David Feldman - Photo by Phil Lambert/BKFC

David Feldman - Photo by Phil Lambert/BKFC

David Feldman previews BKFC 19 ft VanZant, Ostovich, and Blueface

BKFC 19 goes down on Friday, July 23rd at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The event transpires live in Tampa, Florida, and broadcasts on the Bare Knuckle TV App via BKTVApp.com.

I spoke with promotional figurehead David Feldman ahead of this card and got a myriad of insights on the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship landscape in general.

David Feldman

The BKFC 18 aftermath and thoughts from David Feldman on that last event overall

“I thought it was a tremendous event for us. It was a big perception play for us. Miami’s not the biggest fight market in the town, although a lot of fighters are moving there now. So if you make it in Miami, from what I’m told from fight promoters down there, that you make it anywhere. We did phenomenal there, we sold out the arena. It was packed, a bunch of great fights. We did very good numbers on our app, we were the eighth-most downloaded app in the world that week. So everything really panned out well for us and we’re happy with the success of that event.”

David Feldman’s presence at Paul vs Mayweather and the cross-platform bouts within BKFC 

“We were going to do a completely separate card of just influencer fights. And then we said look, man, we’re doing this. We’re not doing it to make money for the influencer fights, we’re doing it to bring eyeballs to the sport. So we have to integrate it with one of our existing events. We thought of a way to just put a couple of influencer fights on this card, bring a lot of brand new eyeballs to the sport, and hopefully they stay. That’s kind of the goal for this thing.”

“Do these fights. The fights are going to be fun, they’re gonna be exciting. But the bare-knuckle fights are the rawest, purest form of combat sports. Really anywhere in the world right now. So I didn’t want to really take away from that. But at the same time adding 58 million total followers from these six influencers that are fighting on the card is something that you can’t really even buy. So it’s great to have these guys come on and integrate with what we’re doing. I think it’s gonna be a good success.”

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

If those influencer metrics are already shifting BKFC’s metrics for the better

“We’re definitely getting some of the younger guys on board. This is a sport that really anybody can really adapt to. So I don’t care if you’re three-four years old or you’re 90 years old, you know what a fistfight is. So we adapt to really everybody in all demographics. We started out, we were like 98% Male, 18 to 34. Now we’re about 16 to 45. That’s our core demographic and it’s down to about 82% male now. We have a lot of women that are becoming followers of the sport. So we’re seeing a trickle into different ages and into different demographics all over the board.”

The BKFC women’s featherweight division growing and being hugely featured on BKFC 19

“I mean as we’ve been putting on these fights and put on these women’s fights, the women always seem to steal the show, man. It’s just been tremendous fights from these girls, you know. Most of them are fairly attractive women that are fighting. To see these women like that that are fighting Bare Knuckle, I think it intrigues the core public.”

David Feldman continued, “So because of that, we’re getting a lot more eyeballs. A lot more reactions to the women’s fighting, so why not add more? I mean, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Let’s just add more of it. So I think the women fighting bare-knuckle is something that intrigues a lot of people and we’re going to keep adding to that.”

Bec Rawlings’ BKFC return in the fall and possible 125-pound title eliminators at BKFC 19

“So we’re going to start (and) launch that tournament for the BKFC women’s 125-pound championship and she’s (Bec Rawlings) definitely going to be in the mix for that. Can’t wait to bring her back. She’s gonna come back, it looks like in October. We have a lot of other girls that we’re signing in that division too.”

“There’s going to be a lot of steep challenges in that division, a lot of people that are going to have eyeballs on the women’s 125-pound division. So like I said we’re adding a lot of women to it and we’re adding a lot of flavor to it. We think it’s going to be tremendous. Exciting, competitive fights for that 125-pound belt.”


Heather Hardy’s Bellator MMA release and possible BKFC interest in Hardy’s services

“There could be Heather Hardy talks…. Look, any woman that wants to come into the squared circle and that can fight, you know. They have to be able to fight. As long as they can fight and they’re willing to throw down inside of there, we’re going to welcome them to the division. As you saw, Pearl Gonzalez fought on the last card and looked sensational in her debut. So there’s so many women in this mix for the 125-pound belt. And I’d love to bring Heather Hardy in. So we’ll see what happens shortly.”

How the Blueface fight came about and how the hip hop star decided to knuckle up for BKFC 19

“One of my guys was knowing that we were trying to do this and they said, How about Blueface? He has a great YouTube, Instagram, and a big Tik Tok following, you know. He actually has I think seven or 8 million followers on Tik Tok. So, you know, they just mentioned his name. I said yeah reach out to him. See if he’s interested. They became interested and we started negotiating and we got it done. I mean, he’s a guy that a lot of people know in a lot of different genres of entertainment, really. So we said, let’s give it a shot.”

“So we have him fight this Tik Toker named Kane Trujillo who a lot of people don’t really like. And I thought it was a really good kind of intriguing matchup. They don’t like him because he supposedly steals a lot of people’s Tik Tok ideas you know. I’m not into the Tik Tok and YouTube thing that much either myself, Dylan. So I’m only going by what I’m told. ”

David Feldman continued, “I heard that he stole a lot of people’s stories and things like that. Made his own videos around that and he became like the most hated Tik Toker out there. So we thought it was a perfect matchup. So I think it’s going to be a great fight. I think all three of the fights are going to be very, very good and competitive fights. Most importantly, they’re going to bring on a new clientele and a new whole set of people that never watched Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship before. They’re going to be exposed to this brand.”


Arnold Adams’ possible Joey Beltran rematch if Adams gets the desired outcome vs Mick Terrill

“I mean I’m not gonna officially (say) quote-unquote title eliminator. But I’m definitely looking at both of these guys. I want to see how they perform. If they give the kind of fight that I really anticipate them giving next Friday night, then they’re probably going to be lined up for a title shot, yes. But I’m not going to go on record by saying it’s an official title eliminator. Because I really want to see how they perform.”

“If both of them perform exciting then both of them can be in line. And then if they both don’t perform then I’m obviously going to find a better, more suitable opponent for Joey Beltran. But I do think that both of these guys know that their careers are really on the line right now…They need to go in here and fight their butts off. See who the best man is.”

Wanderlei Silva’s debut in the BKFC and targeting the fourth quarter of 2021 for that fight

“Yeah, we actually had a really good call about it today. So we don’t know what’s exactly gonna happen and when it’s gonna happen. But it looks more like November-ish. We’re trying to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on his opponent so we can get that announced. I think everybody’s gonna be really excited about that.”

Diego Sanchez’s presser appearance and if Sanchez will fight or be more of a BKFC ambassador

“You know, I brought Diego out actually just as a friend. I really like him, we got along really well. I wanted to show him a nice time. Thought he got taken advantage of a little bit. So to be able to do that was first and foremost. Now we’ll see. Look, it’s got to be the right opponent. I don’t want to throw him in there with any young lions. If I can get the right legendary opponent that makes sense for him, I’m all in on Diego Sanchez. But if not, I’m not putting him in there to get hurt. So, we’ll see what happens in the near future. But that’s definitely among the realm of possibilities.”

Paige VanZant vs Rachael Ostovich fighting in another combat discipline in the BKFC 19 main event

“Well, we were trying to think who is next and we got reached out to about Rachael Ostovich. We know that she was very, very competitive in the first match. Actually probably winning the fight, got tapped out. She has a good following so you know it kind of made sense from a business perspective to put her in. I think it’s a little bit intriguing, and then you know we’ll see what’s next. We’ll see how Britain Hart does. We’ll see how Bec Rawlings does. There’s so many girls in the mix as you mentioned earlier.”

David Feldman continued, “But especially for this main event, Paige VanZant versus Rachael Ostovich on July 23rd on the Bare Knuckle TV app. We’re super, super excited about having this feature matchup. I think a lot of people are going to be very intrigued by it and who knows who’s going to win right? They’re going to come out and give their all. Paige, I know has been training exclusively with a boxing trainer right now. Rachael has been training with her dad and some other guys over there in Hawaii. So I’m really, really looking forward to a great fight by those two young ladies.”

Parting thoughts for David Feldman

“We’re just gonna have a really, really busy end of 2021. And then a tremendous 2022. A lot of great partnerships we’re going to add to the table. A lot of great sponsorships and new fighters that are coming as well. So, always appreciate your support. Just want all the fans to check out BKFC.com to get a ticket or app updates for the upcoming fight on July 23rd. Here at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. It’s going to be a tremendous event. Great night of fights. So don’t forget to check it out on the Bare Knuckle TV App.”

author avatar
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.