Photo: Ed Diller/BKFC – The full lineup of matchups are set for the inaugural Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) fight card that will feature 12 bouts Saturday, June 2 live on pay-per-view from Cheyenne Ice & Events Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The first legal, regulated and sanctioned bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889, “BKFC: The Beginning,” will air throughout the United States and Canada on pay-per-view through MultiVision Media, Inc., on FITE-TV app and fite.tv on all major television and streaming distribution outlets for $29.99 in 4K. The event can be ordered at www.bareknuckle.tv/bkfc1.
The pay-per-view telecast will feature former boxing world champion Antonio Tarver providing color commentary.
Headlining the card is former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez taking on Pennsylvania’s Lewis “The Beast” Rumsey in five rounds of heavyweight action, while Lineal Bare Knuckle Boxing Heavyweight World Champion Bobby Gunn battles Brazil’s Marcelo Tavares in a seven-round attraction.
A five-round women’s showdown between “Rowdy” Bec Rawlings and Alma Garcia will also be featured on the groundbreaking pay-per-view event. A former UFC fighter, Rawlings recorded two wins in UFC among her seven professional MMA victories. The 29-year-old from Brisbane, Australia enters the ring looking to bring her signature aggressive style into bare knuckle boxing. She will take on Garcia, a professional boxer with seven fights under her belt and fighting out of Denver, Colorado.
Held under the auspices and control of the Wyoming Combative Sports Commission, headed by Chairman Bryan Pedersen, the card features only established professional fighters who have competed in boxing, MMA, kickboxing or Muay Thai.
BKFC heavyweight tournament action will feature Arizona’s Eric “The American Soldier” Prindle battling Missouri’s Sam Shewmaker, Las Vegas-native Maurice “The Gorilla” Jackson against Hawaii’s Dale Sopi and Chicago’s Arnold “Bomaye” Adams competing against California’s DJ “Da Protégé” Linderman in a series of five-round quarter final matchups.
Additional fights on the stacked night of bare knuckle boxing include Virginia’s Reggie Barnett versus Pennsylvania’s Travis Thompson in a five-round 135-pound fight, Texas-native Johnny “Brutal” Bedford in a 137-pound, five-round matchup against Wyoming’s Nick “Garfield” Mamalis and a 155-pound showdown between Phoenix’s Estevan “El Terrible” Payan and Washington’s Omar “Gallo Fino” Avelar scheduled for five rounds.
Rounding out the night of fights are a pair of 145-pound fights as San Diego’s Joey Beltran meets California’s Tony “Kryptonite” Lopez in a five-round bout and Winnipeg’s Desmond Johnson taking on New Mexico-native Austin Ward in a five-round affair,plus Canada’s Brandon Cheverfield against Indiana’s Jorge Gonzales in a five-round 165-pound attraction.
Tickets for the live event are available now exclusively at www.bareknuckle.tv and are priced from $50 to $200.
Welcome to a new era in combat sports. June 2, 2018 will mark the first time in modern day history that a Bare Knuckle Fighting event will be legal and sanctioned by a state commission in the United States. The last legal/sanctioned Bare Knuckle Boxing event was held in 1889. “The combat sport world is always looking for something new and exciting, well it doesn’t get more real than this, a bare fist hitting a face makes a sound that will keep you on the edge of your seat all night long” David Feldman; President Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
Fighters and executives who will be bringing the inaugural Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) to Cheyenne Ice and Events Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming live on pay-per-view on Saturday, June 2 hosted a media luncheon in Manhattan Tuesday to discuss the first legal, regulated and sanctioned bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889.
The inaugural event, “BKFC: The Beginning,” will air throughout the United States and Canada on pay-per-view through Multivision Media, Inc., on FITE-TV app and fite.tv on all major television and streaming distribution outlets for $29.95 in 4K. The event can be ordered at www.bareknuckle.tv/bkfc1.
In attendance at the event Tuesday were Lineal Bare Knuckle Boxing Heavyweight Champion Bobby Gunn and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Ricco Rodriguez, who compete in separate heavyweight attractions as part of the historic event. CEO and Founder of BKFC David Feldman and Multivision Media Executive Producer Brian Ricco were also on hand to discuss this ground breaking combat sports endeavor.
Tickets for the live event are available now exclusively at www.bareknuckle.tv and are priced from $50 to $200. Here is what the participants had to say Tuesday from The Palm West Side restaurant:
BOBBY GUNN, Lineal Bare Knuckle Heavyweight Champion
“I’ve fought in the underground fights and all the places you would imagine bare knuckle fights taking place. But now we’re taking it above the ground and giving all the great bare knuckle fighters an opportunity to stand up and fight in a legal competition.
“I know some people find it hard to believe, but as someone who’s competed in pro boxing and bare knuckle fights, bare knuckle is the much safer sport. All of my injuries have been sustained from regular boxing.
“To have great champions like Ricco Rodriguez on this card along with other top fighters, it’s a great honor. We’re going to show everybody something different. These aren’t bums having a bar room brawl. It’s proper scientific bare knuckle boxing. It’s a little different pace than boxing and you won’t throw as hard as you would if you had a glove on.
“I’ve always said that boxing was checkers, and bare knuckle is chess. You’re going to see something unique, kind of like the old times, that started it all. All the fighting you see today originated from bare knuckle fighting. It’s there in the past, and it’s here for the future.”
RICCO RODRIGUEZ, Former UFC Heavyweight Champion
“Part of what makes this so exciting is that you don’t fully know what to expect. We’re bringing the old school pride and entertainment and also giving people something different. When I first started doing MMA, my family told me I was crazy, but today it’s a billion-dollar industry.
“It’s going to take a little bit of time to get us out there, but once it clicks, the people are going to be entertained. Giving fans that entertainment is what’s most important and I’m really happy to be a part of it.
“We’re looking to start something here that’s never been done before. I think what’s been lost in boxing and MMA is that it’s kind of become stagnant in the sense that there are so many shows, but you don’t have the guaranteed entertainment value in enough of them.
“We’re all about selling entertainment. We want people to get together with their friends and watch something they’ve never seen before. I think this is a sport that can bring people together and attract fans of all kinds of combat sports.
“From talking with other MMA guys they talk about how bare knuckle is a different speed. They have to work more on their defense and footwork. If you’re overly aggressive, you might have an issue. You really have to be prepared and have your head on a swivel.
“I’m a grappler and even I think it’s boring when two guys are on the ground doing that. I’d like to see them restart and stand both guys up. We’re going to give people the best of different disciplines.”
DAVID FELDMAN, CEO & Founder of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship
“We have some of the best fighters in the world competing on this card and these fighters are going to lead the charge in this inaugural event. We’re here to make a statement that we’re here to stay. This isn’t about doing just one show just to do a show. We want to build a business and build a new combat sport.
“We believe that BKFC can rival boxing and MMA. We think that the fans need more and we’re here to give them more. I believe that any fan in the world will be able to associated with what bare knuckle fighting is, more than they might other kinds of combat sports.
“We’ve been working on this for nine years now and we’re really excited about June 2. This has been a long time coming. We’re here to shake up combat sports. It needed to be shaken up a little bit. 25 years ago UFC 1 came out right next door in Colorado, so it’s only fitting that we’ll be there in Wyoming ushering in this new era.
“We went with a circular ring for the fights because we wanted to make sure that we distinguished ourselves in every way we could, so that nobody thinks this is regular boxing. We wanted to set ourselves apart with the platform and the rule sets.
“I think fans that watch MMA love it when two guys are standing the middle of the cage banging on each other. We’re giving them that, plus we’ve added referees stepping in after three seconds on a clinch, that will lead to much more action.
“We’re going to do this show on June 2, and then we’ll be back in September and again in December. Then we have a really nice rollout planed for 2019. We’re here to stay.”
BRIAN RICCO, Executive Producer, Multivision Media, Inc.
“David and I have been working together on this show for about a year, and we knew that we wanted to do something different. So we decided we’re doing the show in 4K resolution. There’s very few live events available in 4K, with The Masters being the most recent. We’re going to be coming out of the gate the right way.
“I happened to be with IN DEMAND when UFC launched and we see a lot of parallels between the two. We have hired Sean Wheelock as our play-by-play announcer, who has an incredible amount of experience calling MMA and boxing events. We have also hired Antonio Tarver, the former two-time boxing world champion. He loves this sport and is excited about this show.”