Jim Alers, a mixed martial artist with a 14-4 record, 1-2-1 in the UFC is a fighter that you always had to take seriously when you stood across from him inside a cage. A legitimate black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and certainly able to fight on his feet Alers always brings the fight to the cage. If you fought Alers, you know that you were in a fight when it was over.
Alers’ mixed martial arts career changed course when he was released from the UFC. He took a couple of fights outside of the UFC as he was efforting to make his way back to the octagon. He fought in Russia, and in his home state of Florida going 1-1 in those bouts. He also took some combat Jiu-Jitsu matches. CJJ is an exciting evolution of Jiu-Jitsu, where slaps come into play as well as grappling. CJJ is definitely an exciting art to watch from the stands.
At one point Alers actually “retired” from active competition. Then one day he received a phone call that at the time may have been an opportunity to make a little extra money, and ended up becoming life-changing and reinvigorating to this athlete who clearly was not done competing. That call, by the way, was from Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
Alers who has great roots in central Florida was asked to take a Bare-Knuckle fight in Tampa as the upstart BKFC was coming to a new city, and wanted to fill the card with Florida fighters, a smart move by any promotion to fill the seats in an arena. Especially on a promotion’s first trip to a new area. Alers took the fight against a man he had defeated in MMA in the crafty veteran Elvin Brito, who had already taken the gloves off for BKFC prior to his facing Alers.
With an established MMA career resume’, Alers who loves to fight and compete jumped in with both feet for bare-knuckle which surprised many people. After all, Alers was never known for his power or striking acumen, but rather as a black-belt who could fight while standing and hold his own, but nobody was in fear of being on the receiving end of an Alers knockout, June 22nd however, that all changed.
June 22nd was the night that the artist formerly known as “The Beast” morphed into “The Bare Knuckle Beast”! BKFC 6 took place that night and Alers wasted very little time in trying to assimilate to his new job, taking just 45 seconds to brutally knockout Brito in front of a ravenous crowd in the arena, and to hundreds of thousands of viewers watching on pay-per-view around the globe.
Alers after the win was recharged about fighting. I spoke to him that night, and he was hooked! He was excited to step back in for BKFC before he even changed out of his fight shorts. There was a gleam in his eye as if everything he had worked for his entire career as an athlete was finally all in sync, and he had found his calling as a fighter.
During his time in the UFC Alers crossed paths with Jason Knight losing to “The Kid” via a split decision inside the octagon. Like Alers, Knight had transitioned to BKFC and was one half of the best fight in BKFC history when he waged war with another former UFC athlete in Artem Lobov. Even in his loss to Lobov, Knight had won. Recognition, adulation and a new career path were in front of him.
After Alers’ first win at BKFC, naturally many spoke of seeing Alers and Knight run it back minus the gloves. Knight, however, was booked to face Leonard Garcia next, so the Knight vs Alers fight would have to wait. Then fate intervened in a way that will make the possible Alers vs Knight matchup even more interesting.
Knight suffered a rib injury and was forced to withdraw from his scheduled main event bout with Garcia in Biloxi on August 10th. The matchmakers at BKFC Nate Shook and BKFC President David Feldman made what in hindsight was a great move and tabbed Alers to replace Knight in the main event vs. Garcia.
“The Bare Knuckle Beast” gladly accepted the bout, and last night in Biloxi he let the world know that he is the big dog at 155 at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
Garcia versus Alers on paper was supposed to be a brutal fight. Both talented and gritty, we were expecting a war. Alers, however, wasn’t there to go to war for 5 rounds, Alers wasn’t there for a five-course meal. No, Alers was there to get some fast food through the drive-thru, eat up and move on to his next meal. He did just that.
Once the bell rang there was no doubt at all about what was about to happen. Alers came forward fast. Unleashing a smothering blitz of powerful and accurate punches, Garcia was overwhelmed and was dropped twice in the first 30 seconds, and eventually, 4 times in the bout that lasted a bit longer than Alers’ 45-second debut at BKFC6. This one lasted 1: 38, and the result was the same for Alers a first-round KO/TKO victory.
With his big win, Alers now has to be in consideration for a title fight at 155lbs at BKFC. However, while many want to see Alers vs Knight, the fight to make is Alers vs Lobov, who is also 2-0 at BKFC with wins against Knight and one Paul Malignaggi. Alers made mention of Lobov in his post-fight interview referring to him as Conor McGregor’s “little henchman”. Stating that he will take out Lobov since McGregor whom Alers was supposed to fight during their time at together at Cage Warriors dodged him twice.
Jim “The Bare Knuckle Beast” Alers 2-0 at BKFC and looking for gold. David Feldman has another star in his galaxy, and a potential war for the 155lb title fall right into his lap that has all the elements for success. Undefeated fighters, a real back story, and a fanbase that will eat it all up!
Photos courtesy of Phil Lambert -Vital Imagery
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.