Former UFC welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves was a perennial contender in the promotion but was never quite able to reach the pinnacle of the division during his 14 years with the promotion.
However, Alves has since turned his attention to bare-knuckle fighting, where he was able to quickly claim the BKFC's middleweight title in just his second fight with the promotion.
"It's pretty cool," Alves told The Underground. "It's definitely something that I've been striving my whole career, you know, to have a belt be wrapped around my waist, and we got that. We got that in a brand new sport, but it doesn't get much more badass than this, so I'm excited to be leading the way."
Alves believes he's got the perfect opponent in mind, as well: Mike Perry, who recently made his promotional debut, outpointing Julian Lane at February's "BKFC: KnuckleMania 2."