Bare Knuckle FC is one of the hottest new promotions in the combat sports world. With more and more fighters flocking to it every card, it is growing at a rapid pace. Getting inside the mind of these guys is one of the most fun parts of my job. We interviewed Abdiel Velazquez ahead of his fight at BKFC 8 to get to know him a little better and see what all these bare knuckle guys are about. He’s not crazy. He’s not a bad fighter. He simply likes to fight a fist fight more traditionally.
So Bare Knuckle is a bit of a crazy sport. How does one get involved? Well in Abdiel Velazquez’s case he simply wanted to fight. “I wanted to fight. So, I told my manager and my coach to set me up a fight. I don’t care what it is. I’ll fight anything,” He continues, “They told me about Bare Knuckle. I told them lets do it. It’s different, something new. I like to get on it. It might be the new big thing. I got on it and I got a good fight with West. From there I loved it.”
Of all the Bare Knuckle FC guys I’ve interviewed, that is a common theme. These guys transition over to the sport for the hell of it and realize how much they love it. Abdiel Velazquez is no exception to that. Why though? What makes Bare Knuckle so alluring?
“It’s a tense rush. It’s different, it’s bare knucke and you see if your technique is actually good and you actually fight.”
The rush. That’s another common theme. These fighters are drawn to that adrenaline rush that they get when they fight. Bare Knuckle seems to be the one that gets them the biggest rush.
“It’s different. I can do what I want. So, I feel it’s meant for me. I got the hands for it and everything. It’s great,” says Velasquez.
Abdiel Velazquez also competed in mixed martial arts as well. Having fifteen fights under his belt in MMA, he draws comparison between the two sports.
“When you use Bare Knuckle, you have two minutes, five rounds and you have to go intense and hard, non stop. You got to be smart. In MMA, you got three rounds, five minutes, or five rounds. You can take it to the ground when you get tired. Also, you have to take it slow. You don’t have the time to think like in bare knuckle. But, you can dodge and move your head in bare knuckle. You have to have a set plan and keep it.”
Then there is that moment you step on the line in Bare Knuckle and you’re about to get in a fist fight in front of the entire world.
“That toe-line when the referee tells us to toe the line, that’s when the rush hits. You know, we’re about to go. When they say ‘knuckle up’ we’re about to set it off. We see who hits first or who is able to toe the line. You go in, toe to toe and fist fight for a little bit and go wild. Some people can’t do it, but I’m willing to do it. I’m not afraid to do it.”
Learning from Muay Thai
For Bare Knuckle, you have to train slightly different. You need to prepare your actual knuckles for the fight. Much like Muay Thai fighters condition their shins, Velazquez is conditioning his knuckles.
“I’m working on my boxing and my hands. I actually condition my knuckles by hitting the knuckle board. I hit that a couple times and it turns my knuckles into rocks, you know? It makes it more conditioned. It actually works. My knuckles have gotten a lot bigger in the couple fights I’ve done with Bare Knuckle. I’ve learned a lot. I did a lot of transitions in boxing and bare knuckle.”
As far as the company, it is almost universally loved by everyone involved. Bare Knuckle FC is building that structure in that way.
“I love it. Dave Feldman is great. They take care of all the fighters, the staff is great, it’s a great company. I love it,” says Velasquez. “Everybody is like a family. I’m happy because it’s new and I’m a part of history.”
Dave Feldman has said on multiple occasions that his fights are meant to be exciting and entertaining. Bare Knuckle’s rule set is built around it. “It’s a fight. You get in a cage to do what people want to see. They want us to go and they want us to fight. You give a show for the fans. That’s what people want and see. The more people see and want it, the more they come. You see that with bare knuckle. People are willing to go see guys fight it out. If you get knocked out, it is what it is.”
BKFC 8 is headlined by two UFC legends. Gabriel Gonzaga and Bigfoot Silva are set to throw down in the main event. For Velazquez, being in the card with such legends is one of his favorite things he’s done thus far. “It’s exilirating. They’re legends. They were in the UFC for a while and now they’re coming down with us in bare knuclke. It’s great. There are a lot of big names out there and it’s great. I’m excited to be on the fight card.”
Abdiel Velazquez weighs in on BKFC 9
Recently announced, BKFC 9 will be headlined with the rematch between Artem Lobov and Jason Knight. Lobov won the first fight in a tight contest. Abdiel Velazquez weighed in on the rematch.
“I know that Jason wants revenge and I know he’s going to come with more intensity. I see them giving it to Jason. It’s going to be a close fight and Artem is my boy, but I give it to Jason this time. I give the close one to Jason.”