Former UFC headliner Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera makes his highly anticipated Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut this month.
As expected, he’s jumping right into the deep end in the world of bare knuckle fighting. He takes on Howard “HD” Davis (2-0), the No. 1-ranked contender in the BKFC featherweight division, in the BKFC 26 Co-Main Event on June 24 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL. The action, as always, airs LIVE on the new BKFC app.
He spoke with Ed Kapp ahead of his Squared Circle debut.
EK: Simply enough, what is it that brings you to BKFC?
JR: I love how the guys treat me. I love how there's a game plan for me. There's a clear path to the title. The contract was very favorable to me. Most importantly, I’m a big fan of the sport.
EK: Is it a different feeling heading into a BKFC fight than an MMA bout?
JR: No, a fight is a fight. I’m just focusing on getting the game plan together, and getting my skills ready to implement the game plan.
EK: Prior to signing with BKFC, were you familiar with Howard Davis as a fighter?
JR: Prior to signing, no. But when BKFC emerged as a promotion we would consider signing with, I started to look into the weight classes and who’s on the roster.
EK: What do you think of him as a first opponent?
JR: He’s tough. He’s one of the best guys at 145. I know it’s my first fight, but it almost feels like a title fight because he’s the No. 1 contender. It’s a tough first fight, but I’ve never backed down from a challenge.
EK: How are you training differently for this fight?
JR: I’m only focusing on boxing, so it’s a lot easier. I’m only focusing on one aspect of martial arts. Doing a lot of bagwork and everything associated with boxing. It’s nice to have just one thing to focus on.
EK: What do you hope to accomplish at BKFC?
JR: My goal is to win the 145-pound title, and then the 135-pound title or the 155-pound title, maybe even all three. We’ll see. My first goal, ultimately, is to get the belt at 145.
EK: First things first, how do you see your fight with Howard playing out?
JR: I’m always looking for the finish, you know me.