BKFC president discusses BKFC 12, DAZN deal, and Paige VanZant

BKFC 12 marks the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship’s second event to feature a live audience during the pandemic era. Here are the details.

The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is set to host its second event featuring a live audience during the pandemic. BKFC 12 goes down on Friday, Sept. 11, and is headlined by middleweights Thiago Alves and Julian Lane.

BKFC 11 in July featured a limited audience, as will BKFC 12. The organization planned other live events following BKFC 11, but they were canceled. During BKFC 11, numerous members of the audience were filmed not wearing masks.

When asked to comment about the sporadic use of masks at BKFC 11, the organization’s president, Dave Feldman, told FanSided, “In Mississippi [at BKFC 11], we recommended that they wear masks. In Florida, it’s mandated that they wear their masks. There is going to be security here, and employees and everybody that’s going to ensure they wear their masks.”

Feldman’s recent comments are inconsistent with what he told FanSided two days before BKFC 11.

“Everybody will have a Bare Knuckle TV App mask,” Feldman told FanSided in July. “We’re giving them out at the door for everybody. Everybody in the entire building is required to wear a mask.”

It’s possible that the promotion’s guidelines changed between the time they spoke to FanSided and BKFC 11.

When asked if having a partial audience feels more like normal and when he would feel like things are back to normal, Feldman responded, “I hate using the word the ‘new normal’ because I think it’s bad for the country. It’s bad for everybody here to live like this. This is not a new normal, and I think things are going to go back because everybody is working diligently on a vaccine, on medications, and ways to prevent the spread of this thing, and ways to combat it when somebody does get it.

“It’s going to feel normal when we can 100 percent crowds back, and nobody is wearing masks, and everybody is doing what they did in the past. That’s normal.”

BKFC is planning for their upcoming event BKFC 12, and a future that includes MMA star Paige VanZant.

BKFC has partnered up with the Travis Manion Foundation for BKFC 12 to help honor all the men, women, and children that lost their lives on 9/11 and while our country after. The foundation is named after Travis Manion, who was a First lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and was killed in action while bravely fighting in Iraq in 2007.

In other BKFC news, last month, they signed female MMA star Paige VanZant. VanZant has been in the news since her husband tested positive for COVID-19, and she has also been ill, although she hasn’t tested positive for the virus.

Even though her COVID tests have come back negative, VanZant has speculated that she has the virus.

“If that’s the case that she does test positive for COVID, we’ll have to adjust our plans,” said Feldman. “Right now, it looks like it will be a November fight, but again, anything can happen. We’re in a crazy time right now, and things change rapidly.”

It was also widely reported in July that BKFC and DAZN agreed in principle to a broadcasting partnership, but nothing has been signed yet. BKFC 12 will be streamed through the Bare Knuckle TV App.

Boxer Canelo Alvarez recently sued DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions for $280 million. The Alvarez lawsuit, along with staff layoffs, spells trouble for DAZN.

“This fight is going to live on the Bare Knuckle TV App,” said Feldman. “We’re still in talks with DAZN, but we had this planned already for this event to be on the Bare Knuckle TV App.”

Feldman added, “I’ve been sued, and I’ve had a lot of people talk detrimental about me, and I know that I stood really, really tall. It wasn’t what people are reading. I’m not saying it is not really happening [with DAZN]. I don’t know what is going on in the inside, so it wasn’t really troubling to us yet. But when we get a little closer to that signature, we’re going to find out everything we need to know and see if it’s the right deal for us.”

You can watch BKFC 12 on Friday, Sept. 11, at 9 p.m. ET, on the Bare Knuckle TV App. The app costs $3.99 per month and gives fans access to live fight events and BKFC’s fight library.

Next: Details of the Canelo Alvarez lawsuit GBP and DAZN

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