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BRAVE CF COO Valeria Lang: Pioneering Diversity in Global Combat Sports Leadership

Sep 18, 2023

The sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is considered one of the most equal sports when it comes to gender representation and equal opportunities. In MMA, men and women earn roughly the same amount of income with equal media exposure and standardized rules to compete. However, the same cannot be applicable when it comes to the executive side of the mixed martial arts ecosystem. Women have not taken up leadership roles in most MMA organizations from the origin days. One of the exceptions is the COO of BRAVE Combat Federation.
Valeria Lang, Chief of Operations at BRAVE Combat Federation, started her journey with the organization from its founding days and is currently the highest-ranked woman in any international MMA organization. In 2016, she became one of the executives responsible for creating BRAVE CF under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa. As BRAVE CF completes the milestone of 7 years of operations on 23 September 2023, Valeria will also be completing her 7th year with the organization.
An MBA holder from the Swiss School of Management, she has driven the vision of His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa to fruition. Also, she is Treasurer for KHK Heroes and Board Director of KHK Holding, aside from her role as COO of the most global MMA promotion that has hosted events across 29 nations signing athletes from 83 nations as of September 2023.
A lifelong martial arts enthusiast, Valeria is a leading pioneer in inspiring women to explore the fast-growing corporate ecosystem in the world of combat sports. Under her leadership, BRAVE CF expanded roles for women across domains of Public Relations, People and culture, Marketing, Sales, Digital Media Operations, Media Production, Media Relations, Budgeting and Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility, and much more. Valeria claims many firsts, including being the first woman to hold a CXO role within a martial arts organization in Asia. Her involvement in the industry started as a boxing coach in her early days and moved on to become one of the driving forces of the global mixed martial arts scene.
As a founding member of the core team of BRAVE CF, she has led operations in over 29 nations where the organization has hosted events securing key business partnerships and strengthening diplomatic relations, a feat that makes her unique in the world of combat sports placing her among the top minds in the industry. Most significantly, as a part of the team, her efforts brought the biggest names like Islam Makhachev, Muhammad      Mokaev, and Khabib Nurmagomedov to KHK MMA. Her hands-on approach has been key in securing the signing of many top fighters and coaches to the team.
With the organization completing 7 years of global operations, Valeria Lang emerges as a trailblazer for women in sports management. As the first woman to ever become COO of a global MMA organization, her mentorship is shaping the careers of women from across the world who are a part of BRAVE CF. With nearly 50% of the corporate workforce at BRAVE CF being women, the impact of Valeria's efforts is remarkable. Her career has contributed not just for the sport, but also to the emerging rise of women in sports media in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the GCC at large.
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