Fighters who bare knuckles bare their souls
More than 7,000 expected to see card
Too much information beats not enough every time.
Wednesday at Expo New Mexico, 11 of the 24 fighters scheduled to perform on Friday’s Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship card at Tingley Coliseum sat down for media interviews. BKFC President Dave Feldman made it an even dozen.
A sampling, culled from some 90 minutes of recordings:
Feldman, on finding a mother lode of bare-knuckle fighting enthusiasm in the Albuquerque area:
“The first event we did here (at the Rio Rancho Events Center in August), I think we did close to 3,000 tickets. Right now we’re between 7,000 and 8,000 total tickets (for Friday).
“It will be the largest crowd we’ve ever had and the highest gate we’ve ever had, so thank you, Albuquerque.”
Albuquerque’s John Dodson (1-0), who’s matched against Jarod Grant (5-1) in a flyweight fight: “I want to be able to show the BKFC that every fighter on the roster at flyweight, they can’t mess with me. … Can’t (cope with) my speed. My power will be so terrifying that it will scare everybody from 125 (pounds) all the way up to 155.”
Grant: “I know (Dodson) is gonna feel my power. I know his plan is to rush in, blitz me and throw a bunch of punches, but I think once I touch him he’s gonna start backing up.”
Eric Dodson (1-0), John’s younger but bigger brother, who’s matched against Belen’s Gene Perez (BKFC debut) in a featherweight (145-pound) fight:
“We’re always trying to outdo each other, just like brothers do. … We’ve put good rounds against each other in the gym itself, and so going out there and showing (the fans) what we’ve done is fantastic.
“Nobody I fight is ever gonna be as fast as him, nobody’s gonna hit him as hard as I do.”
Albuquerque MMA legend Diego Sanchez, who’s scheduled to face Las Cruces world champion boxer Austin Trout on Friday in both men’s bare-knuckle debut:
“My biggest advantage (in the matchup) is in my mind. And in my heart. … I told (Feldman), ‘Burque is bare knuckle! We started bare knuckle.”
Trout, on his decision to enter the bare-knuckle world:
“I like to fight. I like to stay busy. … I’m from Las Cruces, New Mexico. … This ain’t gonna (be the) first time bones (are) hitting bones.”
BKFC light heavyweight champion Lorenzo Hunt (9-1), who’ll defend his title against
Mike Richman (5-0) in Friday’s main event (the two got into a brawl at an earlier news conference): “It’s not personal at all. If Mike Richman’s got something against me, that’s his own personal issue.”
Richman: “It’s not personal for me, either. … It’s always been business with me. I’ve been in this fight business a lot longer than him.”
Former Carolina Panther and Dallas Cowboy defensive lineman Greg Hardy, who’s scheduled to make his BKFC debut against Josh Watson (1-1) in a heavyweight fight:
“One thing about being a heavyweight: when these (fists) land, somebody’s goin’ down. … A chance to be a part of this is like standing on the star (at Dallas’ AT&T Stadium). …”
Albuquerque’s Jayme Hinshaw (1-0), who’s matched against Charisa Sigala (1-3-1) in a strawweight (115-pound) fight:
“It’s raw (describing bareknuckle fighting). It’s something that’s not for the faint of heart; it’s not for everyone. … I think us females are gonna steal the show.”
Kevin Croom of Kansas City, Missouri, a former Albuquerque resident who’s scheduled to face Oklahoma’s Chevy Bridges — another former Albuquerque resident — in a lightweight (155-pound) fight:
“Apparently (he and Bridges) have trained together before. I have no memory of that, so you know what that tells me.”
Bridges: “It’s OK for (Croom) to say he doesn’t remember my name, but he’s gonna remember me Friday night.”
More Feldman: “This place, they love it. They love bare-knuckle, they love fighting in general. … Right now, (Albuquerque) is our second home. This is where we’re gonna do a lot of fights.
“… We have an epic announcement to make that New Mexico fans are gonna go absolutely crazy for, and we’ll be back in the summer with that fight.”