Ought to We Begin Taking Naked-Knuckle Preventing Significantly? – Bleacher Report

By | May 18, 2023

For a not-insignificant portion of the inhabitants, the world’s most well-known MMA fighter is Paige VanZant.
You would possibly bear in mind Paige. In 2016, as an lively fighter within the UFC, she turned heads with a second-place exhibiting on ABC’s runaway hit Dancing With the Stars. For a quick however simple window there, she was rattling close to America’s sweetheart.
After her star flip, she finally returned to the UFC. However she by no means actually regained her mojo there, dropping two of three earlier than washing out of the promotion.
Don’t cry too onerous for VanZant. She had choices, not the least of which was her capacity to pitch merchandise to her 3-plus million Instagram followers.
Because it seems, she wasn’t performed with competitors fairly but. What else may she do? She didn’t land with UFC rival Bellator, which has a reasonably aggressive ladies’s flyweight division, or one other present like Asia’s ONE Championship.
As a substitute, she selected bare-knuckle boxing. Particularly, the Pennsylvania-based Naked Knuckle Preventing Championship, or BKFC.
BKFC has been round since 2018. In case you are not acquainted, the important thing rules are:
– Fighters could wrap and tape their wrist, thumb, and mid-hand. Nonetheless, no gauze or tape is allowed inside one inch of the knuckles.
– Punches with a closed fist are the one strikes allowed.
– Fights are 5 two-minute rounds.
Let’s be clear: VanZant was by no means precisely a world-beater. There’s a motive her profession MMA file is 8-5. VanZant’s standing with BKFC is at the moment unclear. She signed with professional wrestling outfit AEW this spring however appeared to remain dedicated to BKFC. Nonetheless, her August bout with Charisa Sigala was abruptly canceled. VanZant has additionally misplaced her two BKFC bouts so far.
Nonetheless, VanZant helped deliver warmth to the model, and extra fighters are taking discover. It’s no secret that Bellator, PFL, ONE and others routinely discover themselves jockeying for the scraps off the UFC’s desk. This might imply ageing large names, disgruntled fighters or simply those that weren’t adequate to remain within the large present.
Now, seemingly out of nowhere, the ultra-violent carnival present was vulturing pretty well-known names away from the extra established and revered promotions. It has been a banner 12 months for BKFC.
Earlier this 12 months, former featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes made and received his BKFC debut.

Simply final month, former flyweight contender John Dodson entered the BKFC ring, scoring a first-round knockout of one other UFC veteran in Ryan Benoit.
In August, a bout between Mike Perry and former Bellator hanging wizard Michael “Venom” Web page went right into a grueling, tiebreaking sixth spherical, with Perry outlasting Web page in a brutal contest that had social media buzzing.
Naked Knuckle boxing was made particularly for Mike Perry
In July, Felice Herrig, who gained fame on The Final Fighter and was one of many early gamers within the UFC’s strawweight division, signed a multi-fight deal with BKFC.
Hardcore followers took discover when the promotion signed famed Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek in July. He’s 40 now, however his debut there may very well be attention-grabbing.
The Buakaw signing reveals that BKFC has its finger on the heartbeat of what may spark curiosity from hardcore struggle followers. On the danger of stating the plain, that’s the goal BKFC demographic.

So, what’s occurring right here? It may have one thing to do with the UFC’s ongoing behavior of underpaying its athletes. Consider bare-knuckle preventing as a fairly visceral retirement plan.
It’s onerous to know for certain how a lot cash is in play right here, nevertheless it’s clearly a part of the attraction. Though contract phrases and payouts are sometimes not disclosed, VanZant’s four-fight deal was purportedly a “multimillion-dollar” settlement, and included alternatives for issues like commentary. Mendes mentioned he will outearn what UFC heavyweight champ Francis Ngannou obtained paid for his newest struggle.
However, Dodson made solely a reported $75,000 for his debut win at BKFC 28—the very best purse on that card.
For as violent and harmful as bare-knuckle preventing is, it’s simpler coaching work than MMA, the place many different talent units in addition to punching are in play. However the actual pull is the cash, and there’s an attention-grabbing underpinning right here.
In February, BKFC offered a majority stake to Triller, a video-sharing social community (assume Tik-Tok) that additionally phases music and fight sports activities occasions. Triller is perhaps greatest recognized for giving Jake Paul his begin in boxing earlier than he jumped to Showtime.

Triller wasn’t shy about pumping cash into these occasions, however the returns haven’t been there. After buying different firms, Triller misplaced a reported $700 million in 2021, and it has but to show a revenue.
Novelty Triller bouts like Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort and Anderson Silva vs. Tito Ortiz failed to maneuver the needle. Triller is now being sued, amongst different troubles.
All of that’s to say that the BKFC spigot seems to be flowing now, no less than for its high stars. Nonetheless, that may very well be slowing to a drip if Triller’s issues proceed and BKFC stays underneath its banner.
In the end, BKFC, for all of its bloodsporty intrigue, doesn’t have anyplace close to the status of the UFC or different MMA promotions. For fighters to proceed gravitating towards bare-knuckle over the game the place they made their careers, the cash must proceed to do the speaking.
BKFC followers ought to benefit from the present whereas they’ll, as a result of it may very well be about to get loads quieter.
The most recent within the sports activities world, emailed each day.
The most recent within the sports activities world, emailed each day.


Originally posted 2022-10-12 02:36:28.

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