Best bareknuckle boxing card ever? UFC stars fill up BKFC 56

BKFC is closing out 2023 with one of the most stacked events in its history with BKFC 56 in December.

By: Kristen King | 1 month ago
Best bareknuckle boxing card ever? UFC stars fill up BKFC 56

BKFC heads to Salt Lake City with stacked card

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is ending the year with an exciting event. BKFC president David Feldman announced on Wednesday that the promotion would head to Salt Lake City for the first time on Dec. 2 with BKFC 56, a pay-per-view event loaded with some of its top-tier names.

“I’m going to break the Dec. 2 show that I have coming up,” said Feldman during an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “It’s going to be one of our biggest shows that we’ve ever done. ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry will be back and he’s going to take on the ‘Underground King’ Eddie Alvarez in the main event of that card. I think it’s going to be a sensational match-up.”

Mike Perry vs. Eddie Alvarez headlining BKFC 56

Mike Perry and Eddie Alvarez were featured on BKFC 41 this past April. Perry, who is no stranger to headlining a BKFC event, improved to 3-0 in the promotion with a second-round KO of former UFC champion Luke Rockhold

Shortly after the Rockhold win, Perry revealed that he completed his current BKFC contract. For a short period, the 32-year-old was a free agent, which led to some interesting ventures outside of the BKFC ring. ‘Platinum’ was tapped as a potential replacement for Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz and Logan Paul vs. Dillon Danis, neither of which needed his services as they went through without issue. So, he found himself re-signing with BKFC, and the first fight of his new multi-fight contract comes against Alvarez. 

On the same night as Perry, Alvarez toed the line for the first time in the co-headliner against fellow former UFC fighter Chad Mendes, who he defeated via split decision in a ‘Fight of the Night‘ awarded appearance. Following a successful first BKFC appearance, Alvarez vowed to continue with bare-knuckle boxing.

“I’ll be fighting again,” said Alvarez at the BKFC 41 post-fight press conference. “I say this because this training camp for me was like, I wanted to try something new. This is something new for me. I’ve never done this before. But when you take away the wrestling and the kicks and the knees and the elbows – I know my face looks like this, but this is going to go away in two weeks. The training camp was so much more enjoyable than an MMA training camp. Chad would know this and guys who do MMA would know this. The training camp for bareknuckle is so enjoyable.”

BKFC 56 is seriously stacked.

Perry, Alvarez already hyping up their upcoming fight

Alongside BKFC president David Feldman, the ‘Underground King’ Eddie Alvarez also appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. What started off as your typical interview turned into some pre-fight hype when Mike Perry decided to call in and cause a stir with his next opponent.

“Eddie Alvarez, I appreciate the match-up,” said Perry. “I think you’re a little crazy for this to be your match-up, especially saying you wanted this fight first. You had a little banger with Chad Mendes, but I’m definitely steps above that, so I’m excited. And you’re looking kind of thick, so I’m excited to see what my punches do to that flubber.

“He’s beaten some great competition [like] Rafael Dos Anjos,” continued Perry. “There’s other guys that he shouldn’t have beaten, that people look at and they’re like, ‘How?’ I know I look at them, and I’m like, ‘Damn, I can’t believe he got wins over those guys. He’s been in the game a long time. I don’t think this is a great matchup for him in boxing. I think what Conor McGregor did to him with the hands — and that’s after he beat Rafael dos Anjos. And it’s bare-knuckle. Chad messed his face up pretty good. I just think — I’ll take it, man. Easy work. Easy money.”

When Alvarez re-joined the interview, he responded to Perry saying he was ‘easy money‘ ahead of their fight.

“I’ve never been easy money, and he’s knows that,” said Alvarez. “He knows that’s silly to even say. Every fight I’ve been in in this manner, I’ve won. I’ve won them all. I’m not going to lie, the guy is big and scary. He’s big and scary to everyone. Even to myself. And that’s what gets me up at night, that’s what makes me excited about this match-up. 

“He’s hittable, he’s big, he’s clunky, he’s very hittable, and when he goes against smaller guys, he does worse,” continued Alvarez. “The bigger and slower his opponent gets, the better he does. I’m not a big, slow opponent. I’m fast, I’m going to move, and I’m going to hit you a lot. And at 175, I don’t hit like the lightweight I used to fight at. At 175, these shots are going to come hard and heavy.”

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 4: Mike Perry attends the BKFC 41 official pre-fight press conference, PK, Pressekonferenz on April 4, 2023, at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Amy Kaplan Icon Sportswire)
Amy Kaplan via Icon Sportswire, IMAGO

The current line-up of BKFC 56

Aside from Mike Perry vs. Eddie Alvarez, there are several former UFC fighters set to fight at BKFC 56 in December. ‘Big‘ Ben Rothwell returns fresh off his third-round (T)KO of Josh Copeland to face Todd Duffee, while Jeremy Stephens throws down with Jimmie Rivera.

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About the author
Kristen King
Kristen King

Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016, getting her start with outlets such as FanSided, MyMMANews and MMA-Prospects. She joined the BE team in 2020, covering a mix of news, events and injuries. In her time with BE, Kristen has created ‘Fright of the Night,’ a series that highlights some of the worst injuries in the sport.

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