Alongside BKFC 2 headliner Bec Rawlings, Bare Knuckle FC analyst Benny Ricardo spoke at the BKFC 2 media day about how he got interested in the sport, and how it differs from traditional boxing. Outside of the lack of gloves, of course.
When it comes to the return of bare knuckle fighting stateside, former football player and current BKFC analyst Benny Ricardo was blunt. “Everybody was kind of thinking this was going to be a disaster waiting to happen,” he admitted to the reaction garnered by Bare Knuckle FC’s first event. “You really did not know what was going to happen.”
The disaster, however, didn’t happen. Instead, BKFC 1 was a success, getting all sorts of attention on social media. That first event could have been a one-and-done, instead, the promotion is back, with BKFC 2 taking place August 25 in Biloxi, MS. It’s been some journey getting there. “This is the kind of sport that, if you do some research on it, it goes back to, the Brits have been doing this for a long time,” Ricardo explained. “They have a guy by the name of McLean, Lenny McLean, who’s one of the greatest of all time.” Coincidentally, a movie on McLean’s life, My Name Is Lenny, was released last year, featuring former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. “I got into bare knuckle by just research,” Ricardo continued. “I saw that movie Bronson, and I did some research on the guy that’s supposed to be the most notorious prisoner in the history of the penal system in England, and he’s doing life over what should have just been a theft charge — now he’s doing life because he beat up so many of the guards.”
“But when he got out, he got into bare knuckle fighting, and was going to fight Lenny MacLean but ended up back in jail again.”
While Ricardo’s introduction to the sport might have been through film, he’s well aware of the history behind it. “That fight we did in Cheyanne, that was the first time in 130 years that a fight was sanctioned in the United States,” he pointed out. “So its been a long time coming.”
And when it comes to the differences between boxing and bare knuckle? “You have to be very precise.”
“You have to punch through your index finger and middle finger and transfer that through the forearm, where it’s able to cushion the blow,” Ricardo explained. “Once you get outside of that and you start flailing, then you’re going to break your hand. And you’re only going to go as far as that hand will take you.”
Rounds are different as well. Unlike men’s boxing, which has three minute rounds, “the rounds are five two minute rounds. Bec [Rawlings] can tell you that there’s not a lot of feeling out period.”
For more from Benny Ricardo, check out the full video above!