Maui’s Kendall Grove Returns to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, Oct. 20
Maui’s Kendall Grove returns to the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in “BKFC 3: The Takeover” on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi and live on pay-per-view.
The UFC and Bellator veteran and Baldwin High graduate will be fighting former University of Alabama linebacker Marcell Stamps who remains undefeated in his young MMA and bare knuckle career.
In a telephone interview today, Grove told Maui Now’s Wendy Osher that he’s hoping to bring the sport to Maui. He said it gives fighters another avenue to extend their dreams and said fans love the “controlled chaos.”
Grove has been fighting professionally since 2003 and has competed in everything from Bellator to MMA, UFC, King of the Cage and The Ultimate Fighter.
He won his first Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship bout against Bruce Abramski by unanimous decision in August and is under contract to compete again in the upcoming BKFC 3 event.
The 186 pound middleweight contender stands 6’6″ tall and and faces Stamps who also won his BKFC 2 bout.
Grove said bare knuckle fighting is exciting, but “a lot easier,” in a way. He said, “I don’t have to worry about getting taken down. I don’t have to worry about if you’re going to elbow me, kick me, knee me.” He said it may sound funny, but, “in bare knuckle, I know that you’re worried about punching me… It hurts. It definitely hurts. There’s a technique to it. It’s not just going and punching each other. That’s why I think you see us a little bit more technical than what you would imagine.”
Grove said you won’t be seeing “bar-room brawls,” but instead a technical fight. “We don’t want to break our hands. There’s a science to it. Just like MMA, you just got to figure it out. You got to practice and take in knowledge from the older generation that knows the sport, and apply it to what we do.”
Grove said MMA and Bare Knuckle Fighting is like comparing apples to oranges. “I can strike, but I have to be careful of where I strike because I don’t want to hurt my hand and fight the rest of the fight with one hand or no hand for that matter. It’s definitely more of a thinking man’s sport… If you want to be successful, you have to have a strategy and you just got to think.”
On June 2, 2018, Philadelphia-based Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship promoted the first legal, sanctioned and regulated bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889. “BKFC 1: The Beginning” took place in Cheyenne, Wyoming and featured 10 professional bouts, all under the auspices and control of the Wyoming Combative Sports Commission.
According to organizers, the BKFC uses only established fighters who have previously competed professionally in boxing, MMA, kickboxing and/or Muay Thai. All BKFC bouts are sanctioned and regulated by ABC member Athletic Commissions.
“BKFC 3: The Takeover” will be sanctioned and regulated by the Mississippi Athletic Commission, which is headed by Chairman Jon Lewis.
BKFC 3 Additional Highlights: (courtesy tournament organizers)
In the main event, heavyweight tournament, undefeated professional boxer Sam “The Hillbilly Hammer” Shewmaker will face veteran MMA fighter Arnold “AJ” Adams.
Organizers say BKFC 3 will also showcase the beginning of the men’s 135-pound lightweight tournament, with a champion expected to be crowned in 2019. All four quarterfinal-round fights, plus the tournament alternate bout, will be contested on October 20. The lightweight tournament field will include UFC and Bellator veteran Johnny Bedford against professional boxer Reggie Barnett Jr., both of whom are undefeated so far in BKFC competition.
Returning to BKFC action is undefeated bare knuckle fighting legend and Police Gazette Bare Knuckle Heavyweight Champion Bobby Gunn.
Making his promotional debut at BKFC 3 will be Joe Riggs, who has a lengthy resume with the UFC and is the former WEC Middleweight Champion. Riggs will meet MMA veteran Brok Weaver. The card will also feature Christine Ferea versus Jennifer Tate in the first bare knuckle bout for both women.