All the blood and gore associated with bare-knuckle boxing has created an unfavorable impression of the sport. Yet, many long-time competitors are drawn to it because of the new opportunity (and apparently, the money) it brings to the table.
Former UFC interim title contender Chad Mendes is the latest addition to BKFC’s growing roster. And while it seemed like an easy decision for him to make, it wasn’t the case for his wife.
“It was definitely something that took a little bit of persuading, for sure,” Mendes told MMA Junkie’s John Morgan in a recent interview. “And she’s not 100% in on it, but she’s very supportive in anything I want to do.
“It’s just, she’s like, ‘Are you kidding me? I thought we were done with all this.’ My UFC fights, she’d be front row, (covering her eyes), like ‘I can’t watch,’ which is understandable.”
Mendes had to explain the differences between mixed martial arts and bare-knuckle boxing, and how the former is “a lot more dangerous.”
“I think MMA is honestly a lot more dangerous. You got people throwing head kicks whizzing past your head or connecting, lights out,” he explained. “You’ve got big knees, elbows, people running submissions and tearing tendons and ligaments. And really, I gotta focus on boxing now, very short rounds, and the concussions are gonna be the exact same.
“You take a bare knuckle and you put an MMA glove on it and you’ve got a half an inch or less of padding. So it’s not like you have a full boxing glove to eat some of that. It’s gonna be pretty much the same thing.”
“I think the difference is your knuckles are sharp so there’s gonna be a lot more cuts, which is associated with brutality. People are just, like, ‘Oh my God, it’s brutal!’ But I’ve been cut in the UFC, head kicks and blood all over my face and it’s just part of the job. That’s something we have to expect from time to time and put it behind us and keep going.
“I think explaining that to her definitely helped a bit.”
Fellow UFC veteran Diego Sanchez, who is reportedly on the cusp of signing with BKFC, shares the same sentiment with Mendes about how MMA could be more menacing to the body.
“As far as BKFC having more damage than UFC? That’s some bullshit,” Sanchez said in a recent Instagram live session. “The kicks are like a baseball bat, you’ve got elbows, you got slams.
“You get slammed on your neck in MMA. You got a lot more hip injuries, knee injuries, everything. Back injuries. There’s not more trauma, there’s not more danger.”
Mendes will make his BKFC debut on October 22 at 155 pounds. His opponent has yet to be announced.