Iowans Can Now Wager On Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Events

Written By Gage Miskimen on March 28, 2022 - Last Updated on July 22, 2022
Bare Knuckle Fighting

Combat sports fans in Iowa have yet another option to bet on with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) added the promotion as an approved wager on March 15. 

BKFC joins the UFC, Bellator, PFL, North Iowa Fights and the Dana White Contender Series as betting options. Regulators added the Dana White Contender Series just a few months ago.

What does it mean for Iowa bettors?

The next BKFC event is April 8 in Wichita, KS, and Iowans will be able to wager on that event.

IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko told PlayIA that DraftKings requested BKFC, so a search for the new betting option might start there.

“Currently, I am only aware of DraftKings offering wagering on this; however all sportsbooks in Iowa are now permitted to offer the market,” Ohorilko said.

The state commission has to review a sport’s integrity measures, player compensation rates and wagering history in other states before it becomes a betting option.

Ohorilko said bare-knuckle bets should resemble what Iowans see with boxing and UFC wagers.

What is Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship?

The BKFC is the first promotion allowed to hold a sanctioned and regulated bare-knuckle fight event in the US since 1889. The organization is based in Philadelphia and debuted in 2018. Its president is former boxer David Feldman.

Instead of a square or an octagon, BKFC holds its fights in a circular, four-rope ring.

BKFC is truly a bare-knuckle boxing organization which means no gloves or hand wraps greater than an inch. The organization has been consistent at holding at least a half dozen events each year since its beginning. 

Those who wish to watch BKFC can do so by ordering fight cards on their website

The organization has seen a handful of former MMA fighters and kickboxers compete. The list includes former UFC fighters like Chad Mendes, Mike Perry and Paige VanZant.

Notable past and present fighters include:

  • Chad Mendes
  • Mike Perry
  • Chris Leben
  • Chris Lytle
  • Bec Rawlings
  • Artem Lobov
  • Chase Sherman
  • Paulie Malignaggi
  • Antonio Silva
  • Hector Lombard
  • Thiago Alves
  • Kendall Grove
  • Paige VanZant


Photo by Michael Smith / AP
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Gage Miskimen

Gage Miskimen is a journalist from Marion, Iowa, currently working at the Cedar Rapids Gazette. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and was editor of the award-winning Daily Iowan. He also previously worked for the Des Moines Register. Gage is a lifelong fan of combat sports and martial arts.

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