Bareknuckle boxing outfit BKFC have some big-name former UFC stars fronting their upcoming 41st event in April.
Recently released former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has opted not to retire after all and instead will fight Mike Perry.
Rockhold attempted a comeback in the UFC last year, but delivered a dismal performance against Paulo Costa in which he rapidly ran out of gas in the first round, but somehow still made it to the final bell despite clutching his knees and even the cage at times out of sheer exhaustion.
It was a far cry from Rockhold’s heyday when he came into the promotion as a former Strikeforce middleweight champion and eventually went on to win the UFC title too, with a five-fight winning streak culminating in a TKO victory over Chris Weidman to seize the belt.
Rockhold infamously lost the belt by first round KO in a short-notice rematch with Michael Bisping and that was to be the start of a slump in form that saw him lose three of his last four fights in the promotion, including 3 by KO.
Now the 38-year-old will make his bareknuckle boxing debut against the 31-year-old Perry, who left the UFC in 2021 after having lost four of his last five fights at welterweight.
Since then Perry has won two fights in a row in the BKFC promotion, beating former TUF fighter Julian Lane followed by Bellator’s Michael ‘Venom’ Page.
Meanwhile, another high-profile fight will see former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez going up against ex-featherweight title contender Chad Mendes.
The 39-year-old Alvarez left the UFC in 2018 after a 4-2 (+1nc) run that had seen him win the 155lb title before losing it to Conor McGregor.
Since then Alvarez has been plying his trade in the ONE FC promotion, but he didn’t find the success there that he’d enjoyed in other companies over the years, going just 1-3 (+1nc) and so after a couple of years out he’s now looking to return for BKFC.
And he’ll be doing so against the 37-year-old Mendes, who also left the UFC in 2018 after losing four of his last six fights, in addition to having also served a two-year suspension for using PED’s.
After a long haitus, Mendes made a comeback in the BKFC promotion last year and picked up a TKO victory in his debut.