Luke Rockhold is trading in his 4oz gloves for a pair of hand wraps as the former UFC middleweight champion is preparing to knuckle up for BKFC.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship president Dave Feldman dropped a series of bombshell announcements during Wednesday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. One of those announcements was the signing of former UFC and Strikeforce titleholder Luke Rockhold who will toe the line for the first time on April 29 as BKFC heads to the 1stBank Center in Colorado. Also announced for the event is the promotional debut of former UFC and Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez.
Following Feldman’s announcement, Rockhold appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss his transition from mixed martial artist to bare-knuckle brawler. During the conversation, Helwani asked if his BKFC paycheck was better than what he earned in his last UFC bout. Rockhold didn’t answer the question directly but made a motion with his hand suggesting that his BKFC pay will eclipse what he was making under Dana White and company.
“They take care of the fighters,” Rockhold told Helwani. “They take care of the people and give you what you’re worth.”
— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) March 1, 2023
Luke Rockhold will Headline BKFC 41, Knuckling Up Against Former UFC Standout ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry
With fighter pay being such a hot-button issue in recent years, more and more UFC fighters are heading to free agency. Perhaps the most notable is former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. After capturing the heavyweight title in spectacular fashion, ‘The Predator’ engaged in a very public spat with the UFC over what he believed was an unfavorable contract. After nearly two years of negotiations, both parties opted to sever ties, allowing Ngannou to seek a multi-million dollar payday in the world of boxing.
Luke Rockhold’s last Octagon appearance came in August when he returned after a three-year hiatus to battle former title challenger Paulo Costa at UFC 278. The pair delivered an incredibly entertaining, albeit bizarre three-round war that saw Costa escape with a unanimous decision victory. Following the contest, Rockhold indicated that it would be his last fight, but he later admitted that the right offer could bring him back into the world of combat sports.
“It was an offer I couldn’t refuse and I’m still a free agent,” Rockhold revealed. “That’s the beauty of life. That’s the beauty of where we’re at and where we’re going to keep it. BKFC, I’m loyal to them for sure if we stay in that space, but this is a one-term bound agreement and they gave me a fight with Mike Perry as the main event for this groundbreaking fight. I love it.
“Mike Perry is a f*cking… He’s a little dog. I like what’s in front of me and I like the opponent. I like the f*cking stage and it’s f*cking new. It’s different and it’s challenging. It’s f*cking scary and it’s f*cking fun and I love it.”
Clearly, Dave Feldman and the BKFC came correct with an offer that Rockhold simply could not turn down. Are you excited to see Luke Rockhold step into the squared circle later this year?