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Kenny Licea feels bare knuckle boxing is an escape from 'dangerous' day job

Kenny Licea, arborist, fights at BKFC 9 on November 16
Kenny Licea, arborist, fights at BKFC 9 on November 16

Imagine reporting to work each and every day knowing that your daily grind, your 9-5 if you will, has been deemed 'more dangerous' than bare knuckle boxing.

Enter the world and life of 32-year-old Kansas native, Kenny Licea.

"I'm an arborist," Licea said. "I'm monkeying around in trees or flying around in a bucket truck. It scares my wife more than my fighting does. There's definitely a lot of danger. I believe it is in the top five most dangerous jobs in the country right now. I enjoy it. I really enjoy it. I love working outside. I love working with my hands. I get to climb trees. I'm from Oregon, born and raised. I love the trees and mountains. There's not too many mountains here in Kansas but I get to climb trees and it is fun. I just want to provide for my family."

Licea, a husband, and father of two daughters, now turns his attention to bare knuckle as he has signed a three fight contract deal with Bare Knuckle FC.

Kenny Licea and family
Kenny Licea and family

Licea's first test will be Harris Stephenson at BKFC 9 in Biloxi, Mississippi on November 16.

With a professional MMA record of 4-5, along with several boxing and kickboxing bouts, Licea now makes the jump to bare knuckle.

"My last fight was a kickboxing bout in Oklahoma for XFN, little more than a year ago," Licea said of his recent layoff.

"I've done kickboxing, I did boxing, MMA. I just thought 'heck why not do bare knuckle?' It just looks fun. I love to compete. It looks like something that I would do alright in."

In order to prepare for the upcoming bare knuckle bout, Licea is training with Shanon Woodward at Midwest Combat Academy in Topeka.

When asked if his opponent Harris Stephenson has an advantage because he has fought several times already for the BKFC promotion Licea said, "Not really. It's all the same to me. It's combat sports, whether it is MMA, kickboxing, boxing, or bare knuckle, you are going out there and fighting for your life really.

"I grew up playing sports my whole life. I was a college baseball player. I love winning. I suck at losing. I'm going in, giving it my all, going for the wins."

With fight week underway, Licea is ready to take it all in and experience all that Bare Knuckle FC has to offer.

"I've heard nothing but good things about this promotion," Licea said of Bare Knuckle FC. "I'm excited to fight for them. I hear they treat their fighters right, take care of them. They are flying me out to Mississippi, not making me drive. I'm just excited to go out and compete, put on a good show, and then excited to watch the rest of the show afterwards."

A jam packed night of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship action will lead up to the highly anticipated main event rematch between Artem Lobov and Jason Knight on Saturday, November 16 live on pay-per-view.

"Knight is gonna be hungry," Licea said of the rematch. "He's disappointed with that decision last time. I think he will be hungrier than the first time. It's gonna be another banger though. It's hard to predict."

"BKFC 9" 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 now at or the Mississippi Coast Coliseum box office.

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