For almost six decades, the world champions of bodybuilding were crowned at the Olympia. In recent years, it has evolved into showcasing the best of strength sports as well such as powerlifting, armlifting, and even strongman competitions. Other sports have noticed this and want to partner with the Olympia World Fitness Expo to introduce their brands to our fans, including combat sports.
One organization that has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years is the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. The sport is exactly as you may have envisioned it to be. Two competitors boxing in a ring with no gloves or tape on their knuckles.
Brian Soscia is unofficially known as the voice of the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, and he feels that the rise in the sport can be credited to the entertainment value they provide.
“We’re more than just fights. We’re a production, we’re a show, and we have shows all over the world,” said Soscia. “We’re everywhere, and we have the smoke and lighting. I also interact with the crowd quite a bit.”
Their mission is to provide competitive fights with high-quality production, but this isn’t like simple backyard fighting. Safety measures are in place.
“We have doctors there, done countless studies to make sure that our fighters are okay,” Soscia explained. “We want to make it sanctioned and safe for the competitors.”
When you see a Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship event, two fighters step into a unique ring, known as the squared circle, a term borrowed from professional boxing or wrestling. The stage is square, but the ring ropes make a circle.
Soscia said that “this is built for action. There is nowhere to hide.”
The fighters (both men and women) then “toe the line” when they face each other in the center of the ring and receive instructions from the referee. Each round lasts two minutes, and there are up five rounds per match, equaling a ten-minute fight.
Aside from the bare knuckles and being able to work in the clinch, most of the rules for the sport fall in tradition with boxing. The fighters have a ten-count to get up after a knockdown, the fight can be stopped if blood affects a fighter’s vision, and they must wear the appropriate attire and protection such as a cup and mouthpiece. The fights are available to watch on their “Bare Knuckle FC” app, which is available in all the major app stores.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship made its first appearance at the Olympia Expo in 2022 at the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada, and they felt it was very successful. Soscia remembered his experience very well.
“It was awesome. I felt like I needed to bring another suitcase, so I could’ve gotten some of the stuff and free samples. We had a very, very booth as well.”
They will be back at the Olympia World Fitness Expo, but this year’s edition is in Orlando, FL on the weekend of Nov. 3rd and 4th. Soscia shared some of their plans this year, and they plan on topping their success in 2022.
“It looks like we’re going to be doing Bare Knuckle tryouts. Some of our champions are going to be there, signing autographs, taking pictures, and helping out with the tryouts.”
As of this writing, they don’t have all of their plans laid out just yet. One possibility is a search for ring girls, or what they call “Bare Knuckle Bombshells.” They also intend to have a punching machine that fans can test their punching power with. What Soscia could confirm is that they hope to attract many bodybuilding fans to become fans of their sport as well.
“We want to bring people into the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship experience.”
Following the Expo on November 3rd, they plan on having a Bare Knuckle show. Details of that show are expected to be announced soon. Soscia is very optimistic about being a part of the Olympia for another year.
“The Olympia was already a juggernaut, but it’s become even bigger, and it’s exciting to be a part of that this year. To link up with a great team like that is awesome. We could meet new fans, possibly new fighters, and it can help us grow as our own sport.” For more information on the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, go to www.bkfc.com and follow @bareknucklefc on Instagram. To purchase Olympia Expo tickets, go to www.mrolympia.com .