UFC superstar and former ‘champ-champ’ Conor McGregor stirred up a few conversations about a possible bare-knuckle boxing transition recently when he faced off with Mike Perry at BKFC 41. “The Notorious” himself expressed openness in a fight against Perry, which “Platinum” very much welcomes in his future.
OG MMA veteran and bare-knuckle boxer Houston Alexander sees some success for McGregor, but he advises other MMA fighters to stay away from the sport.
UFC vet advises MMA fighters to steer clear from bare-knuckle
Alexander (17-16-1, with 2 NC in MMA), who turned 51 in March, continues to compete under the BKFC banner. He holds a clean 3-0 slate, all of which he won by stoppage. And he told TMZ in a recent interview, having the skills for mixed martial arts doesn’t equate to automatic success in bare-knuckle boxing.
“I think bare-knuckle separates the men from the boys, literally. Because you have to know how to box. You have to know stand-up and you have to know positioning, and you really have to know what you’re doing there, as far as using your hands, as far as skills.
“The MMA guys found out that, again, bare-knuckle is no joke because you have to know how to box. Bare-knuckle exposes a lot of people who don’t know how to throw these hands.”
Alexander didn’t generalize, but he did advise non-boxing specialists to stay away from the sport.
“If you got MMA guys who just concentrate on just kicking or jiu-jitsu, please don’t get into this type of sport,” he said. “Because it’s gonna expose your boxing, and you’re gonna get hurt.
“There’s a lot of guys out there doing it, that I think are qualified. But you just gotta make sure you know what you’re doing, boxing-wise.”
UFC star Conor McGregor expected to do well
When asked to name MMA fighters who could potentially do well in bare-knuckle, Alexander named UFC superstar Conor McGregor. He did, however, mention a caveat.
“Of course, Conor McGregor. The guys who know how to strike, who know positioning, and then who know how to actually box. A lot of boxers that are out there right now that are on the boxing circuit would do well,” he said.
“I think Conor, he has to really, really pay attention to the details when it comes to bare-knuckle. Because there’s a certain way you have to hold your hands up, there’s a certain way you have to position yourself. Because again, it’s one slight move with this, you can cut your face open, your head open with just one hit.
Alexander mentioned one of McGregor’s skills that he believes would translate well.
“But the positioning of bare-knuckle is very important, and I think Conor has good positioning. But if you go in there with your hands down, and you’re not keeping yourself true to the standards, you’re gonna get hit and beat.”
McGregor does have enough leverage to make the transition if he wanted to, regardless if he’s still under contract with the UFC. His next Octagon appearance still remains in limbo.
As for Alexander, he will headline BKFC 43 this Friday in Omaha against Jeremy Smith.
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