On Saturday, Bellator’s top contender Michael “Venom” Page and 15-time UFC veteran Mike Perry will face off in a bare-knuckle boxing contest that no one saw coming, but which has the potential to be one of the most memorable competitions in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship history.
BKFC 27 marks the first time in London for the upstart Philadelphia-based promotion, and BKFC chairman and founder David Feldman said he was delighted to be hosting an event where the sport of bare-knuckle boxing has gained notoriety at the end of the 19th century.
“It’s amazing to be here in London, England,” Feldman said at a press conference promoting the event. “The fans here are fantastic. The fighters here are some of the best in the world.
“The real birthplace of bare knuckle fighting is here in the UK, and it’s great to be able to bring this massive spectacle to Wembley Arena here this Saturday night, August 20th. I’m just super excited to get to to bring this promotion here and show some of the best combat sports fans in the world Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship what it’s all about and they can see it in person and really become a fan of this amazing sport.”
Page, a kickboxing specialist, has been an integral part of the Bellator brand for eight years, delivering several milestone finishes along the way. Meanwhile, Perry fought under the UFC banner from 2016 to 2021, engaging in numerous scrappy brawls and also developing a reputation for his wild antics out of the cage, before leaving the promotion to pursue other fighting opportunities.
In June, the two were revealed as the headliners of BKFC 27 in a surprise announcement, and Page and Perry now face off at the OVO Arena Wembley on Saturday, in a fight streamed globally on the app. BKFC (1 p.m. ET).
Page, a London native on loan from Bellator for the one-off special appearance, is taking part in bare-knuckle boxing for the first time but believes a lifetime of training in the punching arts has prepared him well for the challenge .
“I haven’t had too much adaptation,” Page said. “For me, my style in itself is already something that is going to be difficult for anyone to deal with. I can be a lot underestimated because of the way I make my opponents look like, and I’m looking to do the same here.
“I know a lot of people are for me just because of the hype I have around me, but there are a lot of people against me, and I can’t wait to prove them wrong, but I I’m super excited about this fight. Super excited.”
Meanwhile, Perry made his BKFC debut in February, picking up a decisive win over fellow UFC veteran Julian Lane in a barnburner, and he says he’s spent time since then focusing on lessons. drawn from this experience.
“I trained based on what I learned from the first fight, and I’m looking forward to figuring it all out in the ring with all the work I’ve done in the last five or six months,” Perry said. “I mean, I have a great opponent. He thinks the same as me – he’s very excited about the fight. It just tells me he doesn’t know what’s in store for him. I’m going to sneak up on him , and I will have it.”
Launched in 2018, BKFC sees athletes compete in a circular ring for five two-minute rounds. The wrists are taped for support, but the knuckles are left bare. This year alone, the promotion has hosted national events in Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska and New York, as well as internationally in Thailand.
While the organization invests in developing local talent, Feldman also relies on recruiting proven stars from other combat sports to build awareness for his business. Page and Perry certainly fit that bill, and Feldman thinks the contest will definitely provide entertainment value.
“They’re going to take their gloves off and they’re going to try and fight each other on Saturday night in front of all the fans here, and I can’t wait for those fans to see what this sport is all about,” Feldman said.
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