Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) will be providing a pension fund for fighters beginning with the April 17 card on April 30.
BKFC President Dave Feldman revealed the historic news to MMA Fighting Thursday in a prepared statement.
“Our fighters are the most important asset of the company,” Feldman said. “We want to ensure that they are compensated not only on the night of the fight, but also looked after in retirement. For each BKFC fight, money will be placed in a pension account for them to draw on upon retirement.
“BKFC is the hottest, fastest growing and most exciting sport in the world, and we want to ensure that our fighters are taken care of in every possible way.”
Fighters of large MMA promotions like the UFC and Bellator can only hope that their leaders follow suit and create such a plan for them. Until then, ex-UFC fighters like Paige VanZant and other fighters now have a reason to choose BKFC as a long-term home.
It makes sense for BKFC to offer this benefit to its fighters, as it is arguably as brutal a form of combat sports that exists. But that’s not why Feldman says he made the choice to offer payments to fighters after retirement or a minimum of five years after the company stops making contributions to their personal pension accounts. He did it because he has seen firsthand what happens to fighters when they do not have these savings.
“I’ve been in this sport for a long time and I’ve seen my dad put a lot of money away for fighters in the past and they did everything they could to break it. A lot of them went broke,” Feldman said.
“That’s why we put a minimum of five years on it, so they have it and they’re not just going to go out and blow it. They’re going to have it when they need it.”
BKFC 17 will feature Dillon Cleckler taking on Josh Burns, with both fighters bringing undefeated BKFC records with them. The event will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on April 30.
What do you think of the BKFC’s decision to provide a pension fund account for its fighters?