This Saturday, on February 5th at 9 p.m. EST from the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida, the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is hosting its KnuckleMania, which is available to watch on major platforms via PPV, as well as on FITE.TV. While there’s a lot to look forward to on the main card — specifically the headlining matchup between Paige VanZant and Britain Hart, which is VanZant’s debut in the BKFC — let’s not overlook the prelims.
Seven months removed from the conclusion of her run as one of the most popular and scrutinized UFC fighters in company history, 26-year-old Paige VanZant begins a new era when she steps into the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship ring for the first time.
VanZant (8-5 in MMA) signed a lucrative deal last August to become the face of BKFC where she’ll look to bring plenty of eyeballs to the fledgling promotion in the headlining bout of Friday’s “Knucklemania” pay-per-view card (9 p.m. ET) from Lakeland, Florida.
BKFC’s decision to save VanZant’s debut for Super Bowl weekend just down the road from where the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face off this weekend is no coincidence. Because of that, there’s no shortage of pressure on VanZant, a former “Dancing With The Stars” cast member, to not only win but look great doing so.
VanZant, who turned down multiple offers from MMA promotions during her short run as a sought after free agent, will take on Britain Hart (1-2 in BKFC, 4-4-3 in boxing), a 30-year-old native of Utah.
“I’m in the absolute prime of my career. Not a lot of people have left the UFC in their prime,” VanZant told “Morning Kombat” last month. “Being 26, I do feel like this moment in BKFC is only going to make my career longer. It’s going to give me more years to keep competing because although people see it as a barbaric sport, there was a study put out that bare knuckle boxing is actually longterm less dangerous than MMA.
“You get less concussions, less broken hands, less longterm injuries. I think it’s just going to elongate my career and show what I can do in boxing and get my resume that much better.”
The prelim fights feature some solid bouts to look forward to as well, and they’re all FREE to stream on YouTube, with the action starting at 8 p.m. EST. Here’s a look at those scheduled fights.
- Dave Morgan vs. Travis Thompson (Bantamweight)
- Jarod Grant vs. Brandon Lambert (Bantamweight)
- Haim Gozali vs. John McAllister (Heavyweight)
- Drew Lipton vs. Jeff Bailey (Middleweight)
Now, considering the KnuckleMania prelims will be the perfect appetizer for the main event, you might as well sit back and watch the free stream on YouTube before diving into the main course. Just look at the main card schedule and start to salivate, because these are bound to be insane fights.
Watching tape of Hart produces equal levels of good and bad as to how she might fare against VanZant.
On the plus side, Hart is plenty scrappy and showed a quick and accurate jab against Rawlings. She also had success at times forcing the clinch and implementing dirty boxing strategies — legal under BKFC’s unique rule set — that include using one arm to apply a headlock while punching with the other. The bad news is that Hart has been less than stellar as a pro boxer where two of her four wins have come against fighters with a combined record of 0-7.
BKFC ‘KnuckleMania’ Main Event On or PPV
- Paige Van Zant vs. Britain Hart (Featherweight)
BKFC ‘KnuckleMania’ Main Card On or PPV
- Johnny Bedford vs. Dat Nguyen (BKFC Bantamweight title match)
- Chris Leben vs. Quentin Henry (Heavyweight)
- Dillon Cleckler vs. Chris Jensen (Heavyweight)
- Lorenzo Hunt vs. Rob Morrow (Light Heavyweight)
- Charisa Sigala vs. Taylor Starling (Women’s Bantamweight)
- Martin Brown vs. Zach Zane (Lightweight)
- John Chalbeck vs. Greg Bono (Featherweight)
MMA Fighting has BKFC Knucklemania results for the VanZant vs. Hart event Friday night, a live blog of the main event, and live BKFC Knucklemania Twitter updates.
In the main event, UFC veteran Paige VanZant makes her highly anticipated BKFC debut against Britain Hart in a featherweight contest.
Johnny Bedford will square off against Dat Nguyen in a BKFC bantamweight title match in the co-main event. Chris Leben will also fight for the final time on the main card.
Check out the BKFC Knucklemania results below.
Main card (PPV at 9 p.m. ET)
Paige VanZant vs. Britain Hart
Johnny Bedford vs. Dat Nguyen
Chris Leben Vs. Quentin Henry
Lorenzo Hunt vs. Rob Morrow
Martin Brown vs. Zach Zane
John Chalbeck vs. Greg Bono
Haim Gozali vs. John McAllister
Charisa Sigala vs. Taylor Starling
Dillon Cleckler vs. Chris Jensen
Prelims (MMA Fighting at 8 p.m. ET)
David Morgan vs. Travis Thompson
Jarod Grant vs. Brandon Lambert
Drew Lipton vs. Jeff Bailey