OPINION: 6 MMA Fighters Who’d Fare Well in Bare Knuckle Boxing
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) just wrapped up their debut show on Saturday, June 2. The card brought action, excitement, and blood – all what fight fans truly crave. Bare knuckle boxing has been around since the beginning of time and now the sport is back in the Unites States and hopefully here to stay.
The first Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship saw a few MMA fighters try their fists at the sport. Now the promotion needs to find more fighters suitable to step in their ring. And for those wondering why contracted UFC fighters aren’t on this list, it’s because the UFC most likely wouldn’t allow it.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – The former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion is one the best pure boxers in mixed martial arts. His athletic but hard hitting style would fit perfectly in a bare knuckle fight. Although Jackson has more wins by submission, he does have nine knockouts. Jackson also has two professional kickboxing matches – he won both including one by knockout. Not only would Rampage Jackson bring his fists ready to throw but he would also bring his charisma. Jackson is still an incredibly marketable fighter with a large fan base, it would benefit BKFC to get Rampage in their ring.
Chuck Liddell – Although the former Light-Heavyweight champion hasn’t fought since 2010, it has been said Chuck Liddell is interested in fighting again. MMA might not be the greatest option at this point only because the sport has evolved so much. But a boxing match would suit Liddell. He’s always been one of the best strikers in MMA and it’s likely, even though he’s 48, that his boxing would still be competitive. Like Jackson, Liddell’s name would be able to generate pay-per-views and put fans in seats.
Heather Hardy – Currently one of the best female boxers, Heather Hardy would be a perfect fit for bare knuckle boxing. Hardy’s boxing is top-notch when it comes to female strikers. A transition to bare knuckle boxing should be pretty easy for the former WBC International Featherweight champion and current NABF Featherweight title holder. In fact, just this week Hardy showed interest on Twitter. It’s a match made in heaven to be honest!
Michael “Venom” Page – Michael Page hasn’t lost a single MMA fight. Or a boxing match. And he even won a professional kickboxing fight. His striking sets everything else up. In a span of eight months, Page will have fought in three fights – two in boxing and one in MMA. The guy just wants to fight. “MVP” is extremely marketable and fans love him. It’s kind of a no-brainer to get Michael Page in the bare knuckle ring – if he’s down for the fight.
Mirco “Cro Cop” Filipovic – He might be old (43) but Mirco Filipovic is still fighting. Not only is he still active but “Cro Cop” hasn’t lost a fight in four years! Some might say that Mirco Filipovic is the best striker in all of MMA and the argument is pretty valid. Not only is Cro Cop a former Pride champion but he’s also a kickboxing champion and an amateur boxer. The guy knows how to fight and his striking still very good. It would be cool to see Cro Cop in a bare knuckle boxing fight.
Vitor Belfort – The loss to Lyota Machida at UFC 224 was supposedly his last fight. But if BKFC reached out to Vitor Belfort they might be able to get him to fight. The man has a brutal standup game that is on par with some of the best in MMA. Belfort, a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, hold the record for most knockouts in UFC history and a majority of them came via his hands. Although Belfort has never boxed professionally the sport fits how he fights.
If just a couple of these fighters are to be signed by Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship it would bring more eyes to the promotion and to the sport. These are fighters will stand and trade punches, whether they’re wearing gloves or just wrap. Bottom line is that Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship’s first event was well received and watched by many. Now they need to build on their success and bring in one or two big name fighters to grab the attention of fans of combat sports.
Oh and there’s a certain current UFC champion that also showed a lot of interest in the sport!