Johnny Bedford

Photo credit to Phil Lambert/ BKFC

BKFC champion Johnny Bedford retires from combat sports

Johnny Bedford calls it a career in combat sports. The lineal BKFC bantamweight champion mentioned this news in a recent appearance on the BKFC Show.

Bedford said, “It’s a hundred percent a mental sport. If you’re mentally not in it, it’s time to hang it up. I think that’s where I’ve found some peace I guess. I’m not sitting here crying and not knowing what to do. I’ve found some peace in it. That’s where I’m at. I’m ready for the next chapters of my life. I struggled with am I ready to sacrifice another Christmas? Am I ready to sacrifice my 40th birthday here in a couple weeks? To do all this again and get ready for this big fight. I had to be honest with myself.”

Johnny Bedford continued, “I think it’s time to, the old term is hang the gloves up but we don’t wear gloves in this sport. So I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to hang up but I’m hanging them up.”

Johnny Bedford

Amid the recent chat, ‘Brutal’ cited the first Reggie Barnett Jr fight as his favorite BKFC bout. This contest saw Bedford capture the BKFC belt for the first time as he became 4-0 as a bare-knuckle boxer in the process.

Bedford eventually cemented himself as a two-time bantamweight champ within the BKFC and only lost once to Dat Nguyen in his run as a bare-knuckle boxer. He also began his second reign as BKFC champion with another Reggie Barnett Jr win. This will, as of this writing at least, be Bedford’s last professional fight and it transpired at BKFC 20 in August of last year.

Johnny Bedford is a veteran of several combat sports and fought in MMA from September 2006 to September 2017. After beginning his career by going a rocky 2-4-1, he ended up carving out a solid path for himself in the sport. Bedford competed underneath the banners of Bellator MMA as well as UFC, and was also a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter season 14. He notched multiple defenses of the WXC 135-pound belt and eventually transitioned full-time into bare-knuckle boxing in June 2018 at BKFC 1.

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Dylan Bowker
I've been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I've hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I've been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I've provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I've worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.