Arnold Adams

Arnold Adams on his November 6th title fight: “I showed a lot of respect in the first fight. I knew he was a warrior and could take a punch. I’m not showing any respect this time around”

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is running back a fight between Heavyweight Champion Joey Beltran (5-1-1) and their flamboyant star Arnold Adams (5-1). Adams is adamant he will be taking the belt back home to the city of Chicago following his upcoming fight on November 6 in Salamanca, New Y ork.

“Beat up on some bags, doing a little cardio. Plans fell through training in Vegas, so I’ve been at home working at the gym as I did during my BKFC tournament win,” Adams tells the Poundtown Podcast on his preparation for the fight. “I’m going to do what I normally do; it works for me. I showed a lot of respect in the first fight, knowing he was a warrior and could take a punch and keep coming. I’m not showing any respect this time around.”

The fight will be five rounds and last two minutes apiece.

If you were looking for a reason to see what a BKFC fight is all about, Adams is it. 

While watching BKFC, you may see Adams mimicking the ‘Ric Flair strut’ across the ring, letting out a “woo.” You also may see him stealing a microphone during a competitor interview, claiming his greatness in the league, reminding everyone who the first BKFC Heavyweight Champion was. Adams brings fun and flamboyant personality to a sport that is not known as such.

“Honestly, I thought about joining professional wrestling,” Adams explained while speaking with the Poundtown Podcast. “I used to love the sport growing up, but once I realized how fake it was, I knew I didn’t have time; for it.”

Opponents have learned that he must also be feared as fun as he can be at times. In just the past three years, Adams has won by KO/TKO four out of his six fights.

What attracts an athlete to step into a “Squared Circle” and fight an opponent with nothing protecting their knuckles? 

There is a long history to this sport, and the BKFC is looking to preserve it. According to the company website, the promotion is the first to hold a legal, sanctioned, and regulated bare-knuckle event in the United States since 1889. Adams was their first-ever heavyweight champion winning the belt by a tournament in 2018.

“I did a couple of MMA fights in Camp Lejeune for the Marines, and I got an offer for an open tryout for knuckle boxing, “Adams discussed on why he joined bare-knuckle. “I figured this would be a backdoor entrance to get into some glove boxing; once I started, I just ran the table.”

Fight fans may recognize the nickname and acknowledge the comparisons.

Boxing historians reminisce when they hear the BKFC fans chanting “Arnold, bomaye (boom-ah-yea).” The fighter chose the nickname to represent the similarities between himself and “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali.

“A lot of people don’t know where the nickname came from, the ones that do see a lot of his antics and abilities in me,” Adams said. It’s kind of why I took the nickname bomaye; I want to help my community. I’m trying to work with charities. Maybe the handle is more profound than just fighting?”

Adams values are like Ali’s. The “Louisville Lip” Ali once stated, “My principles are more important than the money or my title.” The two fighters grasped the concept of how to turn up the bold and audacious antics to put fear in their opponents while the cameras are on. They also share a passion for helping others with the cameras off.


Adams now can work with young fighters coming up in the sport and currently serving as a mentor.

“Even fresh out of high school, I coached youth football and was big on getting the kids lined up and in order. Without strong guidance, kids are heading down the wrong path. My goal is to help as I can.”

“I was watching early UFC at the house and thought, man, I can do this; I wrestled in high school. I’ve never lost a street fight.” Arnold tells the Poundtown Podcast. “I started training in August and had my first fight in December of that same year. Next thing you know, I won my first fight and two years later turned pro.”

“The biggest pointer I can give to a young fighter is to stay amateur if possible and soak up as much knowledge as you can. Be a student of the game. Try different gyms, different trainers, work with numerous boxers. I rushed turning pro, and nobody told me to take your time in amateurs; nothing beats the experience or the protection.”

How does Arnold Adams want fans of combat sports to remember his legacy?

“When they say my name, I want them to say, “He’s him.” He’s that one person that nobody can beat. Who’s number one? That’s him. Bomaye is him. Arnold is him.”

You can watch Arnold Adams vs. Joey Beltran run it back for the BKFC Heavyweight Championship on November 6th. Visit for more details.


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