BRAVE CF 71, where he will be competing against former BRAVE CF Flyweight champion, Russia’s Velimurad Alkhasov in a Bantamweight bout on June 19.
Zimbabwe’s Hwende — a South African-based EFC Bantamweight champion — will fight in his first bout abroad after going on an unbeaten six-fight run in South Africa.
While BRAVE CF is the only international MMA brand to travel to Africa, with two events in South Africa and one in Morocco, Hwende is more than happy to fly to the brand’s “place of birth”, Bahrain, to showcase his skills in another country for the first time in his life.
“Don’t get me wrong. I will be happy if BRAVE CF returns to South Africa or maybe visits Zimbabwe one day — any African MMA event will be a blessing for the people and the sport. BRAVE CF is a well-traveled promotion, but right now, from my side, I am just so excited about flying to Riffa, Bahrain, to compete and make my debut in another country. BRAVE CF, I don’t want you to come here to me right now. I want to go outside of South Africa,” says Hwende, who moved to South Africa in search of better opportunities three years ago.
“I want to fly and enjoy life. So today, I am here. I never thought I could fly to Bahrain, it's life-changing. BRAVE CF, please don’t come to South Africa just yet, I am already here,” giggled Hwende.
“I just want to fly to Bahrain and travel with BRAVE CF wherever they need me to perform. This is my moment, and I want to make the best of it by putting on a show, says Hwende, who could become a 135-pound title contender with a win over Alkhasov at the Kombat Kingdom series later this month.
“When I will be flying, I remind myself that it goes beyond just flying on the airplane and having the luxury of hotels, nice food, and feeling special. I am here to show the world and myself that this is my moment, and I will grab it with both hands and prove that I am the best. I smile a lot, but when I'm flying, I shift into ‘debt collector’ mode. I am here to collect my money.
“BRAVE Combat Federation is an amazing platform. I see so many amazing highlight reels. I am so excited to be part of this journey now. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am not dreaming. And to all my fellow BRAVE CF Bantamweights, you never know what the future holds. One day I might challenge for the belt soon. I do not plan on being stationary. I have big things planned for myself," added Hwende.