Rumor of facing Umar Nurmagomedov at Gorilla FC event:

No that’s incorrect. I have seen some of that online but nobody has ever reached out to me or asked me when I want to fight, what’s the story. That would’ve been a fight I would’ve taken easily. But I think that was just a media attention that they were seeking for him because I don’t think they’d ever allow me to enter the same cage as that kid. The milk is not dry on his lips yet, he would get absolutely mauled in there.

If he’s still under contract with BKFC:

Yeah, I still have one more fight on my contract, but BKFC was from the start, they were very understanding and very accommodating and they told me that, if I want to fight MMA or boxing or whatever else, my contract is not exclusive. I just have to let them know in advance so that the dates don’t clash. But yeah, I’m allowed to take any fights.

Prefer competing in bare-knuckle or MMA?

To be honest with you, I love competing, I love real fighting. So I love both of them. But I’m a businessman as well. I’ve got a family to feed so the size of the purse dictates at the moment where I go. And that’s why I ended up in bare-knuckle. The purses were a lot bigger here, so that’s why it made sense for me to make that change. If an MMA offer comes in and it’s just as good or better, you will see me in the MMA cage.

How he was able to be so friendly after the fight after all the animosity:

Well, you know, sometimes in the build-up to the fight emotions can get quite high. At the end of the day you are going in there to try and hurt your opponent and he is going to be trying to do the same thing to you. That requires a certain mindset. You might not be able to think of him as a friend or whatever, it might be difficult, but once the fight is over, it’s kind of wild. Especially for me, I got everything I wanted, I gave him a nice little cut on his face, I got my payday, and I got the win, so that’s it. I was victorious. There’s nothing else I need from him. I move on to the next challenge.

If he wants a rematch with Jason Knight:

Definitely there will be a rematch. I’m not sure when just yet. I know after the fight I shook Jason’s hand and I promised him a rematch. I said, ‘Look, this was a hell of a war, you certainly earned my respect, I owe you a rematch, so if you want it just let me know.’ That fight will definitely happen again, I’m just not sure exactly when, but yeah, it definitely will happen.

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Fight news coming soon:

Yeah, I can’t because there’s still some of the stuff that’s getting sorted in the background, number one. And I don’t know the exact location yet because we’re still working on Boston, making it [bare-knuckle boxing] legal in Boston. I think there’s just a little bit of the paperwork and stuff left, so I’m really hoping Boston is where it will take place, but that is not confirmed yet. We’re still waiting on it. Same with the opponent, there’s a couple of guys that are in the running, but I don’t have a certain opponent yet. Again, that will also depend on the venue. Once we have confirmation on the venue, then we’ll know exactly who I should fight.

If MMA should be bare-knuckle:

It’s a difficult question to be honest. I don’t think you can just answer it straight-forward. UFC is already bare – maybe not bare-knuckle but there’s bare elbows, there’s bare knees, there’s bare shins. You can’t tell me that it’s better to get hit with a bare shin than a bare-knuckle, you know what I mean? So, – or a knee. Then, the argument as well, what is safer? What is more dangerous? That’s, again, very difficult to determine, because, with a glove, you can certainly throw your shots much much harder, and you can throw more shots because your hands are protected. And it’s a well-known fact that in MMA the gloves are there for protection of the hand, not for protection of the opponent’s head or anything like that. So, it’s a difficult one. Certainly making it bare-knuckle makes it more realistic, I guess, but you know, it’s a difficult one. I think MMA is good the way it is now. Let it be that way. And bare-knuckle is emerging as a new type of sport that’s going to have its place as well in the combat world. I think MMA should just stay the way it is.

If he’d consider taking a professional boxing fight after beating Malignaggi:

Absolutely. I’ve been trying to get a boxing fight for a while now. I’ve been trying to get the Amir Khan fight. Doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment. I’m still on the lookout for a boxing fight. I’ve had my experience in the bare-knuckle ring now, I always train with the boxers. There’s a lot of very very high-level boxers in Ireland, I spare with them on a regular basis. I definitely want to try myself out in the boxing ring. Even if you look at my UFC losses, it was always due to wrestling. I was never really losing due to my striking. Even guys like Michael Johnson, I was making him wrestle. He didn’t want to stand with me. So I was never knocked out, even when guys threw head kicks at me. I was able to recover and keep marching forward. So to me, a boxing fight, I don’t see what the dangers for me would be. I definitely have the chin, I definitely have the power, there is no wrestling where they can just hold me down for the points – I see myself having a very very good chance.

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His UFC departure due to the UFC wanting him to wait longer for his next fight:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, number one, I don’t like all this waiting around, and when is the next fight? Not knowing. I want to stay active. If I don’t’ fight, I don’t eat. This is how we feed our families. So I need fights in order to provide. And another thing – I’m not getting any younger. I want to be fighting while I’m still in my prime. I don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines aging. That’s not something I want to do. And if I had stayed in the UFC that’s something I would have had to do. Just sit there, wait, hope for the best. Understand, a huge MMA machine, they have so many shows, so many fights that, perhaps a guy like me is just below the radar for them. But, like you said, I certainly make a lot of noise when I fight, I got a big fanbase, and I felt that could be something I could take advantage of elsewhere in a different promotion. And that’s exactly what happened. I was able to get fights back-to-back with Bare-Knuckle for a lot more money. It definitely made a lot more financial sense for me.

King Artem and the GOAT monikers:

To be honest, it was a little bit surprising at the start. I guess it started a little bit as a joke, then somehow grew into this GOAT army I guess you can call it now, you know? But it’s great, of course, and it helps me in my negotiations. If you look online, sometimes I get more traction than some of the UFC champions do. That is a huge negotiation advantage that I have. When I present all these numbers to promoters, they can’t deny – another thing as well, for all the fighters that lose or whatever, they have a huge dip, because of my fights being so exciting and I think I always bring it, whether I win or lose people still tune in, they still watch. They want to see a great fight, because they know, when I fight, don’t blink. I will bring it every single time. I take it very seriously the support that I receive, I appreciate the support, and I always always make it my number one priority to make sure I give the fans an amazing fight.

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Dillon Danis and Ben Askren possibly doing a grappling match:

I mean, never say never, anything is possible in combat sports. Also, the fact that Dillon, it seems to be working for him. He’s doing all this, and the combat sports world is talking about him. His popularity is evergrowing, and eventually, I feel like it might reach a point where, financially, it’s going to make sense that there’s going to be so much interest in this that it might happen. Why not? I’d certainly watch Dillon grapple – those two guys.

BMF Title for Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz:

I would certainly fight either one of those two guys for that belt. They’re both legends of the sport, great to watch, and would be even better to fight against. Those are the type of guys, you could never have a boring fight with. I have no problem with it, why not? I never really look at belts anyway, I just watch fights for a fight, who is the better fighter? Why not? And if you want to create that belt, that’s the fight you would do it in, so, yeah, I have no issue with that.

If he’s looking forward to it:

Absolutely, I definitely will be watching that one.


It’s a difficult fight, to be honest, to predict. Cause now it’s the main event, and Nate does really well in five-round fights, he’s a five rounder. So, I think I’m edging towards him. But I’d say 60-40 for Nate. That’s what I’d call it.

If Conor McGregor could fight the winner:

With Conor, he wants to fight. That fight? Absolutely, why not? If Nate wins it, it sets up the trilogy fight perfectly. But I personally would love to see him take the belt. I’d love to see him fight Khabib or whoever would have the belt. That’s what I would like to see. The rematch with Khabib, I think that’s the fight that everybody really wants to see.