David Rickels in January decided to end his nine-year run with Bellator MMA to join the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship organization. According to Rickels, his decision to part ways with Bellator was not made out of disinterest in mixed martial arts but rather the appeal of competing in a different kind of combat sport. “The Caveman” will debut under the BKFC banner this Saturday in Wichita, Kansas.
“I got a phone call from a friend of mine, [former Bellator play-by-play announcer] Sean Wheelock,” Rickels told Sherdog.com. “I’m assuming he had some people in the know, and he’s like, ‘Hey man, I’m kind of working for Bare Knuckle now. What are [your thoughts on] that?’ I’m like, ‘Dude, you know me. Do I want to fight someone in Bare Knuckle? Yeah, baby, let’s go.’ I just came to a position where [I asked myself], ‘What do I want to do next?’ Because I’m a free agent. I still have a great standing relationship with Bellator. I’m still probably going to fight MMA. I don’t know if it will be for Bellator or somebody else, but I have to do this bare-knuckle thing.”
In this exclusive interview with Sherdog.com, Rickels discussed the reasoning behind signing a one-fight deal with BKFC, explained how competing in his home state of Kansas was a factor in his decision and outlined the differences in training for bare-knuckle fighting.
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