Five years ago, the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) was founded with many doubters. Against all odds, the most barbaric sport has grown to a point where it can now put together pay-per-view-worthy lineups.
This past April, BKFC 41 featured a headlining matchup between “Mr. Bare Knuckle,” Mike Perry, and former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. The co-main event was highlighted by a slugfest between former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and former UFC featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes. Even Conor McGregor attended and jumped in the squared circle for a face-off at the conclusion of the event.
BKFC has improved by hosting star-studded, violent cards over the past year. However, famous people have dared to take the gloves off and compete in the squared circle since the beginning of the promotion. Here are 5 people that you did not know competed for BKFC:
Social media personality Bryce Hall made shockwaves when he beat an undefeated bare knuckle boxer last month. However, he was not the first non-sports celebrity to step foot in the squared circle. It was actually the famous American rapper, Blueface.
While Blueface competed for the promotion, he did not actually fight using his bare hands. He was allowed to use special gloves in a duel against TikToker Kane Trujillo at BKFC 19 in 2021. He used his long-range to rock his opponent multiple times en route to a unanimous decision victory.
The world recognizes the multi-talented sensation for his skills on the microphone, specifically a remix of his track “Thotiana,” which features Cardi B and YG. This ended up reaching the number 8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, his next fight resides in court this October, where he will face sentencing for charges related to a Las Vegas shooting in 2022.
#2. Jason Knight
Jason Knight’s fighting style has exhilarated fans throughout his career. On this year’s The Ultimate Fighter Season 31 show, he won his quarterfinal by a spectacular submission. In his semifinal fight, a knockout loss transpired in an absolute slugfest against eventual winner, Kurt Holobaugh.
The Mississippi native actually took part in two high-profile BKFC headliners in his home state during the year of 2019. At BKFC 5, he was bested by Conor McGregor’s former training partner, Artem Lobov, in a clash so violent that he lost some teeth. In Jason Knight fashion, however, he bit down on his mouthpiece and won the rematch by knockout seven months later at BKFC 9.
It is no surprise that Knight went on to fight in bare knuckle MMA at Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Fighting Championship.
#3. Austin Trout
Former world champions have switched from 4-ounce gloves to bare knuckle. Austin Trout made an even bigger transition, by taking his 10-ounce gloves off. He amassed a boxing record of 36 wins, 5 defeats, and 1 draw and previously held the WBA light middleweight title. His biggest win is over the legendary Miguel Cotto and has also fought the likes of Canelo Alvarez, the Charlo brothers, and Erislandy Lara.
The man who never ducked a fight in the boxing ring entered the squared circle this past February at BKFC KnuckleMania 3. The result was putting a beating on the longtime UFC veteran and The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner, Diego Sanchez.
Trout is known to have a strong chin, and possesses the skills to become a bare knuckle title contender. Imagine if he holds world titles with and without the gloves!
#4. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva used to be one of the scariest men on the planet. The former UFC title challenger even holds a victory over the romanticized Fedor Emelianenko. However, he has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons lately. In the past eight years, he has been on one of the biggest losing streaks in combat sports history, going 0-12 combined in MMA, boxing, kickboxing, and in BKFC. The fight community has pleaded with him to retire, as 10 of those losses have come via knockout.
His name brand led him to headlining his sole BKFC fight, at BKFC 8 in 2019. He was quickly knocked out in the second round by Gabriel Gonzaga and never returned to the promotion.
#5. Chris Fishgold
Europe views this man as a hero. Chris Fishgold was one of the most successful fighters with Cage Warriors. He is their 4-time lightweight champion and went 8-0 in the promotion.
The Englishman took a dip into bare knuckle last year at BKFC 27 in London. He was knocked out by Jake Bostwick in the second round. Even though he was unsuccessful, many European fans tuned into the event specifically for his fight.
What other fighters belong on this list? Let us know in the comments below.