On Saturday night, sanctioned bareknuckle boxing returned to America for the first time since 1889. The sport’s triumphant return came courtesy of upstart promotion Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. The promotion’s first card, which went down in Cheyenne, Wyoming, featured a number of combat sports notables, including former UFC strawweight and flyweight Bec Rawlings, who met boxer Alma Garcia in the ring.
Rawlings was truly dominant in her bareknuckle debut, taking out Garcia via doctor stoppage. Shortly after her big win, she broke down the fight in a chat with MMA Fighting.
”All my hard work’s payed off and it just feels good to win and go out there and really showcase what I can do,” Rawlings said (transcribed by Ryan Harkness for MMAMania) “I felt like I was the best me that I could show tonight and I did it. Sometimes you just go out there and you’re just not on, but tonight I was on.”
Rawlings then weighed in on the differences between MMA and bareknuckle boxing.
”To get hit by her bare knuckles felt the same as MMA gloves,” she explained. “For me to hit her, I did feel my hands a little bit, I’m like like oh that felt different, that’s weird. And my hands are a little bit swollen which they’re not normally after MMA.”
Having picked up her first bareknuckle win, Rawlings is keen to get back in the ring — so long as her hands are healthy.
”I don’t think they’re broken,” she said. “We’ll have to get them checked. I’m a wierdo. I broke my hip and I trained for two weeks on a broken hip so you shouldn’t ask me if they’re broken. They don’t feel that bad. Maybe.”
”This is just the beginning,” she added. “That was such an amazing event and obviously the outcome was perfect for me so yeah, I’d do it again. Hell yeah!”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/3/2018.