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Miles McDonald eager to step inside squared circle in bare knuckle debut at BKFC 11

Miles McDonald
Miles McDonald

Miles McDonald is a former U.S. Army infantryman turned finance manager, professional mixed martial artist, husband, and father.

On March 14, "The Warrior" McDonald seeks to prove exactly what type of warrior he truly is as he steps into the squared circle, toeing the line against fellow bare knuckle newcomer, Jacob Akin.

"I was doing the MMA scene, and getting really heavy into jiu jitsu, and competing," McDonald said. "I ended up losing really bad a few years ago for LFA and it kind of just messed with me mentally."

U.S. Army Spc. Larry Jackson, left, and Spc. Miles McDonald, with the Missouri Army National Guard, finish grappling in the semifinal rounds of the bantamweight division during the 2012 U.S. Army Combatives
Spc. Miles McDonald (right blue belt), with the Missouri Army National Guard - 2012 U.S. Army Combatives

"I also became a father of twins at that exact same time, so I kind of lost my fire, my passion, if you will for combat sports," McDonald continued. Then I heard something about bare knuckle boxing and I was like 'well....are you kidding me?' I looked into a little bit, reached out to my buddy and manager and I said ' I want to do this. I don't care what we've got to do, let's make it happen.' Through a lot of consistency and tenacity, we eventually ended up getting a three-fight deal with Bare Knuckle FC."

But the deal did not come easy. While McDonald may have signed on the dotted line, the true fight was at home, winning over his wife's support. As with any new combat sport, unless there is familiarity with what it is all about, it is hard to immediately win over hearts and minds. McDonald's wife was no different, but with a little persuasion and reassurance that bare knuckle is legally sanctioned he was able to gain her trust.

"My wife said 'hell no,'" McDonald said. "Originally when I told her about the promotion she had seen something and goes 'what does BK stand for?' I didn't tell her it was "Bare Knuckle" at the time. I said something like, 'Oh, it is Boxing Kings Fighting Championship.' Eventually I had to break the news to her that it is "Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.' When I did that she said, 'hell no, absolutely not. But through consistency and her seeing my passion for it and my desire to compete, she's a good woman, and she's letting me do it."

The 28-year-old McDonald is currently training with Team Fusion and Mosford Boxing, both in his home state of Missouri.

"Cardio is going to be a huge thing for me. I've always been big on cardio. I am conditioning my hands, doing push-ups on my knuckles and things like that. As far as the sparring and training aspect of it, instead of using 12-ounce gloves, I am simply using 4-ounce gloves. That way I don't hurt my partner, but when I slip, it is a true slip oppose to when you slip on a 12-ounce gloves you are still gonna get hit if it were a bare knuckle. Just head movement, lot of head movement."

McDonald's competitive nature is what drives him. His willingness to fight is evident by his service to his country and having five professional and four amateur MMA bouts under his belt.

But how will he fare in bare knuckle?

"I love to compete. I'm just a naturally competitive person. I flipped a Monopoly board over once on my grandma (jokingly laughs). I just don't like to lose. When I heard about this bare knuckle and started looking into it, it did something to me. When I stepped away from the sport to be a full-time dad, I didn't miss training. When I got back to it for bare knuckle, that fire, that flame was back, immediately. The old Miles was back."


"I'm expecting a lot of energy, a lot of excitement. It's a great promotion to be a part of. They are on the right track of doing everything right. I'm just super ecstatic that I get to be a part of it. Really no expectations as far the fight itself goes. Obviously I want to win. I don't know anything about my opponent either though. It's kind of just one of those things where I'm just going to show up. I know what I am capable of and what I can do to win. I'm just gonna go out there and do it."


"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.

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. Plus, the hard-hitting bare knuckle heavyweight contender Sam Shewmaker returns to action in a special attraction.

Tickets for the live event are on sale this Thursday, January 30 at 10 a.m. CT and can be purchased online at, by phone at 855-733-SEAT (7328) and in-person at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena.

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