Have you seen Bare Knuckle Fighting FC? Well Bare knuckle fighting has been happening throughout human history long before MMA or Boxing was really born.
Well with Bare Knuckle Fighting FC (BKFC) this unarmed combat sport from our history has been revitalised – it has picked up some steam in recent years and never to such a higher peak of interest then this past weekend, where at BKFC 6 Artem Lobov defeated Paulie Malinaggi via unanimous decision.
The fight got so much attention in the build up mainly because of the beef between Paulie Malinaggi and Conor McGregor, which stemmed from a sparring session when Conor was preparing to fight Floyd Mayweather in boxing and Artem Lobov is a long time friend and sparring partner of Conor McGregor.
Conor released a clip of him dropping Malinaggi in this sparring session, its fair to say that Malinaggi did not respond well to this clip being released – his argument was that he slipped, he wasn’t dropped and that if the full footage was released it would show a close sparring session with Conor apparently.
Anyway this fight itself of Paulie Malinaggi vs Artem Lobov really was a story of Paulie using good footwork and boxing skills to evade much exchanging in the pocket and point fight. Meanwhile Lobov was coming forward most of the fight, landing bigger shots and doing more damage.
Honestly if it was a boxing bout I think Paulie would have just squeezed a decision, but in MMA this bare knuckle fighting match showed that Artem would likely win an MMA bout fairly easily and was rightfully given the nod to win a fairly close fight.
The whole fight felt a bit anticlimactic to me, but numbers don’t lie and in amongst a weekend with a UFC and Bellator event BKFC stole the combat sports world attention.
Here’s some highlights from the fight –
How does BKFC work?
So at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship firstly of course the fighters have no gloves of any kind, only wrist/thumb wraps are allowed. This fundamentally makes BKFC totally different from MMA and a million miles from Boxing because obviously no fighters in BKFC get any hand support from the strikes they throw, it’s all bone on bone so moving forward it is likely that more fighters will get hand injuries in BKFC then in MMA or Boxing.
Paulie did mention breaking his hand in the fight and Artem’s had really puffy sore hands after his last BKFC fight against Jason Knight which was a crazy fight.
No gloves makes the hands more cutting to the skin as well, so cuts are much more common in BKFC then MMA or Boxing for the most part – just look at Artems past two BKFC fights against Paulie Malinaggi and Jason Knight before – Artems face took more cuts and bruises then most of his MMA fights combined.
Also in BKFC the ring is of a boxing style with ropes, but it is a circle not a square, referred to as a “squared circle” so there is no rigid corners to the ring so to speak which can change how fighters have to fight.
In BKFC two lines in the middle of the Squared Circle is where fighters start the round and each round is two minutes in length and the amount of rounds are 5, 7 and 9 for championship fights.
When the Ref says Knuckle up that’s how every round starts, only punches allowed in a BKFC bout, clinch strikes are allowed, but just as in MMA and Boxing no biting, low blows or eye pokes are allowed.
Fighters can win by KO, Ref stoppage and decision – the fights themselves are scored and fighters are rewarded by the owners based on their aggression in the fight, willingness to come forward and exchange in the pocket. The owner David Feldman seems to be doing a great job so far, with reports showing that BKFC fighters are getting paid very well, arguably better then many MMA fighters.
How do you feel?
Sometimes when I’m watching BKFC it feels like a blend of boxing and early day MMA, because the fights can be brutal and bloody due to no gloves, like early MMA. But the ring itself, the referees interaction, press conferences and the general presentation of BKFC has a Boxing vibe.
I think that no matter how you feel about BKFC it will be a success, the numbers of PPV buys and general attention this past weekend doesn’t lie.
But as far as the sport itself as an MMA purist I don’t like the limitation of skill sets to only be punches in BKFC, I get it but I just am so used to all the limbs being thrown and exchanging.
I also am not particularly fond of the focus on brawling, it’s entertaining but a stupid way to always fight like in real life. I also don’t like how more retired or losing MMA fighters are trying BKFC, I don’t like the idea of watching some of my heroes getting whooped in a brawl, so brain damage does worry me with old MMA fighters doing BKFC, please Chuck Liddell and fighters from that generation stay away from BKFC.
But I also like a lot of things about BKFC, I like the bare knuckles in BKFC as I do sometimes miss the bare knuckle days in MMA. BKFC is so raw lots of upside, sometimes it’s like going in some strange time machine to when bare knuckle fighting was common a few hundred years ago and even further back into the ancient world even.
I also like the short sharp rounds in BKFC and the scoring of aggression as it does push fighters to pull the trigger instead of being hesitant, although at the sametime the focus on aggression might give some a seedy overly bloodthirsty after taste too.
I also like that the owners of BKFC seem to understand very well how to sell a fight based on beef. Also as much as I whined about seeing MMA vets crossing into BKFC from a brain damage perspective, at the same time it is good to see a financial option for MMA fighters at the end of their career when in many cases before BKFC, financial options dry up when they cant fight competitively in MMA anymore.
Anyway that’s it from me about BKFC, now I want to know how you feel about BKFC? post it in the comments below and let’s get some discussion going about this long tested in history, but new revitalised avenue for combat sports athletes.
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