Promotion executives certainly won’t agree and would probably argue they’re just scratching the surface of its potential, but Saturday’s Bare Knuckle FC 9 show, on which Jason Knight picked apart Artem Lobov for a fifth-round TKO in the headliner, felt like the climax of this experiment.
There was good drama and intrigue around the first couple BKFC events. The sheer violence of uncovered fists pounding exposed flesh was enough to draw in a segment of combat sports fanatics, and the original Knight vs. Lobov fight in April was just the memorable, water-cooler-moment type of fight the promotion needed to gain traction.
Since then, though, it’s felt like a lot of cramming and grasping at straws. The fact BKFC was able to reel Paulie Malignaggi out of retirement for a grudge match with Lobov in June was meaningful for its profile, but any semblance of legitimacy has since been bulldozed away with main-event fights like Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and the signing of “The Iranian Hulk,” Sajjad Gharibi, which was announced over the weekend.
Attracting the masses is such a challenge for BKFC that it had to roll out the Knight vs. Lobov rematch just seven months after their first fight. Typically that’s something you let marinate, but the options are so few and far between, it had to be done now. Hopefully they’ll wait on the trilogy bout, should it occur.
When all was said and done, the fight BKFC tried to push on fans was a rematch between Knight and Jim Alers, who had a “Fight of the Night” under the UFC banner in July 2017. That’s fine, but anyone who calls that appointment viewing (or even remembers their post-fight faceoff) is lying.
Although this sounds like all negativity toward BKFC, the promotion has value. It’s another spot for fighters to compete and gives jobs to people in the combat sports industry. ranging from production to public relations and more.
For someone like Knight in particular, BKFC is wonderful. He washed out of the UFC following four losses in a row, but now he’s arguably the face of BKFC and, from what he said pre-fight, is being paid handsomely for that position. Joey Beltran, who won the heavyweight title on Saturday’s card, is another name whose career is getting a second wind in fighting because of BKFC.
Unless BKFC is turning a profit, though, that money is only going to last so long. From all appearances, the investors have deep pockets and are wiling to spend, but it’s hard not to wonder how many bullets the company has left in the chambers to not just maintain, but grow, public interest in the product.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Where does Bare Knuckle FC go after the Jason Knight vs. Artem Lobov rematch?