Chris Leben and Brennan Ward were in attendance at the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) press conference in New York City. They are the co-main event for BKFC 6, which features Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi on June 22, and while that main event bout is the one fans are excited about, Leben and Ward are likely to deliver a match that fans of the bare-knuckle promotion will likely be talking about afterward.
The two mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans have a combined 21 knockouts in their MMA careers and both men match up well when it comes to how they like to throw hands. Ward being the fighter who likes an orthodox stance versus Leben’s southpaw can lead to an early knock out for either man or a five-round war. This will be Leben’s third BKFC event and carrying experience both in the squared-circle and in MMA over Ward might make him the favorite for their bout.
“Brennan will be my toughest BKFC opponent to date and I’m not taking him lightly.” – Chris Leben
“Bare knuckle is definitely an exciting sport. It’s all of the good stuff,” Leben said of his BKFC experience so far, “Two guys going toe-to-toe. It’s what I do best and it puts me in a dangerous position to hurt my opponents.” Leben knows enough about Ward to recognize that the fight could very well go the distance. While Leben feels, he is riding a career resurgence he added, “Brennan will be my toughest BKFC opponent to date and I’m not taking him lightly.”
For Ward, he feels the sport of bare-knuckle boxing comes naturally to him. He said, “It’s basically a normal training camp for me, but with more boxing than ever. I’ve always boxed a lot anyway.” Ward, a long time Bellator veteran that fought for the middleweight title back in 2014 said that he never really cared for the other fighting disciplines that he trained for in MMA. “This sport is so well-suited for me, “said Ward, “I just want to brawl.”
Given what fans know of the two fighters, a brawl is highly probable.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 30 years of martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour podcast, and also writes for Spectation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel