Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship President David Feldman let us know on The Cage Side with Christopher James Show that his biggest free-agent signing to date, Paige Van Zant will make her promotional debut on November 14th at a yet to be determined location, against an opponent to be determined. Van Zant will headline that card, which will feature the 155lb title clash between reigning champion Luis Palomino and the undefeated KO artist Jim Alers, a fight that has BKFC fans foaming at the mouth!
Jim Alers has long laid claim to being the BKFC 155lb Champion after compiling a 4-0 record in the promotion. His 4 wins are only overshadowed by BKFC 135lb Champion “Brutal” Johnny Bedford who is 5-0, I’m told will be defending his belt before year’s end.
Unfortunately for Alers, he was unable to make his “championship” claim official on July 24th in a scheduled bout against Luis Palomino due to his head coach contracting COVID-19, which forced Alers to withdraw for the safety of his team, family, and the entire BKFC team.
Palomino went on to face Isaac Valle-Flagg who replaced Alers and made quick work of Flagg finishing him in violent fashion at 45 seconds of the 1st round, and with the win came the gold and Palomino is now the Undefeated, Undisputed 155lb BKFC Champion.
Alers and Palomino who once were training partners at MMA Masters in Miami, and also good friends have engaged in a war of words over social media ever since Alers had to withdraw from the original booking. Trash talking, taking personal shots at one another over various social media platforms, all expected things in the buildup to a fight. However, things got physical this past Tuesday in Coconut Creek, Florida at the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship press event to introduce Thiago Alves and Paige Van Zant to the public for the first time since signing both former UFC stars to the roster.
Both men were in attendance, and both came in with hardware over their respective shoulders. Alers had his BKFC custom belt, not an official belt with the promotion, and Palomino had the official belt, which Alers craves, and believes is already his. After the press conference ended, both men made their way to the front of the room and started trash-talking face to face in front of the assembled media. It didn’t take long to get heated. There was a little pushing and shoving, and then Palomino took the opportunity of being face to face with his foe and headbutted Alers! Luckily that was the end of the physicality as former boxing Champion Shannon Briggs and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson were in attendance and each grabbed hold of both Alers and Palomino and ended the fracas before it got really ugly. The friendship I alluded to earlier seems to be broken and beyond repair.
Last night during an appearance on The Cage Side with Christopher James Show BKFC President David Feldman spoke about the situation. He was okay with the trash talk to hype the fight, however, he was not a fan of the headbutt that Palomino threw at Alers, and immediately following the melee, he pulled the champ aside and let him know that he does not appreciate or condone that behavior, and let Palomono know that it can’t happen again!
Luis Palomino vs Jim Alers for Palomino’s 155lb title will certainly be a war! I have also heard that besides the BKFC promotional belt that sits around the waist of Palomino, the Police Gazette Bare Knuckle Belt may also be on the line. The Police Gazette is the Bare Knuckle sanctioning body and has its own historic belts to put up when they deem fit or justified. The Police Gazette belts have not been on the line in over 100 years, and are the oldest combat sports titles to be contested for in existence today!
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.