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(Aug. 3, 2018 - Source: Getty Images Europe)

The rise of Bare-Knuckle Fight: The newest trend in combat sports

In 1993, the Ultimate Fight Championship revolutionised mixed martial arts. In fact, it didn’t revolutionise MMA, it introduced it to the masses. In 2019, bare-knuckle boxing is the hot new entrant to combat sports and Bare Knuckle Fight Club is leading the charge as the sport’s top promotion.

Yes, bare-knuckle boxing is the latest trend in combat sports and despite many initial reactions to it being barbaric, it is very similar to the ultra-popular UFC. Although Bare Knuckle FC is the leading promotion, it isn’t the only show in town. Fight promotions have popped up all over the world with gloveless fights taking place.

What is Bare Knuckle FC?

Bare Knuckle FC held its first event in June 2018. The show marked the first bare-knuckle boxing show to be sanctioned in the United States since the 1880s. Like many of the original UFC shows that took place in 1993 and 1994, Bare Knuckle FC made use of specific regions in North America open to the fights.

The fight promotion will hold its sixth show on June 22nd in Tampa, Florida. Known as “The Line is Drawn”, the fight card is still being compiled and many of the company’s championship belts will be on the line during the show.

What’s the difference between Bare Knuckle FC and UFC?

The basic difference between Bare Knuckle FC and UFC is the former is all about stand up striking. It is boxing minus the hand protection. There are no chokes or submissions in the promotion.

Another difference between the companies is the arena in which fights occur. UFC has the octagon while Bare Knuckle FC uses a circular, four-rope boxing ring. Known as the squared circle, the ring provides an instantly identifiable platform for fighters to box in.

Of course, fighters do not wear gloves in bare-knuckle boxing. While many MMA promotions claim to be bare-knuckle fighting – the original UFC was gloveless – Bare Knuckle FC is true to their words. Fighters entering the squared circle are not allowed to tape or wrap their hands within one inch of their knuckles.

Is bare-knuckle boxing safe?

Proponents of bare-knuckle boxing will talk about the combat sport’s safety compared to UFC. Fighting without gloves means boxers must punch smarter and not harder. Hard punches can break a fighter’s hand and leave them without a chance to defend themselves.

In boxing and UFC, it is claimed that brain damage and other injuries can take place due to hands being wrapped and gloved. Fighters do not feel just how hard they punch opponents due to the fist coverings. Bare-knuckle fighting makes it possible for fighters to feel the contact with every strike and despite the bloody bouts, injuries can be lessened.

Of course, bouts can be bloody due to concrete hard knuckles making contact with thin skinned eyebrows.

According to Bare Knuckle FC, it only recruits “established professionals in boxing, MMA, kickboxing, or Muay Thai”. The company doesn’t just let any tough guy off the street into the squared circle. It gives the company immediate legitimacy.

Bare-knuckle fighting isn’t for everyone but 26 years ago, UFC wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea either. It may take a few years for Bare Knuckle FC to establish itself. Once it does, it could be the next combat sport to go mainstream.

About Drew Farmer

Drew Farmer
Drew’s work has appeared on a variety of sports and travel websites. He is also a published author having written the sports/travel book Soccer Travels.