MMA Fighting

Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez have both found a new home.

The two former UFC champions inked new deals with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, BKFC founder Dave Feldman revealed Wednesday on The MMA Hour.

Rockhold (16-6) and Alvarez (30-8, 2 NC) were two of the most decorated combat sports free agents who were not already signed to a major organization. Both men have won numerous major titles in their Hall of Fame worthy careers, including a UFC belt.

Both will also make their bare-knuckle debuts on the same night against fellow former UFC fighters, as Rockhold is slated to face Mike Perry and Alvarez is set to face Chad Mendes on April 29 at BKFC 41, which takes place at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colorado. Feldman revealed the two matchups on Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour.

Rockhold vs. Perry is BKFC 41’s main event and will be contested at 185 pounds, while Alvarez vs. Mendes takes place in the co-headliner at 165 pounds.

The card will air on pay-per-view at a cost of $49.99.

“We have to do it, obviously, to be able to pay for these guys,” Feldman said.

Feldman added that both Rockhold and Alvarez have options in their contracts that allow them to compete outside of BKFC in MMA and boxing as well.

BKFC 41 will also feature a flyweight title bout between current champ Christine Ferea vs. Bec Rawlings, plus a heavyweight bout pitting Ben Rothwell against a yet-to-be-announced opponent.

Rockhold, 38, requested and received his UFC release in January 2023 after briefly retiring. A former Strikeforce and UFC middleweight champion, he lost his final octagon appearance in a spirited affair against Paulo Costa in a bout that made the short list of MMA Fighting’s Fight of the Year candidates in 2022. Rockhold holds notable wins over former UFC champs Chris Weidman, Lyoto Machida, and Michael Bisping, as well as former Strikeforce champ Ronaldo Souza.

Alvarez, 39, also agreed to part ways with his prior promotion in September 2022 following a four-fight run with ONE Championship, which saw him go 1-2 (1 NC) over four appearances. Sidelined since 2021, Alvarez memorably captured the UFC lightweight title in 2016 with a first-round knockout of Rafael dos Anjos. He is also a former two-time Bellator champion and holds notable wins over Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, Anthony Pettis, and Gilbert Melendez.

Both Perry and Mendes are undefeated in their BKFC careers. Perry won back-to-back decisions over Julian Lane and Michael Page in 2022, while Mendes scored a highlight-reel knockout of Joshuah Alvarez in his February 2022 promotional debut.

Author: Staff

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