Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Chris Leben is “preparing for a bloodbath” at next month’s Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) 6 event.
On June 22 “The Crippler”, who is 2-0 in bare-knuckle competition, will take on former Bellator veteran Brennan Ward in the evening’s co-main event. The pay-per-view (PPV) will be headlined by the grudge match between former boxing champion Paulie Malignaggi and “The Russian Hammer” Artem Lobov.
The BFKC 6 Press Conference Aftermath
A press conference held earlier this week (May 20) had Leben all fired up for both his fight and the feature attraction (via MMA News).
“Wild man, wild,” Leben said when asked about the insanity that ensued during the presser. “One thing’s for sure man, I wanna watch that fight I’ll tell you that right now. This press conference and the ending for me, it definitely sold the fight. Yeah man, I don’t know, that’s not me. I wouldn’t disrespect my opponent like that personally, but I definitely wanna see what happens. These two guys do not like each other.”
Leben has had tremendous success in his short bare-knuckle career. It is to be expected, he does pack one of the sport’s most devastating left hands of all time. Still, he is expecting his toughest scrap to date in Ward.
“No way man. I had two quick knockouts, no way the third one’s gonna be quick. I’m preparing for a bloodbath and I mean that’s the only way you can look at it. You cry in the dojo, you laugh on the battlefield. And every fight I prepare for a war. I visualize a war in my head. You know what? On the 22nd if something else happens, that’s great. But you know what? I’m ready to go to war. I’ve watched Ward, I’ve been studying tape on him. The kid is tough. The kid will stay in there and he hits really freaking hard too. So I think it’s gonna be a really exciting fight. I think styles make fights and the way that we match up, there’s just no way it’s a boring fight. There’s no way possible.”
The WBKFF Debacle
Leben made headlines earlier this year when he said that he would be suing the now-defunct World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) for failing to honor their contract. Strangely enough both he and Ward had dealings with the promotion.
“Night and day, night and day. One is a real successful, growing organization. It’s young, it’s still in its infancy but every fight, every show that they’re growing they’re getting bigger. The other one was a one-off, one shot, shot in the dark that didn’t work out if at all they ever even planned for it to work out. I don’t know. Could’ve been a Ponzi scheme, to begin with.”
Leben also explained his previous comments about Bas Rutten’s involvement with the WBKFF.
“I think it’s important that anybody that says I made any comments about Bas Rutten, Bas Rutten is a great guy. Okay, loved him and I’ve known Bas for almost 20 years and I’ve always been friends, always supported him. What I did say is best case scenario, Bas knew we were gonna get paid late and didn’t tell us. Worst case scenario, Bas knew we were never gonna get paid at all. And I will go on the record to saying that. It is what it is. If you knew we weren’t gonna get paid the night of the fight, you should’ve told us. So, that’s that.”