Jason Knight wasn’t a free agent for long.
The former UFC featherweight recently signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) on a one-fight basis to fight Artem Lobov in April. For Knight, this is exactly what he wanted as he wasn’t ready for another MMA fight yet.
“One of the associates reached out to me and was trying to get me to fight. He offered me a shit deal to see if I would take it. I just blew it off and told him to talk to my manager,” Knight explained to BJPENN.com. “He put his boss in contact with my manager and they worked out a really good deal. I told my manager, who is also my coach, I told him, this just seems like something that would be fun. It wouldn’t go against my MMA record, and I’m not ready to take an MMA fight yet. I need to work on my wrestling, I need to work on a bunch of things.
“I told him I wouldn’t take an MMA fight. But, I will go in there and throw hands with anybody in the world and have a blast. This guy can’t take me down, throw kicks, none of that. We will just throw punches and bare-knuckle too, so how much more exciting can it get? When I got into this, it was because I was doing bare-knuckle fights in the street as a kid.”
With Jason Knight not wanting to take an MMA fight yet, his options were somewhat limited. However, he wasn’t sure when he wanted to fight at all, as he has started up a gym. That gym has been a huge success for Knight and has been taking up most of his time. But, fighting bare-knuckle is something Knight has done his whole life and they are coming to his hometown which was a major factor in Knight signing with them.
“Honestly, they are fighting at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and this is my house,” he said. “I used to fight at the casinos around here before I made it to the UFC. They would hold 1500 to 2000 people and I would sell those shows out. These are all my fans, all my people, These are the people who have cheered for me since I was 14 years old, and are still cheering for me even though I’ve lost. They have watched me go from nothing to become something. When I walk out to this crowd it will be f*****g electric. It will give you chills. There is nothing like Jason Knight supporters. There will be so many screaming rednecks it will be unreal.”
Not only will Knight be fighting in his hometown, but he will also be taking on longtime friend and training partner of Conor McGregorin Artem Lobov. Fighting a big name for Knight was crucial. He wanted people to tune in, and now he knows they will.
“I don’t know exactly how it came together but I told Bare Knuckle that it has to be a big name,” Knight explained. “I’m not fighting a local scrub from around here just to say Jason Knight is fighting but he is fighting some bum. I have said before I don’t think Artem is that good and I would kick his ass so I would fight him anytime, anywhere, any weight. Now, here it goes.”
For now, Knight is continuing to work at his gym and train. He is ready to make his ‘official’ bare-knuckle debut. But he has more experience than most in bare-knuckle fights, and can’t wait to show it off in April.
“This is not gonna be my first bare-knuckle fight by far,” Knight said. “I fought 36 times in MMA, I promise you I have fought so many more times bare-knuckle than MMA.”
Do you think Jason Knight will be able to defeat Artem Lobov when they fight this April?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/20/2019.