Sean Wheelock is living his dream.
He’s called every single round in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Squared Circle since its inception in 2018. For as long as he can remember, he’s wanted to make his living in the broadcast booth.
Wheelock has the best seats in the house for the world’s most exciting and fastest growing combat sports promotion. He says it’s an honor and a privilege, but it’s also the culmination of a lifetime of grinding.
The Kansas City, KS product's broadcasting career began in local radio when he was 18. Combat sports were his first love, but the ambitious youngster jumped at any opportunity that would keep him in the media. His first big break came when he landed a gig commentating Major League Soccer, which led to broadcasts on ESPN and FOX.
A watershed moment occurred for Wheelock in 2006, when he returned home to the United States after spending more than a month in Germany commentating the World Cup for XM Radio.
“I got home and I really felt like I had done everything that I could do as an American in U.S. soccer, so I wanted to pursue fighting,” he says.
Wheelock worked his way from Titan FC to PRIDE FC to eventually Bellator MMA, where he worked from 2010-2015.
BKFC hosted its first event in 2018, but Wheelock had already been working with the organization as a consultant, with the understanding that he would serve as commentator when the promotion hit the airwaves. Over half a decade later, Wheelock still shares the BKFC broadcast booth with fighting legend Chris Lytle. BKFC is rapidly approaching its 1,000th fight, and Wheelock hasn’t missed a punch.
The intricacies and fast-paced nature of bare knuckle fighting make it a complex sport to call, but Wheelock’s philosophy as a combat sports commentator is simple.
“I’ve always had the ethos that nobody is watching for me – I’m not the star, I’m not the show. What I hope to do is make people have a better experience. Our fans have been extremely complimentary – which I appreciate tremendously – but they’re here to watch the fights, not me,” he says.
“Chris and I try to make the experience more enjoyable and share information that we think is valuable to the viewer, but I’ve always had the same mindset. I’ve never wanted to be famous; I’ve just always wanted to be a sports commentator.”