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Rules & Weight Classes of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) is an American bare-knuckle boxing promotion operating out of Philadelphia. It was founded in 2018 by former American professional boxer David Feldman.

That same year, BKFC held the first state-sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing event in the USA since 1889.

While many may expect BKFC to be a promotion for violent and bloody no holds barred boxing, there are quite a number of rules put in place that decide how the fighters appear, the type of strikes that are allowed, the type of strikes that aren’t allowed, and how fights are conducted as a whole.

Rules of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC)

  1. Fighters are permitted to wrap and tape their wrists, thumbs, and mid-hand. No gauze or tape can be within 1 inch of the knuckles (hence bare knuckle – you get the gist).
  2. All fighters must have a groin protector with a cup, a mouthpiece, boxing shorts, and boxing shoes.
  3. Punches are the only strikes allowed, and they must be done with a closed fist. No grappling.
  4. If there is a clinch situation, fighters may punch their way out with the open hand. A referee will step in to break the fighters up if there is a 3-second lull in the action.
  5. If a fighter gets knocked down, he will have 10 seconds to return to his feet. If he is unable to do so, the referee will stop the fight.
  6. Fighters are NOT permitted to hit a downed opponent. Hitting a downed opponent will result in an immediate disqualification and a possible forfeiting of the fighter’s purse for that event. While a fighter is down, the opposing fighter will be directed to a neutral area by the referee.
  7. If a fighter is cut, and the blood is impairing his vision, the referee may call a 30-second timeout to give the cutman a chance to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding cannot be stopped and it is still impairing the fighter’s vision, the referee will stop the fight and award the victory to the opposing fighter.
  8. Fights are divided into five rounds of two minutes each.
Paige Vanzant's BKFC debut

What are the weight classes of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship?

The fighters on the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship roster compete across 9 weight divisions, with only one of those divisions (Flyweight) being for both male and female fighters.

  • Heavyweight – Unlimited upper weight limit 
  • Cruiserweight – 205lbs/93kg
  • Light Heavyweight – 185lbs/84kg
  • Middleweight – 175lbs/79kg
  • Welterweight – 165lbs/75kg
  • Lightweight – 155lbs/70kg
  • Featherweight – 145lbs/66kg
  • Bantamweight – 135lbs/61kg
  • Flyweight – 125lbs/57kg