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Former UFC Champion Goes All in on BKFC

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In a move that’s sure to annoy Dana White, Conor McGregor has decided to invest in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC). BKFC, while not a direct competitor to the UFC, shares a similar fan base, and the promotion has used the star power of many former UFC athletes to increase their exposure.

The face of BKFC is former UFC fighter Mike Perry. Numerous other athletes like Luke Rockhold, Thiago Alves, Ben Rothwell, and Chad Mendes have all stepped into the BKFC ring. The organization is now owned by Triller, the company behind the Paul brothers’ boxing events. BKFC is hosting regular shows throughout the United States and even PPV events.

Conor McGregor Is Now Part Owner of BKFC

The Irish superstar has put a portion of his reported $500 million fortune to good use after taking a stake in the biggest bare knuckle boxing organization in the world. The investment was announced at BKFC: Knucklemania IV. 

McGregor, who was in attendance at the event, was in his element. When introduced by the founder of BKFC, David Feldman, he said, “Welcome to the big leagues. David Feldman, baby, we did it.”

Feldman was fired up about the move. He believes that through McGregor, millions of new viewers will tune into bare knuckle events. Feldman is convinced that the Irish fighter’s investment will help BKFC tap into new markets and take the organization to a new level. 

Despite McGregor splashing the cash, don’t expect to see him in the bare knuckle boxing ring anytime soon. The Dublin native is still signed to the UFC and will take on Michael Chandler at UFC 303 in June at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

How Did McGregor Amass Such a Fortune?

The UFC is very tight-lipped when it comes to payouts. However, due to a recent lawsuit, certain documents unveiling fighter pay have been released, which gives us a glimpse into McGregor’s compensation. For each fight against Nate Diaz, the Dublin fighter earned just over $5 million. Then, when he took on Eddie Alvarez, McGregor pulled in $6.8 million.

It’s unknown exactly how much Conor earned for his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. His disclosed purse was $3 million, but he also earned a percentage of PPV revenue, which the UFC negotiates privately with fighters and keeps secret. Before the fight, McGregor claimed he’d earn $50 million.

It’s safe to assume that McGregor has earned $50+ million for all his UFC fights. The Irish fighter also picked up a huge payday against legendary boxer Floyd Mayweather. The two squared off in the boxing ring on August 26, 2017, where Mayweather ultimately proved too strong. McGregor was guaranteed $100 million for the fight with some claiming he earned as much as $130 million.

What Other Investments Has Conor Made?

Despite earning some mouth-watering sums in the ring and octagon, McGregor has actually made even more in the business world. Conor launched Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey under his Eire Born Spirits company in 2018. He had a 49% stake in the business. 

The savvy MMA fighter used his love of his native country and his massive fan base to promote his line of whiskey. He quickly took the brand global, and before long, it was available throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and across Europe. 

During Proper No. Twelve’s first year, they racked up $850 million in sales, which is unheard of for a new brand in the extremely competitive alcohol niche. In 2021, McGregor and his business partners sold the company to Proximo Spirits for $600 million. It hasn’t been revealed how much McGregor received, but it’s reported to be in excess of $130 million. Currently, Conor is being sued by former training partner Artem Lobov, who is demanding 5% of the company.

McGregor has shown sharp skills in and out of the UFC octagon. The former plumber’s apprentice is well on his way to billionaire status. He’s a great example of the new paradigm of business where personal branding allows people to rapidly build profitable enterprises, which in the past would’ve taken decades to create. It’ll be interesting to see McGregor’s next big business move. Who knows, maybe in the future, he will launch a bid to take over the UFC and become Dana White’s boss!  

Read more: BKFC Fighters Are Getting Paid!

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UFC

Jose Aldo Dominates Jonathan Martinez at UFC 301

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Jose Aldo fighting

The MMA world was in shock when former UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo announced his return to the octagon. The Brazilian had officially retired after copping a beating from Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278.

After two years away from the ring, Aldo decided he wanted to finish the last remaining fight on his contract. The UFC fed him the number 12 ranked bantamweight contender Jonathan Martinez. This was no easy task, seeing as Martinez was riding a six-fight win streak with victories over Cub Swanson and Said Nurmagomedov.

We guess no one told Aldo about ring rust because the Brazilian looked phenomenal in his return. He dominated the match, winning a lopsided unanimous decision. Even better, Aldo got the victory in front of his home crowd in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The fans went berserk, cheering on their hero as he let punches fly in Martinez’s direction. Unfortunately, Aldo and the fans were robbed of a stoppage finish.

The Crowd Screams Uh Vai Morrer!

Aldo came out, stalking Martinez as the younger fighter attempted to keep him at bay with his jab. Martinez threw a sloppy low kick, which was immediately counted by Aldo, who responded with a three-shot combination. 

Both fighters were feeling each other out. Aldo continued to walk down Martinez but couldn’t quite find his range. Martinez went for a takedown, but it had no chance of working. As the round one progressed, Aldo started ripping Martinez to the body. 

Despite Martinez landing a nice body kick, Aldo continued to stalk him. Then Aldo landed his best punch, a strong overhand right. The Brazilian’s feints started working, and his combos began touching the American.

Martinez Tries to Up His Aggressiveness

Martinez came out in round two with a new approach. He took the center of the octagon and refused to let Aldo push him around. Unfortunately for the American, Aldo landed a nasty inside low kick and then threw a three-punch combo, which forced Martinez to back up.

Aldo continued to land hard shots to the body. Martinez started to look a bit desperate in the octagon and shot a Hail Mary takedown, which was effortlessly stuffed by the veteran Brazilian fighter.

Martinez forced a clinch and tried to catch his breath. The ref let the fighters hang out in the clinch for far too long before eventually breaking them apart. Then Aldo landed a nice right hand and followed it up with hard shots to the body.

Martinez started taking more risks and letting his hands go. Unfortunately for the American, it opened him up to be counted. Aldo relished the opportunity and continually landed brutal shots. Aldo was consistently finding angles and used his feints to walk Martinez onto shots. Martinez almost landed a spinning back fist that could’ve spelled disaster for the Brazilian, but it just missed.

The Third and Final Round

Martinez clearly lost the first two rounds and needed a finish to get the win. He came out aggressive but again walked onto big punches from Aldo. He started to build something there, but Aldo is so savvy. He knows how to manage things. 

Martinez had some success with 1-2 combinations, but Aldo continued to respond with his own shots. Martinez started trading with Aldo in the pocket. Then the Brazilian landed a huge left hand, which seriously hurt Martinez.

Aldo swarmed for the finish and took the American down. He passed Martinez’s guard and progressed to mount. But the American escaped and managed to stand up. Ultimately, the Brazilian had to settle for a decision win.

What’s Next for Jose Aldo?

Aldo wants to make another title run and reclaim his bantamweight belt. After his last fight, he’s no longer under contract with the UFC, but there’s a matching clause, so the Brazilian is a restricted free agent. He plans to stick in the UFC and will meet with Dana White to discuss his next moves. 

In an ideal world, the Brazilian wants a title shot against champ Sean O’Malley in his next fight. After his epic career, he surely deserves to jump the queue. Dana has yet to confirm Aldo’s next fight, but that match against O’Malley would be a blockbuster! 

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BKFC Fighters Are Getting Paid More Than UFC Fighters!

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BKFC Fighter

With controversy swirling around the compensation of UFC athletes, many former MMA fighters are jumping ship to the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), earning career-record sums. 

The organization, which hosts licensed bare-knuckle boxing events, was started in 2018 by David Feldman and has quickly turned into a UFC rival. The company used the UFC’s name recognition by signing a number of former fighters like Mike Perry, Chad Mendes, and Luke Rockhold. In 2023 alone, there were 24 shows, and the number is only increasing.

BKFC KnuckleMania 4 Salaries Unveiled


On April 27, 2024, at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, California, BKFC KnuckleMania 4, a PPV event was held featuring legends like Mike Perry, Thiago Alves, and even big Ben Rothwell.

Mike Perry, who has quickly become the face of the organization due to his chaotic antics and ultra-aggressive fighting style, earned $600,000, while his opponent, former UFC title contender Thiago Alves, pulled in $200,000.

In a bruising heavyweight clash between Mick Terrill and BKFC two-division champion Lorenzo Hunt, both fighters pulled in $100,000 apiece. In another showdown between two former UFC stars, Ben Rothwell earned a respectable $150,000 while his opponent, Todd Duffee, took home $85,000.

Despite representing Mexico at the Olympics and having an impressive professional boxing career, Alfredo Angulo earned just $19,500 for his fight against Jeremiah Riggs, who got $8,000. Angulo needs better management, he should’ve left with at least $50,000.

Julian Lane, who went viral for his drunken antics on the Ultimate Fighter, has found a home in the BKFC and become a fan favorite. The wild former MMA pro earned $20,000, and his opponent, Evgeny Kurdanov, left the ring with $12,500.

Fans were shocked that Crystal Pittman was paid just $500. However, BKFC clarified that she’s been given numerous advances and other payments. She apparently had already received compensation, and $500 was the minimum payment allowed by the Athletic Commission.

All of the preliminary fighters received between $4,000 and $6,000, which seems kind of low when you deduct training costs and taxes. However, that’s the nature of combat sports, and many of the athletes aren’t professionals. As the sport grows, these fighter purses should increase.

What Happened at BKFC KnuckleMania 4?

The headline fight at BKFC KnuckleMania 4 was between undefeated Mike Perry and the former BKFC Middleweight champion Thiago Alves. The fight was over before it started and didn’t cross the one-minute mark. Perry immediately started stalking Alves, who was showing some lateral movement and attempting to keep the Michigan fighter at bay with a jab.

Perry landed some nice shots to the body, and both fighters started winging hooks. Perry’s hooks smacked Alves on the temple, and the Brazilian didn’t look impressed. Alves tried to create space, but Perry was relentless and unleashed a brutal left hook, which struck the Brazilian on the jaw and sent him crashing to the canvas.

Alves got up very gingerly as the referee counted to eight. However, his eyes were all glazy, and the referee called an end to the contest. The fight only lasted 60 seconds, and Alves barely landed a single knuckle on Perry.

The co-main event was a fight for the BKFC World Heavyweight Championship between Mick Terrill, the defending champion from the UK, and Lorenzo Hunt, hailing from the United States. This fight also failed to make it to the second round.

Hunt has turned himself into the villain of the division due to his disrespectful antics outside of the ring. Terrill was keen to teach the cocky American a lesson. The English fighter was peppering Hunt with accurate jabs and then landing a powerful right cross over the top of the American’s guard.

Hunt attempted to bob out of the way to avoid Terrill’s booming right hand. However, the UK fighter made a smart adjustment and began mushing the American’s nose with brutal uppercuts. Terrill then landed a clean counter uppercut that sent Hunt crashing to the canvas. During the fall, Hunt broke his arm and was unable to continue fighting.

Terrill is the man to beat in the division, and he’ll be extremely hard to beat. We can’t wait for the next BKFC event and for Mike Perry and Mick Terrill to return to the ring; these two fighters always bring fireworks!

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MMA

Does MMA Have a New Heavyweight Superstar?

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MMA Fighter Celebrating in the Cage

Ever since the days of Dan Severin, MMA fans have known that of all the martial arts out there wrestling is the best base. Well, Ben “Vanilla Thunder” Tynan has been wrestling in spades. Tynan is a Canadian Junior Freestyle National Champion and even wrestled at North Dakota State, where he competed in the NCAA Division I National Championships.

The 6 ft 3 hulking heavyweight isn’t just a lay-and-prayer, he’s also a master grappler with some seriously impressive submission skills. In his last fight with Ji Won Kang, he secured the win with a lovely arm triangle. That isn’t Tynan’s only finishing move, the Canadian has finished fights via armbars, keylocks, and even guillotines.

Tynan is Undefeated

After giving up on wrestling, Tynan saw a potential path to riches in MMA. He had his first amateur MMA bout back in 2017, and his career couldn’t have gone smoother. From 2017 to 2021, Vanilla Thunder had seven amateur fights, winning them all by stoppage. During his amateur career, Tynan showed impressive athleticism and was clearly a level or two above his competition.

The Canadian heavyweight then turned pro in 2022 and quickly amassed a perfect 5-0 record. Again, not a single fighter has gone the distance with Tynan, who has no problem ending fights via powerful strikes or bone-breaking submissions.

Tynan has recently signed with One FC, which is considered one of the premier MMA organizations in the world. His last fight was meant to be his toughest test against 6-1 Ji Won Kang but nobody told Vanilla Thunder that. The 30-year-old carved through his opponent before eventually finishing him with a super-tight arm-triangle choke in the 3rd round.

Vanilla Thunder is a Future Champion

Standing at 6 ft 3 and weighing 240 pounds, Ben Tynan has the perfect physique for MMA. He uses his imposing size combined with world-class wrestling skills to send his opponents to the canvas. He then unleashes a hail of punches before looking for the submission finish.

Tynan’s opponents look helpless as he pins them down. He’s a master at securing the crucifix position, where he pins both opponents’ arms and rains down punch after punch. Vanilla Thunder is known for his incredible strength, and he’s yet to face a fighter who can handle his wrestling prowess.

The Canadian is very gifted when it comes to grappling and has immense grip strength. You can see his Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling skills on full display in his last fight against Kang. The Mighty Warrior had no answers as Tynan lay on him and smashed him with heavy ground and pound.

Tynan Needs to Work on His Stand Up Game

While Tynan definitely has grappling and wrestling down pat, his stand-up game is another story. Vanilla Thunder didn’t grow up boxing or kickboxing, and at the moment, you can tell. He makes a lot of basic mistakes, such as dropping his hands too much, not judging distance correctly, and winging his shots.

If Tynan is going to become heavyweight champ, he needs to level up his striking as soon as possible. His striking has already improved significantly since he turned pro, so it’s only a matter of time before the Canadian develops striking as good as his compatriot, GSP.

His Next Fight is Against Duke Didier

In Tynan’s next fight, he’ll take on Duke Didier, who currently has a record of 8-2. The tough Australian has never been stopped and will definitely test the Canadian’s stamina. 

Tynan will have to rely heavily on his wrestling skills to get the victory. However, he needs to be careful on the ground. Didier is also a master grappler with numerous submission victories. He has a particularly nasty omoplata. 

Didier isn’t a big striker, but he still has better hands than Tynan. Vanilla Thunder should close the distance, secure the clinch, and get the takedown as soon as possible. After getting the takedown, Vanilla Thunder should look for heavy ground and pound before transitioning to mount and finishing with his slick arm triangle.

If Tynan can get past Didier, that could set up a fight with undefeated Russian Anatoly Malykhin. If he can get the W over Malykhin, expect the Canadian to head over to the UFC and quickly jump into the top 10!

Read More: The Masters 2024 Preview

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