BKFC President David Feldman remains tight-lipped about the specifics of his recent discussion with UFC CEO Dana White, but it seems they have forged a new connection within the combat sports community. After BKFC 57 concluded on Friday night, Feldman addressed a photo circulating online, depicting him and White engaged in a conversation. BKFC’s recent surge includes efforts to gain sanctioning in California and Nevada.
California has already given its approval for bare-knuckle fighting, with BKFC announcing KnuckleMania IV scheduled for Los Angeles on April 27. Feldman has consistently emphasized that he doesn’t view the UFC as a direct competitor, highlighting the distinct nature of bare-knuckle fighting compared to MMA. Despite this, BKFC continues to draw substantial attendance, with over 8,000 tickets sold in Utah during BKFC 56 in December.
During his interview with MMA Fighting Feldman said:
“It was more of just creating an ally. That’s really all I have to say. It was great meeting, he’s a great guy. He’s doing his thing with UFC, and we’re going to do our thing with BKFC. We’re going to be the biggest combat sport on the planet.
Looking ahead, Feldman expressed openness to potential collaborations with the UFC, particularly exploring cross-promotion deals. This would involve allowing fighters from both organizations to participate in each other’s events. Previously, BKFC engaged in such arrangements when Bellator MMA permitted Michael “Venom” Page to compete in a bare-knuckle fight against Mike Perry.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship became a popular destination amongst the former UFC fighters. Next to mentioned earlier Mike Perry, in the BKFC’s circular ring fans saw such names as Chris Leben, Paige Vanzant, Luke Rockhold, Eddie Alvarez, Dan Hardy, Justin Lane, and even Conor McGregor. The Irishman restricted his appearance to a face-off with Perry after his win against Lane at BKFC 41.
Despite “Platinum” being the current face of the promotion you can say that “The Crippler” paved the way for other UFC alumni in the bare-knuckle boxing circuit. First, he defeated a fellow UFC veteran at the inaugural World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation event. After a financial dispute with the promotion, he switched his attention to BKFC. He made his promotional debut at BKFC 5 by knocking out Justin Baesman in just 25 seconds. At BKFC 6 he suffered his sole loss against Dakota Cochrane. He bounced back at BKFC KnuckleMania by knocking out Quentin Henry in the first round.
According to Feldman, talent transfers and good relations with other promotions are key to the growth of BKFC.
“We want to grow our sport. We want to make our sport the biggest it can be. If that means teaming up with other promotions, we have nothing against doing anything like that, because we think that it’s just going to make the sport grow and the company grow and the business grow. So anything that’s going to make it grow, we’re down for it.”
Feldman articulated a positive stance on partnerships with other organizations, emphasizing the potential for collective growth in the sport. He mentioned a recent meeting with RIZIN president Nobuyuki Sakakibara and welcomed dignitaries from Abu Dhabi to BKFC 57. These interactions align with BKFC’s broader strategy for global expansion, as they have previously hosted events in locations like Thailand and the U.K.
“We had people from all over the world in attendance tonight. They all loved it, and we’re going to expand everywhere.”