This weekend BKFC 41 is outshining the UFC with a card that offers four household names for MMA fans. Headlining the event in Colorado this weekend is Mike Perry (who has been at this for a while now) and former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold (who is brand new to bare knuckle). The co-main event sees Chad Mendes take on former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
Also on the main card is Bec Rodriguez (who you may remember as Bec Rawlings) taking on Christine Ferea in a bout between two women who have really crafted a home for themselves in bare knuckle boxing.
Our staff has looked at those three match-ups and picked who they think will get a bloody and broken hand raised at the end of them. In the main event, we’re kinda split. Six of us are going with Perry and three are behind Rockhold.
You can check out the rest of our BKFC 41 picks below.
BKFC 41 is a pay-per-view being offered on FITE.TV. It airs at 9pm ET on April 29 and costs $49.99. You can find ordering information here.
BKFC 41 picks
Mike Perry vs. Luke Rockhold
Victor Rodriguez: Man, look: if there’s one thing I trust Mike Perry to do, it’s throw hands recklessly. That is pure Florida convict energy in each shot he throws. Meanwhile, Luke’s been dropped a bunch and knocked out, plus he’s been in and out playing footsie with being gone for good from combat sports for way too long.
That kind of attitude gets you punished badly, and I gotta trust the guy with the better chin that also knows what it’s like to be in the fire of bare knuckle fights against a guy dipping his toes in the game after a bunch of “will he/wont’ he” and a ton of pre-existing damage. Great on name value, but a terrible matchup. Mike Perry by knockout, round 2.
Tim Bissell: I don’t know who convinced Luke to do this, but whoever did is not his friend. And if this is completely his own idea – yikes. I don’t think anyone with a history of being starched like he has (5 of 6 losses by knockout) should be allowed to do this. He’s bigger and more athletic than Perry, sure, and he can move his body more gracefully, too, but in this kind of fight, none of that is going to matter. He’s going to get hit. A lot. Perry is ferocious and really does not give a f**k about being hit.
He’s going eat one to land one, but I think he’ll be able to shrug off whatever Rockhold puts on him. Sadly, I don’t see Rockhold being able to last long and we’re going to see him slumped in the corner, eyes glazed over and jaw sagging like we’ve already seen too many times before. Mike Perry by KO, round 1.
Zane Simon: Luke Rockhold’s last UFC bout went a long way to proving that the former Strikforce and UFC champ isn’t nearly as done as I thought he was. It did not, however, go a long way to making me feel that he’s going to be some kind of shining success as a late-career boxer. Mike Perry was always made for bare knuckle, it’s his arena to shine and I expect him to continue finding good success there. Size difference be damned, Mike Perry via decision.
Eddie Mercado: This would be Luke’s worst loss since Tony Rubalcava back in 2007, so I’m going to try and talk myself into picking Luke. Perry is used to fighting at 170-pounds, so Rockhold is going to be the larger man out there. If Rockhold stays long and can splatter the nose of Perry with his jab, then I think he could actually pull this one out. Luke Rockhold by decision.
Stephie Haynes: I can’t erase the image of Mike Perry having such a hard fight with Julian Lane from my memory banks enough to think he just runs off with this fight. I know Luke hasn’t looked great in recent years but his fight with Costa went better than I expected, even in a lopsided defeat. I think I’m gonna live dangerously and go with Rockhold by decision.
Staff picking Perry: Victor, Bissell, Lucas, Kristen, Dayne, Zane
Staff picking Rockhold: Eddie, Stephie, Chris
Chad Mendes vs. Eddie Alvarez
Victor Rodriguez: I’ve been a fan of Eddie since I saw him fight Crusher Kawajiri. I’ve been the conductor of the hype train through his Bellator run and the dramatic rivalry between him and Chandler. Seeing him win the UFC title had me ecstatic, and was so sad to see him fight in a way that was the opposite of smart against McGregor. Have I made it evident enough that I’m a fan?
Yeah, I want to pick him. But no way am I gonna do that here. He gets dropped early and often, and much like above, Chad’s been here before. Plus he’s got dynamite hands and his hand speed is a problem. Sorry, Eddie. Still love you, but this might be a bit much. Chad Mendes by TKO.
Tim Bissell: I think this is far more competitive than the main event, with both men having a reputation for toughness and dangerous striking. I think Mendes has the edge on power and Alvarez on volume. And in this kind of fight, I pick power. These punches hurt to deliver so you need to make them count. Alvarez will lose his ability to pepper in shots pretty quickly, once his knuckles start breaking. But Mendes is going to be throwing only KO shots and I think he’s going to land enough to finish this fight. Mendes also has the experience edge over Alvarez, having been in there sans gloves on one previous occasions. Chad Mendes by TKO, round two.
Zane Simon: I’d really like this to go better for Eddie Alvarez than I think it will. He’s been such a dog for so long in MMA, and a fighter with surprisingly solid boxing skill that tends to sharpen as fights go on. But, he’s also been a very hurtable fighter his whole career. And a lot of what made his boxing work so well in MMA was that he had options to do other things that people had to think about as well. It wasn’t ever just get punched and keep getting punched.
That seems like a bad recipe for a still yolked Chad Mendes who has some real pop in his hands. If Alvarez can gut his way through early and get Mendes slow down, maybe he can brawl his way into things for a classic comeback, but I gotta take Chad Mendes via KO, round 1.
Eddie Mercado: Broomfield, Colorado sits at an elevation of 5,420 feet. If Mendes doesn’t catch Alvarez early, then his gas tank is going to be tested. Mendes is moving up in weight for this, so Eddie is likely to carry more heft in his hands later in the match. I think this becomes a war of attrition, and I gotta take Alvarez at altitude. Eddie Alvarez by decision.
Stephie Haynes: Eddie has been in the fight game for ages. Fighting grueling tournaments and all-out wars since 2003. That’s right kids, Eddie is now a 20-year veteran. Mendes didn’t make his pro debut until 2008 and has fought much less, taken less damage and overall, has preserved his fighting health better. He looked great in his debut and demonstrated big power. I can’t put any faith into Alvarez pulling this off, especially given how he’s looked over the last 5 years. Mendes via TKO.
Staff picking Mendes: Victor, Bissell, Lucas, Kristen, Dayne, Zane, Stephie, Chris
Staff picking Alvarez: Eddie
Christine Ferea vs. Bec Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez: Ferea has been frightening with her power, even in fights she doesn’t win. And she’s got this bare knuckle thing down pat. Her Muay Thai foundation might be a part of it, she’s just a hellacious striker. And Bec, well… she’s tough. That’s never been in doubt. At a power disadvantage, I don’t see her having the mobility or volume to make up for the damage she’s going to take. Christine Ferea by decision.
Tim Bissell: This one is going to go the distance and both these women will be a bloody mess by the end of it. Both Rodriguez and Ferea know how to do this by now and balance causing pain to their opponent and pain to themselves. That doesn’t mean they won’t let rip, I just think they’ll be smart about it, working the body, measuring distance with the jab and unleashing power at the right time (not every time).
I think Ferea might struggle to keep Rodriguez in front of her, but even so, I like her tenacity and willingness to push the pace of a fight. I think she will be able to chase Rodriguez down and hurt her against the ropes on route to a decision win. Christine Ferea by decision
Zane Simon: Given how really honestly bad, and seemingly unprepared athletically Ferea was as an MMA fighter, her success in bare knuckle boxing feels like a bit of a shock. But whatever she’s doing, it seems to be working well. Rawlings has always been an all-heart competitor who has had trouble making an impact on her fights beyond her willingness to battle through adversity. That doesn’t seem to have changed with the change from cage to ring. Christine Ferea by decision.
Staff picking Ferea: Victor, Bissell, Lucas, Kristen, Dayne, Zane, Eddie, Stephie
Staff picking Rodriguez: Chris
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