Hashem Arkhagha lifts Jordan MMA on historic Brave 23 fight night
Brave Combat Federation held its biggest-ever fight card last Friday, in Amman, Jordan. Brave 23: Pride and Honor was a legendary show, with the rise of three world champions, several knockouts and amazing performances all around. For the people of Jordan, Brave 23 meant the resurgence of mixed martial arts as part of the country’s sporting culture.
Even though two Jordanian champions lost their belt, the fans still proved they are one of the most passionate crowds in the world, with an electric atmosphere greeting every fighter from the locker room to the cage. The biggest cheer was undoubtedly for Jordanian MMA pioneer Hashem Arkhagha, who made his comeback to the sport after almost seven years away.
Arkhagha is one of the most famous faces of the sport in Jordan, and had a victorious comeback, as he floored Jeremy Smith with a one-punch knockout, making the crowd erupt with cheers for their hero. Earlier in the night, Ali Qaisi also had the fans in bliss as he dominated Georges Bardawil en route to his second win under the Brave banner.
The pre-fight events were also proof that MMA has been brought back to life by Brave’s return to Jordan, as the Abdali Mall was packed with fans for the open workouts, on Wednesday, and the press conference and ceremonial weigh-ins a day later. Arkhagha, once again, was the star of the show for the Jordan crowd, specifically in the two Thursday pre-show gatherings.
International fighters were also amazed at the passion Jordanian fans showed throughout fight week, with the likes of Brazilian Luan “Miau” Santiago, who won the Lightweight title with a stunning KO of Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady, claiming that Jordan was the best crowd they ever saw in any sporting competition. Bahrain’s own Eldar Eldarov, victorious in the Super Lightweight title bout against Mounir Lazzez, also praised the Jordan crowd’s passion.