BKFC

BKFC: Biggest OMG Moments in 2023

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At the beginning of the year, BKFC had hardcore fans from a specific market. By the end, it held 24 new events, signed multiple superstars, and broke the internet multiple times. President David Feldman led his BKFC team to a collection of memories in one of the most monumental years in combat sports history.

Here are 6 of the most jaw-dropping moments from the promotion in 2023.

Conor McGregor faces off against Mike Perry

If there is a moment that signifies that Feldman and his team have made it, this would undoubtedly be it. At BKFC 41, Mike Perry broke former UFC champion Luke Rockhold’s teeth en route to a stoppage victory. To conclude the most significant card in the promotion’s history, Conor McGregor jumped into the squared circle to face off with Perry. This moment received millions of views and aired across many platforms.

Even though it is unlikely, this moment had fans dreaming of a clash between the two. The newfound “King of Violence” and “The Notorious” would make a press conference for the ages. This was not the only profound moment from McGregor at BKFC 41. He was also shouting instructions and enjoying the war in the co-main event. This featured former foes he fought for UFC titles: Eddie Alvarez and Chad Mendes.

A TikToker finishing a Bare Knuckle Fighter

A massive part of headlines this year has been the Misfits influencer boxing scene and the continued rise of Jake Paul. These influencers have received a mix of praise for their courage as well as criticism for making a mockery of the sport. Flying under the radar is arguably the most courageous of the social media stars: Bryce Hall.

Hall has amassed over 23 million TikTok followers and gained nearly 2 billion likes. He dared to step into the squared circle in his most prolific moment yet. He finished an undefeated bare knuckle boxer at BKFC 48. Additionally, Hall has more to give in bare knuckle, as he regularly attends events and aspires for more fights.

In 2021, he lost a boxing match against fellow influencer Austin McBroom. President Feldman is also fully on board, as he might give Hall a chance at redemption. “We might give [McBroom] a fight actually against the same guy [that Hall fought, Gee Perez],” Feldman said. “If he wins, [he and Hall can] fight each other.”

Not only did Hall reach a new audience for BKFC, but he also inspired millions around the world. Could he lure more influencers into taking the gloves off?

Trolling for the Ages

One of the biggest combat sports controversies this year has been fighters poking fun at each others’ significant others. Dillon Danis went on a rampage about the romantic past of Logan Paul’s fiance. Millions trolled Ian Machado Garry in the MMA world for an audio book his wife made 12 years ago.

Earlier this year, top 10 UFC flyweight Tim Elliott opened up about a challenging experience he went through with his ex-wife. He alleged that she cheated on him throughout their short marriage with his former best friend, BKFC lightweight Kevin Croom.

Croom took an absolute beating against top-ranked lightweight contender Tony “Loco” Soto. However, that was not the main story of the fight. Elliott sponsored Soto by putting his name on his fight shorts. In a troll move of the century, Elliott had the last laugh.

Monumental Announcements from Mr. President Himself

This October, we had the honor of speaking to President Feldman. He shared many announcements that had combat sports fans’ mouths watering. We compiled a list of the best ones:

  • Reality Show: Feldman affirmed that he wants to shine a light on the lives of up-and-coming fighters because he has “some unbelievable stories that are going to be aired.”
  • Docu-series: In January, BKFC will launch a docuseries with a famous production company. This show will focus on the organization’s hard work behind the scenes to deliver the best presentations. “I think people are really going to appreciate what we go through to make this thing the fastest-growing combat sport in the world,” suggested Feldman.
  • Video Game: Feldman declared that the BKFC is close to releasing its own video game and was astonished by the preview. If this materializes, BKFC will join Power Slap as another rising promotion to enter the gaming industry.
  • Worldwide Talent: BKFC has hosted events in England, Thailand, Bulgaria, and the United States this year. Feldman stated that BKFC is launching a prospect series in Canada next March and Mexico next April. They are also nearing a deal with Australia and have gotten approval in China. Expect 2024 to be a year where new continents see bare knuckle action.
  • Massive States are Legalizing the Sport: At the beginning of 2018, BKFC was not legal in a single state. Flash forward to 2023, where it has been approved in over 25. During our interview, Feldman hinted at a colossal state legalizing his promotion. Recently, we learned that the state is California.

Gold for the Old

Incredibly, 7 out of the 10 current BKFC championships are held by fighters aged 39 or older. How is that even possible? Perhaps the arduous boxing and MMA paths helped teach fighters how to conserve energy and modify their strikes to fit the bare knuckle landscape. Bare knuckle boxing might be the only sport where wear and tear and winning are positively correlated.

3 new champions on the back ends of their career were crowned this year. First, 39-year-old and former UFC title challenger John Dodson became the king of the flyweights at BKFC 48. In October, 40-year-old Keith Richardson capped off a 4-0 year in BKFC by winning the bantamweight title in his home state of South Carolina. To conclude the year, lifelong bare knuckle fighter and 40-year-old Mick Terrill won via knockout at BKFC 56. He joined a historic group of current English heavyweight champions alongside Tyson Fury and Tom Aspinall.

Many champions over 40 also held onto their belts in 2023. Pound-for-pound best fighter Luis Palomino, aged 43, successfully defended his lightweight strap. Also, this year, 41-year-old Lorenzo Hunt defended his cruiserweight and light heavyweight titles. Representing the ladies, 41-year-old Christine Ferea defended her flyweight title twice.

Is being old the key to gold in the squared circle? Let’s see how the championed veterans fare in 2024.

The fighting spirit of Melanie Shah

Melanie Shah made history in her title fight defeat at BKFC 51. The 41-year-old joined the illustrious club of athletes who competed for a world title after becoming a mother. This rare category includes 23-time grand slam tennis champion Serena Williams, former UFC champions Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena, and 2-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison.

In a fight where Shah lost teeth, she showed her warrior spirit and kept coming forward. Fans praised her toughness, as she fought in another bloody war 2 months prior. From giving birth 3 times to putting on a fight that resembled Nate Diaz, Shah proved she is one of the most resilient human beings on earth. Perhaps she can fight for the “Queen of Violence” title in 2024.

What other BKFC moments took your breath away in 2023? Let us know in the comments below.

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