A look at the local competitors stepping into the squared circle in Wichita for BKFC 11
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) will deliver an exciting night of bare knuckle action on Saturday, March 14 headlined by hometown fan favorites entering the ring at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas and live on pay-per-view.
"We've been working with Commissioner Adam Roorbach to bring BKFC to Kansas, and on March 14 we will make our long-awaited debut," said BKFC founder and President David Feldman. "It's not only exciting to be in this state with a great commission and great fight fans, but we have the two most popular and most decorated fighters in Kansas competing on this card.
The main event will see the BKFC debut of Wichita native and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist for the U.S. Nico Hernandez in a flyweight fight, while Wichita native and former Bellator veteran Dave "Caveman" Rickels competes in a 165-pound bout in the co-main event.
Here's a closer look at some of the local fighters on the BKFC 11 fight card.
2016 U.S. Olympic Boxing Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez will venture into the world of bare knuckle boxing at BKFC 11 on March 14, and he will do so in the main event, and in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas.
The unbeaten 24-year-old from Wichita, Kansas capped off an impressive amateur career at the 2016 Olympic Games when he defeated fighters from Italy, Russia and Ecuador to clinch his light flyweight bronze medal. Hernandez is the first U.S. men's boxing medalist since 2008. Since turning pro in March 2017, Hernandez has compiled a 7-0 record, including four wins by knockout. He is the second Olympian to sign with BKFC, and the first Olympic medalist.
“They (BKFC) actually contacted me," Hernandez said. "They said they were having a show in Wichita and that David Rickels was going to be on it. They told me where it was going to be at, at the INTRUST Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. I haven’t actually had a fight in Wichita. It’s always been in the surround area, but not actually in my city. It’s the biggest arena we have and this was my chance to fight there, so I took it.
A 31-year-old veteran of 23 Bellator bouts, Rickels will make his BKFC debut in front of his hometown fans. Rickels fought twice in 2019, defeating AJ Matthews and losing to Yaroslav Amosov. He won eight of his first nine Bellator fights, is fourth all-time in Bellator wins and challenged for the Bellator lightweight championship in 2013. Overall, he has racked up an impressive 21-6 record in his pro MMA career.
"I built my name in Wichita and I was signed to Bellator off of a performance right here in this city," said Rickels. "The support of the people who live here has helped make me who I am in combat sports. So any chance I get to perform in front of them, I will jump on it."
"The Librarian" Jake Lindsey is a veteran of the biggest stages in professional mixed martial arts including UFC, Bellator, Shamrock FC, Titan FC, Victory FC, and others. On March 14 he steps into the squared circle for his first bare knuckle contest. Lindsey was undefeated as an amateur MMA fighter and it wasn't until he got called up to the UFC in 2014 that he suffered his first defeat. He meets Kenny Licea at BKFC 11.
"The Nose" Joe Wilk began his professional MMA career in 2007. At 37-years old Wilk decided it is time to give bare knuckle a shot and on March 14, LJ Hermreck will be the man to welcome Wilk to the sport.
"I've never been very good at turning down fist fights for money," Wilk said. "The size of the gloves, or absence of them doesn't make a big difference to me. I've had my ear to the floor in the fight game for a long time and my gut tells me that bare knuckle is going to be a big part of the future of combat sports. I love my state, and I love representing it. I've fought in Wichita many times so I have a strong following there. The people there know if I'm on the card, I'm going to show up and act a damn fool. That hasn't changed."
Kansas natives Jeremiah Page and Cody Carrillo will toe the line against one another at BKFC 11.
"I've only done boxing which is why I'm doing this," Page said of his bare knuckle opportunity. "It's a boxing match, just without any gloves basically. And the guy I'm fighting is an MMA guy, two totally different sports. And I'm really excited to fight in Wichita again. I've got a lot of friends and family coming out to support me and I don't want to let them down. It's gonna be a exciting explosive kind of night and I can't wait."
"Bare Knuckle is a natural progression for me," Carillo said. "I have spent most of my adult life looking to challenge myself in any form of one on one combat: I’ve competed professionally in MMA, boxing, jiu-jitsu, and kickboxing. So when the opportunity came up, I was in. I like to fight. I love competing at home or anywhere for that matter. But the excitement of the people around me brings a whole new level of energy."
"BKFC 11" will be broadcast across the United States and Canada, exclusively on pay-per-view through MultiVision Media, Inc., on all major television distribution outlets for $29.99. It will also be available to BKFC's international broadcast partners worldwide and via stream to all in-home and out-of-home connected devices through FITE.
Tickets for the live event are on sale this Thursday, January 30 at 10 a.m. CT and can be purchased online at www.selectaseat.com, by phone at 855-733-SEAT (7328) and in-person at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena.