After a shocking turn of events, UFC veteran Chad Mendes has postponed his MMA return to sign a multi-fight deal with BKFC. Although bare-knuckle boxing tends to get a bad rep, their ability to pay their fighters more has led to a new wave of talent.
With Mendes officially set to make his bare-knuckle debut on October 22nd, fans will have to wait to find out who he will fight. Mendes has not said what weight class he will be fighting at or potential opponents. With that being said, we are here to discuss possible options for Mendes’s BKFC debut.
One guy willing to take any fight is none other than Charles Bennett. At 41 years old, Bennett has fought in BKFC and Gamebred FC over the past year. He has fought at both lightweight and featherweight, which makes him a solid opponent for Mendes.
Although Bennett may be seen as a tune-up fight, his bare-knuckle experience gives him an edge over Mendes. Throw in the fact that he is marketable to die-hard fans, and Bennett vs. Mendes has the potential to be on that October 22nd fight card.
Since joining BKFC last year, Tyler Goodjohn has been the best trash talker in promotional history. After a short stint as a porn star, Goodjohn made his BKFC debut with a decision win against Bennett. As a result of his debut win, Goodjohn found himself in a title fight against BKFC GOAT Luis Palomino. Despite losing by decision, Goodjohn proved his worth against a tough opponent.
Although he fights at lightweight, Mendes moving up in weight for bare-knuckle would not be a shocker. Therefore, if BKFC chooses to put Mendes against a proven opponent, a fight against Goodjohn would have an intense buildup and lead to a war between two savages.
Loser of Johnny Bedford vs. Reginald Barnett Jr.
Finally, the best option for Mendes is the loser of the bantamweight championship fight between Johnny Bedford and Reginald Barnett Jr. on August 20th. Although this fight will be at 135 pounds, both fighters have fought at higher weights with BKFC. The loser of this fight should be willing to fight Mendes because of his popularity and credentials that could help them get back on track.
Mendes and BKFC should consider this fight because either fighter offers a real test to the former UFC title challenger. One problem that may arise is the loser being unable to fight at the end of October because of injury. All things considered, Mendes’s BKFC debut will be must-see action regardless of his opponent.