A new combat sport has started up in the past few months and the organization bringing it to center stage is called Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. It’s held four events so far with their inaugural one starting last June. I have bought every PPV so far, and I’ll tell you what. It’s a very exciting sport, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart with the blood and cuts that happen during some of the fights. What kind of sport is this you ask? Well, I’ll give you a little insight into where this sport was, where its now, and where it can possibly go in the future.
You said this sports first event was in June of last year?
Well, for the fighting promotion Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, it’s first event was in June of 2018. However, the sport itself started back in the early 1700’s. Back then it was never legal under any federal or state laws until Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship got it legalized in the state of Wyoming in March of 2018. It was hard to legalize because of the brutality of it. Fighters in bare knuckle boxing, past and present, don’t wear gloves and only tape their wrists.
Are there rules or is this like those Kimbo Slice street fight videos?
Yes, there are rules and at times it has that “street fighting” feel to it just because the fighters don’t wear gloves. When you watch Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships’ PPVs, the fights are 5-2 minute rounds, with fighters being matched up by weight classes. Instead of coming out of their corner like you see in boxing matches, they actually “toe the line.” That phrase is said by the ref, letting the fighters know it’s time to get ready to fight in the squared circle.
There’s no kicks or take downs like you would see in MMA, and obviously no illegal, below the belt punches. Now Bare knuckle fighting — to some people — is a safer sport than boxing because with your hands being exposed, you’re throwing less power and fewer punches. I still have a hard time agreeing with that because yes, boxing has a higher volume of punches but the gloves protect the hands and dampen the blows to the head. One example that I witnessed was in a match between Charles “crazy horse” Bennet and Michael Mcdonald. Bennet was throwing as much power behind his punches as he could and broke his one hand in the first round. Ypu could see he was in a lot of pain. When he came out for the second round, half way through, he ended up breaking his other hand. Not being able to defend himself due to the injuries caused the ref to call the match.
I’ve heard of “crazy horse” Bennet. Does Bare Knuckle FC have any other notable fighters?
Yes. Their roster is made up of fighters with all different kinds of combat sport backgrounds. You have Bobby Gun, whose background actually is bare knuckle boxing when they announce him to the ring, Bec Rawlings (who has fought in the UFC and is a fan favorite in BKB), Chris Lytle (who was known for his knock outs in the UFC), as well as recently signed Artem Lobov and Chris Leben. All of them are very entertaining fighters. The one well-known announcer is former boxer Antonio Tarver, who does a good job delivering insight into the boxing aspect of the sport.
Do you think the sport will stick around?
I’ll be honest. I think it will. I believe Bare Knuckle FC is doing it right. They’re bringing in decent, exciting fighters as well as keeping PPV prices down. I mean honestly, when’s the last time you bought a sports PPV for under $40? Now yes, I’ll admit, the production quality isn’t great yet but was UFC1 great compared to what it is now? No, but it will get there.
Additionally, they’re taking their time with it. They’re not rushing anything. There was another promotion that tried to rush their product out before Bare Knuckle FC and failed. They ended up not being able to pay the fighters after they fought. Also Bare Knuckle Fc isn’t jamming events down your throat every week like some MMA/boxing promotions are. Since last June, they will have only held four events plus a fifth one upcoming in April. I think if they can get to a point of putting one PPV out a month, they’ll gain traction. This sport will grow by word of mouth. A lot of people say the Forrest Griffin/ Stephan Bonnar fight is what brought the UFC into the main stream, myself included, and that will happen with these guys in time.
So on April 6, I’d suggest giving these guys a chance. Call your buddies over. Split the bill, and trust me, you will not regret it. I even live tweet for my podcast during these events. It’s fun interacting and talking about the exciting fights with other fans of the sport. Until next time guys, it’s your good friend Jimbo, signing off.
Follow me @jimboSTSPORTS and my show @STSportsPodcast