Azamat “The Professional” Murzakanov, 30, and Alexander “Red Devil” Emelianenko, 38, are both eyeing for the inaugural KHK World Championship title. Both fighting out of Russia, they were included in the shortlist of mixed martial artists released by Brave Combat Federation and Khalid Bin Hamad Al Khalifa Mixed Martial Arts.
Open to all weight classes and all MMA promotions, the KHK World Championship will be part of the Brave International Combat Week. The winner will take home US$ 100,000 and a belt made of 6.2kg of gold.
The bouts are on the card of “Brave 29,” which will take place in Bahrain on November 15, 2019. Only 10 spots were initially reserved for the shortlist but after the overwhelming response from hundreds of applicants, the list was extended to 15 MMA fighters including Emelianenko and Murzakanov.
Born in Stary Oskol, Russia on August 2, 1981, Emelianenko is a three-time world Combat Sambo champion in the absolute division. He is the younger brother of MMA veteran Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko, 43.
As an MMA fighter, Alexander has been competing professionally since 2003. He holds a professional MMA record of 28 wins, 7 losses and 1 draw.
On the other hand, 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.
Murzakanov, Alexander and the other 13 shortlisted KHK World Championship fighters are from 11 countries namely Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Iran, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. Brave CF president Mohammed Shahid said, “Our special committee was unable to cut all the hundreds of fighters and make a list of only 10 athletes.”
“There was too much talent involved so they decided to leave 15 names and we’ll draw them out and see what are the matchups,” Shahid continued. “I understand them as I would definitely have a hard time making the same choice. I’m very excited to find out who will be coming to the Kingdom of Bahrain to fight for the inaugural KHK World Championships.”
Among the 15 shortlisted MMA fighters, four will be selected to compete in the semifinals while one will serve as an alternate in case of an injury. Check the list on Conan Daily.