Legal Bare-Knuckle Fighting Makes Its First American Appearance Since 1889

Via Breitbart:

Arnold Adams, a 32-year-old MMA heavyweight, pounded ex-UFC fighter D.J. Linderman’s face into a bloody mess in front of 2,000 rowdy fans at a hockey rink that usually hosts birthday parties and skating lessons in Wyoming’s capital. Tens of thousands more tuned in for the pay-per-view event, which featured 10 bouts, including four heavyweight fights in a tournament format.

Fans were lined up outside the Cheyenne Ice and Events Center more than an hour before the first major bare-knuckle event in the U.S. since 1889. Forrest Peters, from Cheyenne, was among those in attendance. He came to cheer Estevan Payan – who served in the same Army unit as Peters – and to witness history.

”With the bare-knuckle fighting and everything, having them bring it back for the first time in over 100 years, you knew it’s pretty exciting to see,” Peters said, ”and especially having it here in Cheyenne, kinda out here where the West is still a little wild.”

Payan, of Tempe, Arizona, didn’t disappoint, flooring Omar Avelar at 1:57 of the opening round of a 145-pound match.

The quickest knockout occurred when Sam Shewmaker used one punch, an overhand right, to send Eric Prindle to the canvas 18 seconds into their heavyweight bout.

”It felt like hitting a home run,” said Shewmaker, a fourth-generation stone mason from the tiny central Missouri town of Gravois Mills. ”I didn’t think I would be able to catch him that early, but luckily I did.”

Shewmaker has been an amateur boxer for years, and when he heard about the Wyoming event, he tried out and earned a chance to compete.

”I never dreamed that it would be legal to be able to do this,” he said. ”I’ve been in plenty of illegal bare-knuckle fights. I mean growing up where I did, in the area I did, it’s kinda rough, but people are gentlemen about it, too. You can fight, you get up, you’re done, you shake hands and you go get a beer.”

Bec Rawlings, a 29-year-old from Brisbane, Australia, won the only bout of the night featuring women, stopping Alma Garcia with a TKO in the second round.

Rawlings noticed little difference from fighting with gloves.

”It felt the same to get punched as in an MMA fight, which is what my background is,” she said. ”The difference was my knuckles more – when I punched her, I felt it a little bit more. Other than that, it was really nice just to let go and showcase my boxing skill and not worry about a takedown or a kick.

”It felt like the rawest form of combat sports to just go out there and throw your hands and let loose.”

Tony Lopez lost the most entertaining fight of the night, a five-rounder against fellow Californian Joey Beltran. The crowd was on its feet and roaring as the two heavyweights traded punches and slugged it out to the end, with both men bruised, cut up and bloodied.

”The knuckles was nothing,” the 44-year-old Lopez said. ”… I’ve always wanted to fight with no gloves. Got a chance to do it here.”

Beltran and Shewmaker joined Ricco Rodriguez and Maurice Jackson in the semifinals of the heavyweight division tournament, which will be held in September, also in Cheyenne.

Heralded underground bare-knuckle heavyweight Bobby Gunn also fought, knocking out Irineu Beato Costa Jr. in 41 seconds.

Cheyenne resident Bryan Pedersen, an MMA fighter and former state lawmaker, successfully sponsored a bill in 2012 to create a state board of mixed martial arts – the first state to do so. While MMA was thriving, bare-knuckle competition wasn’t even considered when the law was passed. However, Wyoming jumped at the chance to host Bare Knuckle Fight Championships action after 28 other states passed.

The International Boxing Hall of Fame said the last significant bare-knuckle bout was July 8, 1889, when John L. Sullivan went 75 rounds to beat Jake Kilrain. Even that event was illegal and had to be staged under the cover of secrecy as most states had outlawed the non-gloved version of boxing.

Fighting was forced underground until 2011, when the Yavapai Nation sanctioned a match that Gunn won over Richard Stewart at the tribe’s reservation in Arizona. The bout drew more than a million viewers, and the promoter of that event and the Wyoming one, David Feldman, realized there was a hungry market for bare-knuckle fights within the combat sports fanbase. It took him another seven years to find a state willing to sanction the next event.

Wyoming became the first state to sanction and regulate the activity sport its commission reviewed research that indicated bare-knuckle boxing would be safer than other combat sports, especially when it comes to concussions, Pedersen said, adding that the commission, which he chairs, spent about a year developing the new rules governing the sport. He also viewed Saturday’s competition, and future bouts, as a way to generate economic diversity and promote the Cowboy State and its strong sense of Western independence.

Read the entire article

Don’t Miss: 6 Local Fighting Traditions That You Should Consider Trying

49 thoughts on “Legal Bare-Knuckle Fighting Makes Its First American Appearance Since 1889”

  1. There are subtle, yet obvious, signs that society is desperate for a taste of masculinity, American values, and a return to social normality.
    Bare knuckled brawling is a kind of knee-jerk reaction that proves this. With standard boxing seldom on free tv and the NFL going the way of SJW ideals and “player safety,” Americans are looking toward the pugelism of past centuries to satisfy their appetite for physicality.
    Among the right and even centrists there is actually a deep yearning for competent male leadership in all realms of society. The largely successful Trump administration is an example of this–and that’s what pisses off the left. Trump is a winner, a guy, anti-SJW, and he’s succeeding! I’m not predicting widespread success for the bare knuckled boxers, but don’t be surprised to see increased demand for this kind of sport, while the left decries its “toxic masculinity.”

      1. Would you prefer Hillary? Imagine having to listen to that hag’s voice for 4 years!
        And stop being an idiot, we all knew that Trump was going to have to do some things we were not going to like. One man isn’t going to be able to correct generations of all of this crap you see today but he’s making a good try. He’s going to have to be as sneaky as they are and get things passed under their noses rather than alert them and where they all close ranks against him.

    1. Those fights were shit especially that black dude! Kids in high school can take bigger blows than these “pros” bunch of fucking pussies.

    2. When white men first invented sports — like football and boxing — the emphasis was always on power and durability. As time goes on, the emphasis becomes more on speed and grace –attributes that POCs possess and women enjoy watching.
      If these bouts were being contested under the original London Prize Ring rules for bareknuckle fighting (as was Sullivan/Kilrain, for instance) the difference between our modern artistic displays and the basics of knuckles ‘n knowhow would be obvious to all.

  2. Seems like we’re slowing moving back to the era of Gladiators and Duels.
    The revival of raw fighting is good news amidst the Western decline.

    1. At least combat is pure. Take basketball, a girls game dominated by blacks. Fighting ability could be useful in a real life battle.

    2. In dystopian flicks/novels, the populace is passive and docile. The only outlet for their primal urge for violence is televised game shows with life or death consequences. The running man, rollerball, death race 2000, gamer….i always wondered if things could really pan out that way. Total separation of violence from our everyday lives, we are only accorded outlets through state sponsored events.

  3. Don’t know what is the message of this article but all I see is just another sign that the contemporary world is turning into a falling apart Roman empire or simply a modern dystopia. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in for blood sports and whatnot, hell I would even watch fighting to the death for all I care but that’s not the point. It’s just… what u see around urself in the modern world, fat and ugly people screamin like animals at each other at wallmarts cuz somebody forgot to get his favorite junk food, arrogant hypsters fooling themselves that they have the luck to be part of the upper 1% and fast food relationships between the sexes which last like few months or at best years before the divorce… and to top it all, there are fights and games for the dumb and fat masses, yeah is that the bright utopic sci fi future before us?

    1. Bread and circuses. Nothing new under the sun.
      Exactly my thinking, and coming from a martial artist, combat sports fan.

  4. The Roman coliseum all over again. It was nerds, quite and civilized men, cultured men, and men who only fought when they needed to who actually built this nation. Civilization/culture etc was built by intelligence, not by this BS. If you think masculinity is a bunch of low IQ animals beating their faces in than you are a fucking retard, and in all reality you actually agree with feminists on toxic masculinity. This crap is fucking garbage. To me these fighters are no different than whores in porn…they are just low IQ losers who have one specific skillset and one specific mentality who only exist to satisfy the pathetic masses with shallow, superficial drama/entertainment. Fighting is tough, and a lot of these men have some huge balls, but it is still trash. It is like saying a whore in porn is brave because she is cool with degrading herself on camera. Two different industries, but from a consumer standpoint it is all the same shit. Not saying that competition and fighting is inherently bad, the complete opposite, but this shit is PPV crap designed to be trashing and overly dramatic. There is no honor, tradition, NOTHING in these type of fighting events.

    1. WES
      Less people have anything to lose. Despite all the laws attempting to regulate and protect our safety more people are no-purchases in the economy who don’t care whatsoever.
      Women who would have been middle class 50 years ago don’t care if they do bukkake films.

    2. Ever heard of Pankration or ancient Roman pugilism? I don’t know about honor, but this stuff is the closest we’ve gotten to pure tradition. The fuck you talkin’ about, no tradition?

    3. WES, I agree. another ‘panem et circenses’ for the joy of the plebs. there is honor in defending yourself and your family, doing the same for money makes you another whore in this big circus of show business..

  5. Makes sense, considering they dont really put elbow and kneepads in the UFC. About time we take away all these safety nets.

  6. And they say that dueling at dawn with pistols is uncivilized…we could at least go back to that and flintlocks. Id watch that for a dollar. This however..meh. the brain damaged just making sure it really is brain damage. their health insurance carriers should drop every single one of them, so others don’t have to pay for their medical bills. Why not just go straight coliseum mode and give em dull broadswords instead, and send in hungry lions to clean out the rings after. that way you make the fight at least a green opportunity for the lions.

    1. Bareknuckle boxing actually causes less brain damage than gloved boxing. Gloves weren’t introduced to protect the fighters from that – they were introduced to prevent fighters from breaking their hands, meaning that they could hit harder and more frequently to the head. It’s easier to get dropped by a clean shot bare fist than with a gloved fist, meaning that you end up taking much fewer heavy head shots.
      I’ve fought both gloved and bareknuckle myself, and there’s a huge difference. After a gloved fight I have a pounding headache – after a bare knuckle fight just a few bruises and cuts. It’s the difference between internal vs external damage. People see that bareknuckle or even smaller gloves are more likely to cut and they assume that it must be more damaging to the brain, which isn’t true.

  7. Beginnings of UFC was great. Look on youtube for some videos of first several events back in the 90ties. No weight categories! No rounds!

    1. Ill never forget some of those fights. Royce gracie changed the game, but until his style became widely adopted, it was a total free for all in there. Fights that lasted one punch…loved it

  8. Damn , these guys have balls. I like to weightlift and go jogging with my dogs but I couldn’t even fathom doing UFC stuff let alone bare knuckled.
    Its definitely not high brow stuff like polo/golf at Trump National in Bedminster , but I have a tremendous amount of respect for these beasts. Uggh.
    And I do agree with the other posters about how the last vestiges of masculinity are being removed from society and things like this are filling a need

  9. My father was something of a bare knuckle fighter, his fists were like rocks. In the military he would spar with boxers in the ring with gloves and they would best him. One time he got into a fight with one of them outside of the ring and the guy ended up in the hospital with soft spots on the top of his skull from my father’s fists. Bare knuckle fighters whose fists don’t break easily are way tougher then ordinary boxers.

  10. I’m not knocking the men who commit themselves to this sport, but I agree with the Roman coliseum comment by @Wes the Great. Yeah. brutality is an indicator of masculinity, but I don’t scrap and brawl over nothing… And if you’re into that….. I hope you don’t suffer from chronic headaches when your older (to the point where you’ll want to commit suicide) or worse, you end up dead in a street fight when a guy lands a strong hit on the right part of your face/skull.
    Masculine leadership is good. Bloodsports to satisfy the sadistic primal urges of the masses.. Have at if you want, but I’d rather spend my time lifting, reading and fucking women. If the time ever comes to defend myself I’ll be ready, but I’m not gonna beat up my body for fun.

    1. On a side note, how fucking awesome does this movie look? This is is the type of gritty, masculine movie no Hollywood BS I love.
      A Prayer Before Dawn:

  11. There is absolutely nothing useful in this display jungle-law-savagery. Men who pine over the loss of dogged-bloodsport-survival are fools. Gone are the days of knuckle-dragging stupidity. These traits are no longer useful in the age of drones and antiseptic push-button-holocaust.

    1. Yes, this savagery is a real inefficient use of energy.
      In more vigorous civilizations such energy is projected onto the outside, while civility is cultivated on the inside.
      The SS are perfect examples, sharply dressed gentlemen at home, the standard bearers of propriety and examples to the youth. But on the front line savage killers with a fanatical devotion to death and sacrifice.
      You see the same with Muslims and jews; their brethren can do no wrong, but if you’re a non-believer or gentile, watch the fuck out it’s open season on you.
      What we’re seeing today are the incoherent spasms of a dying society without a charter or direction. So these neanderthals can take a hit to the head. Congratulations, but what have they accomplished?

    2. combat is tsill useful as in real war the first thing will be not attack electricity supplies use maganatism shochs to render electronics useless bomb the headq singal is being brodcast

    3. They’re useful to the average guy when it comes to unarmed self-defence. If you’re from the US then yeah you’re probably better off training with firearms, but here in the UK we have to know how to fight unarmed.

    1. Negative. These bouts are being fought under current professional boxing rules, but without gloves. So things that were common under London
      Prize Ring rules, like hammerfists (choppers), spinning backfists (pivot punches) and upper-body wrestling throws are off the table.

  12. Bare knuckle morons wouldnt last 1 minute with elite boxers, Fat, dunkards who have failed in life.

    1. A washed up Bert Cooper knocked out the British bare knuckle “champion” Dan Savage in 1 round. And to think, he wanted to challenge Lennox Lewis. He’d have been lucky to have not been killed had Lewis accepted his challenge.

    1. How many fights have you had? I weigh 170lbs now, however when I was a teen I would fight at 135lbs. In sparring I’d train with guys of different sizes, and in some cases beat guys who were literally twice my size. Size matters of course, anybody who says otherwise is delusional, but there are some dangerous smaller guys and some big guys who couldn’t fit their way out of a wet paper bag.

    2. Thomas Hearns (147), Marvin Hagler (160) and Dan Gable (150) might disagree with you.

Comments are closed.