Former UFC star Mike Perry has enticed 3 MMA legends into the squared circle. This list includes victories over Michael Venom Page, who has fought for the Bellator interim welterweight championship, and former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. He will fight ex-UFC champion Eddie Alvarez next in the BKFC 56 main event in December.
A handful of MMA fighters are taking fights with BKFC at the end of their careers. With the astronomical growth BKFC has had in 2023, we started to look into the near future. Here are 5 fighters that we believe could realistically make a successful leap of faith into the bare knuckle boxing:
#5. Bryan Barbarena
UFC veteran Bryan Barbarena is also known as the legend killer. He is beloved for taking short-notice fights and putting on bangers every time. In one of his most significant career moments, he defeated the great Matt Brown in an absolute slugfest that took home Fight of the Night honors last March. At UFC 276, he survived an early onslaught from “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler and pummeled him with punches en route to a comeback knockout victory. “Bam Bam” has also proved his toughness by going the distance with UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards and former interim champion Colby Covington.
The proud father of three always answers the call to fight and beats up his opponents with a smile. Could you imagine him removing the gloves and coming forward for an action-packed fight with BKFC?
#4. Matt Brown
“The Immortal” is the perfect nickname for someone who would thrive in BKFC. Matt Brown has the second most knockouts in UFC history and is known for bringing his stone-cold persona to every battle. Whenever he steps into the octagon, he fights like he is 10 years younger than his actual age of 42 and is getting better by the day. His heavy metal walkout songs and killer instinct also fit with the BKFC aura.
Perhaps he could rematch Barberna and put on another barnburner for the bare knuckle fanbase? It would be even better if BKFC grants him permission to use his signature elbows that have separated several opponents from their consciousness.
#3. John Lineker
They don’t call him “Hands of Stone” for nothing. The former ONE bantamweight world champion may still only be 33 years old, but he has racked up a staggering 48 pro fights since making his debut back in 2008. Everyone’s favorite Brazilian gunslinger is known for his marauding and relentless style and with his dynamite power and granite chin. He is a perfect fit for this particular skill set… It should be said that Lineker is still competing at a high-level in ONE Championship, as proven by his back-to-back wins over contenders looking to take his spot in the rankings.
Whilst we are never going to turn down a Lineker fight in any kind of arena, it’s scary to think how much damage he could do by taking the gloves off. If you thought his UFC run was action-packed, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
#2. Cris Cyborg
At 38 years old, the belt collector of women’s MMA is still adding chapters onto her 18-year pro career. Having been a champion in Bellator, UFC, Invicta and Strikeforce, there is nothing left for Cyborg to accomplish in MMA. Yet, she carries on doing her thing, securing defenses and racking up finishes. She has also tested herself in boxing in recent years, competing in two pro bouts in 2022. With the sale of Bellator expected to be announced in the coming weeks, a fresh challenge could be just what Cyborg needs before riding off into the sunset.
Another terminator-like striker in the same vein as her fellow Brazilian Lineker, taking her gloves off would be like letting go of the reins.
#1. Jorge Masvidal
In what better way could Jorge Masvidal honor his roots and pay homage to his career in combat sports by competing in bare knuckle. “Gamebred” made his name in backyard fights and you know that the inaugural holder of the BMF title isn’t going to back down from a brawl. Whilst he may still be contracted with the UFC, the fact that he runs his own bare knuckle MMA promotion points to the idea that if anybody can get a temporary hall pass, it’s him. Mike Perry aside, there might not be a fighter on the planet that embodies bare knuckle boxing more than Masvidal. He wants to watch beautiful violence unfold and so do we, hence him taking the top spot on our wishlist.
What other MMA fighters would you like to join BKFC? Let us know in the comments below.