The Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship 4 is live, Saturday, February 2nd, and is available for pay-per-view from G&G Closed Circuit Events.
Nick Gagliardi has been around organized fighting since he can remember. So as the president of G&G Closed Circuit Events, he recognized the appeal of bare-knuckle fighting.
After all, it hooked him in.
“It was the prospect of taking something and putting a new spin on it—with the rules, the setup of the fighting arena, which presses the guys to really engage each other,” says Gagliardi. “It’s just got a fun feel to it. It takes you back to a golden age when men were men and they had to be tough as nails and when they threw down, being bare knuckle, no gloves.”
Fresh off the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 3 this past October, Gagliardi is stoking interest in this rediscovered fight style as his company is the sole nationwide distributor of Bare Knuckle Fighting and claims territorial rights for distribution in Canada and Puerto Rico. Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 4 is set for Saturday, February 2nd, in Cancun, Mexico.
“It has to do with seeing the potential in something,” Gagliardi says. “It’s no different than when the UFC first started and people boohooed it. (Bare-knuckle fighting) was something I enjoyed, and it was different. I’ve watched several underground bare-knuckle events before, watching guys square off toe to toe, bare-knuckle, at its rawest, purest form. That’s what piqued my interest.”
Despite its rudimentary nature on the surface, bare-knuckle fighting took time to get sanctioned. “There were rumors, but nothing ever came to fruition,” Gagliardi says.
“Gentlemen have always loved combative sports or they wouldn’t be as popular as they are today. The way everything is set up is to impress upon the fighters making sure there’s action. – Gagliardi
But rumor turned to truth when David Feldman came along. Feldman, who was a boxer himself turned promoter, was turned onto bare-knuckle fighting and put on a fight in 2011 that saw huge streaming numbers. So he kept pushing to get it sanctioned until Wyoming acquiesced—Bare Knuckle Fighting is also currently sanctioned in Mississippi.
Gagliardi, constantly on the search for something new, saw an article about bare-knuckle fighting being sanctioned and tracked down Feldman. He flew out to Philadelphia to meet with Feldman and sealed the deal there.
“(Gagliardi) saw I had lightning in a bottle so he asked if he could try and sell to some bars and restaurants,” Feldman recalls. “This is not for every fighter in the world. It’s not for every fan in the world. But for the fan who is going to like this, we’re giving them everything they could ever imagine—this is pure fighting, fast-paced fighting action.”
It’s the pace and overall novelty of bare-knuckle fighting Gagliardi wants club owners/operators to take advantage of in their clubs.
“Gentlemen have always loved combative sports or they wouldn’t be as popular as they are today,” Gagliardi says. “The way everything is set up is to impress upon the fighters making sure there’s action.”
He adds bare-knuckle fighting can appeal to existing fans of established fighting channels (boxing, MMA) as well as carve out a new section of sports fans that may be turned off by the other pugilistic forms.
Apart from the obvious lack of gloves in boxing and use of kicks in UFC/MMA, Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship features other differences in rules—namely the ability to punch out of a clinch (when fighters are entangled, most often against the ropes or cage), the fighting area is circular with an area smaller than a boxing ring which means fighters start within punching distance.
“We call this the sweetest science because boxing is the sweet science,” Feldman says. “This is a new era in combat sports. We’re not taking over combat sports, we’re just trying to provide an alternative for fans and fighters. We’re in this for the long run. Fans and everybody else, get ready to see Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship be around for a while.”
For more information, visit ggccevents.com or call (888) 756-5601.