UFC 255: Perry v Means
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Inaugural Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) Middleweight kingpin, Thiago Alves, seeks to score the first defense of his title opposite “King of Violence,” Mike Perry, TONIGHT (Sat., April 27, 2024) at BKFC: “Knucklemania 4” inside Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Alves’ UFC career ended with more of a whimper than a bang, but “Pitbull” wasn’t content to end his combat sports career that way. The 40-year-old former title challenger moved into the bare knuckle ring and looks built for that style of combat, having won two in a row to capture the belt. Meanwhile, Perry has become the face of BKFC in just four fights! He’s undefeated in that span and has toppled a pair of former UFC champions in the process, more than earning an opportunity to fight for the actual title.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

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Mike Perry

Record: 4-0
Key Wins: Michael Page (BKFC 27), Luke Rockhold (BKFC 41), Eddie Alvarez (BKFC 56)
Key Losses: None
Keys To Victory: Perry is ferocious in the bare knuckle ring. He understands precisely how he wins fights: by getting in his opponent’s grill and firing power punches in combinations. In addition, Perry has shown a great ability to make adjustments amidst the fire, like when he started ripping into Rockhold’s ribs to close range on the taller man.

Perry should be favored here by virtue of being younger and more durable at this stage of his career. He should be especially favored at close distance, where his clubbing punches are likely to take serious effect. Alves might be slightly cleaner at range, but consistent aggression and ring-cutting should solve that potential issue.

Otherwise, Perry would be wise to start fast. Alves hasn’t fought since 2021, whereas Perry has been actively fighting tough competition. Why let the veteran ease back into action?

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Thiago Alves

Record: 2-0
Key Wins: Ulysses Diaz (BKFC 18), Julian Lane (BKFC 12)
Key Losses: None
Keys To Victory: Alves was the premier representative of Muay Thai for quite a while inside the Octagon. As he aged, however, Alves became more and more of a boxer in the cage, making him a perfect fit for BKFC.

Historically, Alves is the cleaner distance striker of the two, the man with sharper distance weapons, footwork, and counter punching. It’s difficult to stay pretty and technical in the BKFC ring though, in part because two minute rounds simply lead to chaos.

To take advantage of that crispness, Alves has to get Perry off him a bit, which comes down to a few keys. For one, Alves should be working to establish the jab early. Perry may have an iron jaw, but nobody enjoys walking through knuckles to the nose. A snappy jab will earn Perry’s respect, as well as allow Alves to feint and circle off on occasion.

Some body shots would be advisable in slowing down Perry’s barrage as well. If Alves can stick his face with sharp jabs and touch the body occasionally, he should start to have more time at his preferred range as the fight wears on and the pace slows.

Bottom Line

This should be a great fight.

Mike Perry may be the challenger, but he’s the A-side here. He’s also expected to win, as the younger and more active scrapper. If victorious, Perry continues his run as the biggest star in BKFC, but he adds an undisputed title to his resume. Does that help him secure a Jake Paul match up or some other similarly huge money fight? There’s no guarantee, but it certainly doesn’t hurt!

On the other side of the equation, Thiago Alves has been doing this forever — 2001 to be specific! 22 years into being a professional combat sports athlete, one has to assume Alves’ career is close to the end, particularly since he’s also a coach at American Top Team. If he pulls off the upset, it’s another great scalp for an already amazing resume.

At BKFC: Knucklemania 4, Mike Perry and Thiago Alves will go to war in the main event. Which man earns the victory?

For complete BKFC Knucklemania 4 results, including play-by-play updates, click here.

Author: Staff

Please go to MMAMania.com to read full article.

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