A century and more ago, bare-knuckle fighting was practiced as a sport but heavily frowned upon. Law enforcement constantly sought out bare-knuckle fighters and dispersed their audiences. Safe to say, no official sanctions ever legalized the sport or patronized it. But it all changed in 2018. Long after the days of the Wild West and good old brawling, David Feldman revived a sport. And he did it legally with the BKFC.
In 2018, the former American boxer, David Feldman realized a long-standing dream in professional combat sports. He did away with hand wraps, and gloves of all kinds. Effectively reverting fighting to its truest and rawest form. Fighting with bare hands and bare knuckles. And thus, on June 2, 2018, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship made its debut with its premiere event, The Beginning.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 1: The Beginning, was held in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It featured 10 fights on its card, including the quarterfinals of a heavyweight championship. The inaugural roster had spots for multiple ex-fighters from various promotions. Notably, former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Ricco Rodriguez, and IBF Lightweight World Champion, Paul Spadafora.
In the process, BKFC made history by becoming the first legal and sanctioned event in the United States since 1889. In its aftermath, David Feldman stated the aims of the promotion and what they looked forward to.
“This is the start of a new era in combat sports. Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship will combine the incredibly rich history of bare-knuckle under the Broughton and London Prize Ring Rules, with a modern rule set for this generation. By showcasing professional fighters from a wide array of disciplines, we want to answer the question: Who is the best pure striker on the planet?”
The steady rise of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship
True to his word, BKFC has since steadily climbed the ladder of popularity in combat sports. And rung by rung, they open themselves to a plethora of options and opportunities. After 24 events in only Mexico (1) and the United States (23), BKFC held their first event abroad in Thailand.
David Feldman told The Schmo, #KNUCKLEMANIA2 had the highest grossing ticket sales for a combat sports event at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida.
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) February 20, 2022
At the latest airing of their most important event, Knucklemania 2, former UFC title contender, Chad Mendes, made his debut. Likewise, another former UFC fighter Mike Perry competed in his second BKFC bout, this time against Julian Lane. Both fighters recorded dominant wins with Perry cementing his position, and Mendes kicking off his BKFC journey successfully.
Meanwhile, the promotion itself also set an attendance record. They recorded the highest ticket sales for any combat sports event at Hard Rock in all of Hollywood, Florida. This landmark achievement for BKFC is a testament to the quality it brings to the table.
One of the fastest-growing promotions in the combat sports landscape of the United States, the future is exciting for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. And most importantly for fight enthusiasts.