MMAmania: Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship continues to thrive as the promotion combines their reputation as the new bloody spectacle with creative matchmaking. Artem Lobov vs. Paulie Malignaggi was a pretty audacious booking, and I’m still impressed the fight actually went down (and shocked Lobov won). While morally questionable, the Gabriel Gonzaga vs. “Bigfoot” Silva fight was exactly the kind of UFC veteran vs. UFC veteran match that attracts casual MMA fan attention. And now BKFC is experimenting with another hallowed type of fight: the freakshow.
BKFC 9 ended with a promotional video announcing the signing of Sajad Gharibi, better known on the internets as “Iranian Hulk.” Nearly half a million people follow the absolute unit on Instagram where the 27 year old shows off his massive physique and the ridiculous diet he consumes to maintain it. He looks like a nine year old’s janky drawing of a bodybuilder came to life - nothing looks quite right but for once on Instagram this is the real deal, not some filter manipulation.
As if Gharibi bare knuckle boxing wasn’t intruiging enough on its own, BKFC president David Feldman is promising the entire event will be as over the top as possible.
“This guy’s going to make his Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut in early 2020,” Feldman said (via MMA Fighting). “We’re going to do a show entitled ‘USA vs. Iran: World War III.’ He’s literally our biggest signing we’ve ever had. But he’s going to make his way over to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, he’s gonna make a home here, and we expect really, really big things from ‘The Iranian Hulk.’”
Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope these really big things come to fruition. This isn’t the first time Gharibi has teased his combat sports debut. KSW tried to book him in an MMA bout against fellow anatomically grotesque UK bodybuilder Martyn Ford. That fell apart, and then Gharibi announced he planned to fight ‘Brazilian Hulk’ Romario dos Santos Alves. BKFC’s USA vs. Iran event name implies that particular matchup is no longer a thing, which makes me sad. I never knew how much I wanted to see the world’s various regional Hulks go at it Highlander style until now.
So what do you think, Maniacs? Excited for World War III?