Mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Ken Shamrock is back.
However, it’s probably not in the capacity you would expect. A report from the Associated Press (AP) revealed today that Shamrock will start an all-new bare-knuckle boxing promotion called Valor Bare Knuckle. The promotion will stage their first event on September 21 from the 4 Bears Casino in North Dakota.
The press release said Valor Bare Knuckle has ‘plans for quick growth.’ Although bare-knuckle boxing has seen a resurgence of sorts thanks to Bare Knuckle FC’s recent events, there are also signs the trend is already waning.
BKFC President David Feldman recently revealed some truly eye-opening pay-per-view estimates for June 22’s BKFC 6 headlined by Artem Lobov vs. Paulie Malignaggi. He claimed the show did in the neighborhood of 200,000 buys. However, reports soon surfaced that was far from the case as it had only drawn 18,000 buys.
That comes on the heels of the WBKFC debacle where several fighters were not paid. Yet another failed crossover between boxing and MMA came late last year when Oscar De La Hoya attempted to start Golden Boy MMA. Tito Ortiz headlined their first (and apparently only) show by knocking out an ancient Chuck Liddell. Ortiz recently revealed the promotion had folded after that one show.
As for Shamrock, he’s been out of action since 2016, where he lost to longtime rival Royce Gracie in Bellator. The UFC legend was one of the true pioneers of the sport, but it’s debatable if anyone beyond the most hardcore fans will give his new promotion any attention because of his name alone. Shamrock lost nine out of his last 11 professional fights.
Will you be tuning in to watch the latest bare-knuckle boxing upstart, or has the fad already run its course?