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BKFC signs former UFC champions Luke Rockhold, Eddie Alvarez for April debuts

BKFC is making some waves with its recent signings. 

Luke Rockhold after UFC 278.
Luke Rockhold after UFC 278.
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) has added a pair of former UFC champions to its roster.

BKFC founder Dave Feldman revealed on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Wednesday that Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez have signed with the promotion. Their debuts were also announced for BKFC 41, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for April 29 at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado.

Rockhold will face Mike Perry at 185 pounds in the headliner, while Alvarez will meet Chad Mendez at 165 pounds in the co-headliner.

“It’s a big doubleheader,” said Feldman. “Two big signings for BKFC. Just trying to keep everything moving forward and add in some big names and big power to this roster of ours.”

Following his ‘Fight of the Night’ loss to Paulo Costa at UFC 278 this past August, Rockhold announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. The former Strikeforce and UFC champion earned wins over notable names throughout his 15-year MMA career, including Michael Bisping, Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman.

Shortly after his announcement, however, the 38-year-old started teasing a return. Though rumors of a reunion with Strikeforce-turned-Bellator president Scott Coker arose, Rockhold has decided to try something new with bare-knuckle boxing.

Joining him is Alvarez, who entered free agency after departing with ONE Championship this past September. The ‘Underground King’ went 1-2 (1 NC) in four ONE appearances. Prior to his recent run, the 39-year-old fought in the UFC for nearly four years. Among his highlights was a first-round TKO of Rafael dos Anjos to claim the UFC lightweight championship.

Perry and Mendes were added to the BKFC roster in 2021. Perry has two wins over Julian Lane and Michael ‘Venom’ Page and has done a fair share of announcing work for the promotion, while Mendes finished Joshuah Alvarez by fourth-round TKO in his only bout to date.

BKFC 41 now has four confirmed fights. The line-up is as follows:

  • Luke Rockhold vs. Mike Perry
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Chad Mendes
  • Christine Ferea vs. Bec Rawlings
  • Ben Rothwell vs. TBA

About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)