After competing for two years as a professional mixed martial artist, Noah Cutter diverted his focus towards the ever-growing sport of bare knuckle fighting.
Cutter, 31, got his start with the Toe-The-Line Series, a feeder league of sorts under the Bare Knuckle FC banner. The Florida native would win his inaugural bout with a first-round finish of Kaine Tomlinson in September 2020.
Cutter then followed that victory up with an incredible outing against Francesco Ricchi at BKFC 14 in November. While he did not have his hand raised in victory, there were takeaways from that night that Cutter will bring into his next outing at BKFC 16 on March 19 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“I’m always learning something from every fight whether it is a win or a loss," Cutter said. "I’ve taken a few things away from the last fight. Obviously, from my last fight I’ve learned to improve my cardio as well as my defense. I didn’t have much of an evasive movement. My first fight was a first round knockout so I didn’t really get the feel that burn in the first two minutes.”
While many bare knuckle competitors come from backgrounds in boxing or MMA and often transition back and forth between the sports, Cutter seems disinterested in heading back to the sport where he initially got his start.
“I’m strictly focused on bare knuckle," Cutter said. "I’m 31-years-old. If I do another five or six years, depending on how my body holds up, I can easily see myself finishing out my career in bare knuckle. It really depends on where things go and the opportunities that present themselves. Right now I’m really focused on training for bare knuckle. We’ve cut back on the jiu-jitsu and wrestling in training and even limited the kicks. My striking is now more focused on throwing punches without knees or kicks behind it.”
Following the epic battle with Ricchi in his last fight, his former opponent had complications post-fight that would require him to be hospitalized and placed in a medically induced coma. While Cutter feels horrible about what happened, he hasn't let the incident impact him mentally as he prepares for his next outing.
“He had some complications with a hematoma after being punched in the throat," Cutter said. "Obviously, it is a very interesting line to walk. I don’t want to hurt anybody long term but when I’m in the ring with you I absolutely want to hurt you. I’m going to punch you in the face as hard as I can. Whatever damage is inflicted that is just what is going to happen. You take that risk when you sign the contract. It says right there in the writing that you can get hurt or even die and you are signing your name assuming that risk. With Franceso, from what I understand, he had a hematoma from the fight, from where I accidentally punched him in the throat. He was bleeding in his lungs and the doctors drained it. He has complications from that procedure at the hospital. That’s what led to it being a serious issue for him. I don’t hate anyone. I like him. We get along very well and even more now after the fight. It doesn’t intimidate me that something like this happened and could possibly happen to me. It doesn’t keep me up at night. It’s a risk that we take.”
The man standing in front of him at BKFC 16 on March is Kaleb Harris, owner of one of the most epic knockouts in BKFC history. When asked if there has been any back and forth banter between the two competitors, Cutter was quick to dismiss any of it coming from his side.
“I don’t really try to get involved in any of that social media interaction," Cutter said. "Kaleb and I have never had an interaction online but his coach always has something to say to me. If anyone is starting anything, not that I dislike him or anything, but it is his coach is always trying to start some sort of beef with me. I don’t have a problem with Kaleb or his coach to be honest. But it’s his coach who every time I’m posting something or commenting on something, he’s posting laughing or clown emojis. He must think I am some sort of joke or something, but I’m aiming to knock his boy out on the 19th so we’re gonna see who the joke or who the clown is then.”
With his new found home in BKFC, Cutter has ambitions to be one of the promotion's biggest stars, and the only way to achieve that goal is to remain as active as he possibly can.
“This is going to be my third bare knuckle fight in six months," Cutter said. "I had the Toe-The-Line series fight for BKFC, then one actually with BKFC, and then this will be my third. My goal is to do three more bare knuckle fights under BKFC in the next six months. I want to have six bare knuckle fights within a year, five with BKFC and one with Toe-The-Line. I don’t know if that will set the record or not but I want to be the most active bare knuckle fighter within the year, maybe within the next year. There’s a few 165-pound fights on this card. Maybe there can be some sort of tournament or maybe a few of these guys will be fighting for a belt. This is my first fight at 165. I did the other fights at 175. If I see a path to a 165-pound belt, then I would love to stay at this weight. I’d like to chip away and work towards fighting in that tournament or maybe competing for a championship belt."
Headlining BKFC-16 is a lightweight grudge match between Leonard ‘Bad Boy’ Garcia, (18-13-1), fighting out of Lubbock, TX and Joe ‘The Hitman’ Elmore, (13-12), of Atlanta, GA.
Co-featured and making his BKFC debut, Former Boxing World Champion DeMarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley of Washington, D.C. clashes with BKFC veteran Reggie ‘Eaz-E’ Barnett Jr. of Virginia Beach, VA in a bantamweight bout.
Tickets for BKFC-16 are Now On-Sale starting at $55 and may be purchased through the BKFC website, www.bkfc.com. The Biloxi Civic Center is located at 578 Howard Street, Biloxi, MS 39530. Doors will open on the night of the event at 6PMCT with the first bell at 7PMCT.