After being a professional fighter for 16 years, most of it in MMA, Chris Camozzi is ready for something different. No, he’s not changing careers, only arenas. With the BKFC on the rise, and coming to his backyard in Denver, Colorado this weekend, Camozzi is making his bare knuckle fighting debut at BKFC 31 Denver against Bubba McDaniel in a cruiserweight contest.
Camozzi fought primarily regionally from 2006 to 2009 and broke on the scene in 2010 on The Ultimate Fighter Season 11. After winning the finale by unanimous decision over James Hammortree, he was with the UFC into 2017 before joining Glory Kickboxing. After posting a 2-1 record in PFL 2021, he wasn’t feeling the fit, ultimately leading to his exit and his return to fighting at BKFC 31.
Chris Camozzi Joins BKFC 31 for One-Fight Deal After PFL Run
“It was just like kinda the perfect storm. BKFC and I have talked back and forth, like Dave Feldman and Nate Shook, for a few years actually. The first time I saw it I was like, ‘Dude, I got to get in there. This looks amazing.’ The fact that they were coming to Denver, everything just kind of lined up perfectly, because I don’t want to miss out on a chance to fight at home. I don’t want to go and watch as a fan when they’re right here in my backyard. I’d rather be in there.”
When asked if making his debut in front of friends and family adds any pressure, Camozzi recognized that there could be some, but not in a bad way.
“I wouldn’t say any extra pressure, actually it just has more excitement. If guess if it does add any pressure, it would be like a good pressure because I’m like, ‘There’s no way I’m losing in front of everybody that I love and know.’”
Chris Camozzi Previews His BKFC 31 Fight Against Bubba McDaniel
Opposite Camozzi in the ring this on Saturday at 1st Bank Center, McDaniel will be making his BKFC debut as well. According to Tapology.com, “The Menace”, Bellator and UFC veteran, is set to fight for the first time since making a Fists of Fury appearance in 2019. Camozzi admitted in the interview with AAMMA that he was shocked to hear McDaniel as his opponent for a bare knuckle boxing match.
“I think a lot of his career he seemed to be more of a grappler actually,” said of facing McDaniel, “so I was surprised to hear him in BKFC. I know that he’s done some kickboxing and stuff, I think just locally, but I don’t know. Who knows? Maybe he’s been working on his striking. I don’t really know what he’s been doing, he’s been out a bit. I always just plan on their best, you know? I look up his best fight ever, and that’s who I plan on fighting and that’s what gets me excited.”
McDaniel brings a strong name and a resume with him, which is something Camozzi likes.
“You know, I love this fight,” he continued. “I said yes instantly. I hadn’t heard his name in a while, but I like the matchup. We’re both southpaws. I statistically have always done really well against southpaws. I can’t think of any that I’ve lost to, and I’ve fought quite a few. He does have a lot of experience, but so do I. I mean between us, we probably have 100 fights.”
What’s Next for Chris Camozzi?
Camozzi’s contract with BKFC is just a one-fight deal, something that he actually asked for. While the organization did offer a multi-fight contract, the veteran of the arena wants to maximize his earning potential and knows that a statement win could earn him a more lucrative deal. This setup also leaves the door open if a more lucrative deal should present itself. In the interview with AAMMA, Camozzi was asked his thoughts on the upcoming Anderson Silva fight with Jake Paul and if he would ever consider a boxing match with the influencer brothers.
“I can’t imagine Jake beating him,” Camozzi said of Paul’s chances in the fight with Silva later this month. “Anderson has so much experience, he has so much power.”
“He’s bigger than any of the guys Jake’s fought before. Jake’s actually fighting somebody his weight, and I just think that the experience level, the power, Anderson’s slick man. I’ve gotta go with him, but he does play around a lot. We’ve seen him get hurt from playing around, so who knows.
For me, I would jump at the chance to take any of those. Obviously, they pay a lot. That’s kinda one of the perks that comes with them. Those guys pay a lot, they bring in the money. It would be huge, and I would box either one of them. I’ve got better hands than both of them. I said they’re good, but they’re not great.”
Watch Chris Camozzi vs Bubba McDaniel at BKFC 31
As intriguing as the prospect of earning a payday with the Paul brothers would be, Camozzi isn’t looking past his fight with McDaniel this weekend at BKFC 31 Denver. When looking at the matchup, he feels like he has the edge, simply because he’s faced better talent throughout his career.
“I would say my experience has been a lot more world-level,” Camozzi said. “I’ve been fighting the best of the best for a really long time. I like the matchup. I think he’s been out a bit, so he’s gonna come real hungry and hard, and that’s what I’m counting on because it’s gonna be my job to just step in and sit him down. I’m gonna make him pay for everything he throws at me.”
Asked how he sees the fight ending, Camozzi wasn’t mincing words.
“I’m picking Round 1, knockout obviously.”
Fighting as the featured bout on the main card, Chris Camozzi vs Bubba McDaniel can be watched through BKFC with a subscription. The prelims start at 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST with contests slated for the evening.