BYB Extreme Acquires BKB In Massive Bare Knuckle Move

BYB Extreme

BYB Extreme has officially acquired BKB in a deal that is seismic for the bare-knuckle boxing landscape. The UK-based BKB is widely regarded as the world’s first professional bare-knuckle boxing promotion and has done several crossover events with BYB previously.

John Bryan has spent over two decades working for MGM, Disney and Warner Brothers and leads BYB’s broadcast and streaming partnership efforts. In regards to this acquisition Bryan noted, “The future is now. Major consumer brands and mainstream broadcasters and streaming services are quickly recognizing the untapped value of bare-knuckle fighting and its inevitable impact on the market.”

“BYB pioneered the sport and, having put together a sustainable roadmap for both the organization and the sport’s international growth, BYB has just accelerated this entire process by instantly increasing not only its live show output, but also its sponsored content library.”


Jim Freeman and Joe Smith-Brown began BKB in 2015l frequently running the Liverpool Echo Arena, London’s Indigo at the O2, has promoted internationally in Phuket, Thailand. BKB showcases a roster of over 175 combatants who are among some of the best bare-knuckle fighters in the world including Jimmy Sweeney, Marko Martinjak, Barrie Jones and Dan Chapman.

Both Freeman and Smith-Brown will stay with BYB in executive roles. Freeman will continue to handle day-to-day operations for BYB Extreme in Europe while Smith-Brown will stay on with BYB Extreme to oversee continued European expansion.

BYB president Mike Vazquez said, “This is an unprecedented tipping point in mainstream bare-knuckle fighting globally. Since the inception of both companies, we’ve maintained and developed a working relationship with BKB that has showcased cross-promotional fights since 2021, giving fans what they truly want and deserve: the best fighters in the world, taking the gloves off and facing one another in the oldest and purest form of combat sports. This acquisition was a natural next step in becoming the biggest, baddest bare-knuckle company in the world, with the largest international footprint and over 250 fighters from six continents and over two dozen countries, not to mention broadcasting on numerous platforms, globally, and to millions of people.”

BKB’s Smith-Brown stated, “Over the past decade, we’ve had the pleasure of growing alongside BYB, and in doing so are proud to have paved the way for bare-knuckle to grow throughout Europe and the World. BKB has been instrumental in ushering the fastest-growing combat sport on the planet to meet its growing international demand. We are proud to have created one of the world’s leading combat sports companies, and the acquisition by BYB is evidence of that. From here, the sky’s the limit. There’s now no better place or bigger stage than BYB for fighters and fans alike in the bare-knuckle arena.”