Coming live at the RP Funding Center in Tampa, FL is Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship’s Super Bowl weekend extravaganza, Knucklemania. The co-main event of the evening features the BKFC Bantamweight Championship between incumbent Johnny Bedford (23-14-1, 1 NC in MMA, 5-0 in BKFC) and challenger Dat Nguyen (20-3-0 in Boxing, 3-0 in BKFC). They were scheduled to have fought previously in November of 2020 but was moved back to this weekend.
Bedford comes into Friday’s event undefeated in BKFC action after dropping his last two MMA fights in both July and September of 2017. Since then, he has been lights out, winning two of his five bouts via KO/TKO. The seasoned MMA veteran will be plenty tested when he goes head-to-head against another undefeated bare knuckler in Dat Nguyen, a seasoned boxer. Nguyen has won one of his two bouts via KO/TKO.
Many wonder what the future holds for both of these sluggers as Bedford is looking to continue making a name for himself. As for Nguyen, since being exiled from boxing due to dirty politics, he has been able to show how much he has in combat sports by competing in the counterculture promotion. Switching to bare-knuckle fighting has given him new hope and has made him more hopeful of having the success he once dreamed of with boxing. Back in October of 2019, he sat down with Fansided and discussed his dilemma.
“At one point I said screw boxing. I’m gonna go on and do other things in life. Boxing has basically took half of my life. I dedicated half of my life to the sport of boxing to be a world champion. As I realized this big win, it’s not my skill level that’s not getting me the fight. It’s all the people behind me. It made me realize that I don’t have the right people to push for a big fight. I was really disappointed.” — Dat Nyugen
For Bedford, like any fighter would imagine, this could prove to be a big test for him as boxing may be more artfully crafted than MMA. There is no other way to strike other than with their fists. Whose will be mightier come Friday night?
Knucklemania will take place at 9 PM ET. Go to the BKFC website to order, select your Pay-Per-View provider.