Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship is one of the fastest-rising combat sports organizations in the world. Debuting in 2018, BKFC is the first promotion to hold an official state-sanctioned and commissioned bare-knuckle boxing event since the late 1800s.
Since its inception, BKFC has signed some of combat sports’ biggest names including Hector Lombard, Paige VanZant, Artem Lobov, ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry, Felice Herrig, Chad Mendes, John Dodson, and many more. Recently, the promotion announced a blockbuster signing of Muay Thai legend Buakaw Banchamek. The organization continues to grow at a staggering pace, but it’s not just the names that make BKFC popular. It’s the insane hard-hitting action that gets produced inside the squared circle.
Today, we begin our journey to find the 10 most insanely brutal and bloody bare-knuckle wars to ever go down inside the BKFC ring.
#10 – Artem Lobov vs. Jason Knight at BKFC 5
The first fight on the list takes us back to BKFC 5 when two recently released UFC fighters toed the line in the evening’s main event. Given the spotlight based on the name recognition, Artem Lobov vs. Jason Knight gave the fans in Biloxi, Mississippi a five-round brawl that is still one of the absolute best bare-knuckle wars ever recorded on film.
From the opening bell, both fighters were throwing heavy. Knight landed a short left just 15 seconds into the scrap, knocking Lovob to the mat. Back on his feet, Lobov went after Knight. With 40 seconds to go in the round, Lobov caught Knight with a left as he was moving, dropping Knight. Lobov repeated his success in round two knocking Knight to the canvas once again with another short left as the opposition was moving in.
From there, it was the Artem Lobov show. He would go on to knock Knight down for a third time with a big overhand left that landed behind Knight’s ear, throwing off his equilibrium and sending him to the mat. In the end, Lobov would win the fight via unanimous decision, but Knight never once backed down and did everything to draw Lobov into a firefight.
#9 – Christine Ferea vs. Helen Peralta at BKFC 7
No. 9 on the list brings us to a war between current BKFC flyweight world champion Christine Ferea and heavy-hitter Helen Peralta who recently appeared on season 30 of The Ultimate Fighter. Going down at BKFC 7 in Biloxi, Mississippi, the two brawlers gave fans arguably the best BKFC fight of 2019 in a five-round war.
Following a fairly competitive first round, it was Ferea who started to pull away, landing a beautiful left counter as Peralta lunged in for a shot 30 seconds into the second round. Noticeably pissed off from getting dropped, Peralta stormed back like a tornado throwing a flurry of strikes that overwhelmed and dropped Ferea.
For another three rounds, Peralta would push the pace and stay in constant pursuit of Ferea. In the end, Peralta would score the win to become the Police Gazette Women’s Featherweight American Champion in one of the promotion’s greatest fights of all time.
#8 – Tom Shoaff vs. Joe Elmore at BKFC 12
The next fight on the list brings us to BKFC 12. Emanating from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida on September 11, 2020, the event brought us a contender for BKFC’s 20202 fight of the year and one many consider to be one of the best fights in promotional history.
On that night, Tom Shoaff met Joe Elmore in a five-round lightweight war. Early in the contest, Elmore appeared to be in control, dropping Shoaff with a solid right in the first round. He would hit the mat once again in the second round after Elmore landed a lightning-quick left counter, sitting the taller fighter down.
Becoming protective of a nasty cut above his right eye, Elmore was backed up by the lengthier fighter in the later rounds, but it mattered not as Elmore would score two more knockdowns including a perfectly placed overhand right. In the end, Elmore would score the decision.
#7 – ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry vs. Julian Lane at Knucklemania 2
Following his exit from the UFC, ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry signed with BKFC and immediately made headlines when he was matched up with the man famous for coining the phrase, “let me bang, bro.” The Ultimate Fighter alumni Julian Lane welcomed Perry to the squared circle at the promotion’s second annual Knucklemania event following an intense buildup that saw Perry bust out a baseball bat during the pre-event press conference.
Luckily for the fans, Perry and Lane saved the best for the ring. ‘Platinum’ got started early with a knockdown 30 seconds into the fight, but to paraphrase Lane, the Virginian came to bang. Lane stayed in the five-round war, but a cut to his left eye made it difficult for him to see. Perry took advantage, counterstriking effectively and taking a more measured approach compared to Lane’s ‘let me bang’ style.
Mike Perry’s first foray into bare-knuckle boxing was a rousing success. ‘Platinum’ returns to the squared circle on August 20th when BKFC invades London. On that night, he meets Bellator MMA superstar Michael ‘Venom’ Page in a highly anticipated crossover bout at BKFC 27.
# 6 – Taylor Starling vs. Charisa Sigala at Knucklemania
BKFC’s first annual Knucklemania event featured some of the promotion’s biggest stars at the time including Johnny Bedford, Chris Leben, Lorenzo Hunt, and the BKFC debut of Paige VanZant. However, it was Taylor Starling and Charisa Sigala who were the talk of the town following a bloody and brutal war between the two photogenic scrappers. In fact, the fight was so violent that YouTube won’t let us embed the video in this article, but you can watch it free on the BKFC YouTube channel right here.
Right from the opening bell, ‘Killa Bee’ and Sigala went after each other, throwing fists without caution. A minute in, Starling landed a straight right that sat Sigala down. Sigala went down once again in the second, but she was far from finished. Starling was in control as they entered the third round, but Sigala was unrelenting in her pursuit until the final bell.
When it was all said and done, Starling scored the unanimous decision win as both fighters were left with the scars of a five-round war. On August 27th, Taylor Starling will get her shot at BFKC gold when she faces reigning flyweight champion Christine Ferea at BKFC 28. Sigala will return to the squared circle against fan-favorite Paige VanZant when the promotion invades London on August 20th.
That concludes part one of the top 10 craziest BKFC fights. Comment below with some of your favorite wars inside the squared circle and be on the lookout for part two where we count down the top five fights in BKFC history.
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images