A Glimpse into the Unfiltered Bareknuckle Promotion

MMA has always been a sport that pushes the boundaries of physical and mental endurance. Back in April 2021, former BMF Championship belt-holder Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal announced his fight promotion – Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA.

What makes it different? For starters, its fighters do not wear any padding on their fists. Here, we will cover even more about the Gamebred Fighting Championship, exploring its origin, some of its most famous commentators over the past few years, and the unique challenges it poses for fighters.

The Genesis of the Gamebred Fighting Championship

Bare knuckle fighting can be traced back to ancient times before padded gloves became part of the sport. In modern times, the resurgence of bare knuckle boxing can be attributed to a combination of the innate human fascination with unbridled combat and the desire for a purer, more visceral form of entertainment.

Bare knuckle MMA is about as close to a sanctioned street fight as you can get.

Does Bare Knuckle MMA Have Rules?

While the name might suggest chaos, Gamebred is governed by a set of rules designed to ensure the safety of the fighters while maintaining the unforgiving nature of bare knuckle competition.

Some key rules include:

  • No gloves: Unlike traditional MMA bouts, fighters enter the ring without the protection of gloves, amplifying the impact of each strike. This also increases the likelihood of stoppages due to cuts.
  • Hand wrapping: Fighters are allowed to wrap the bottom half of their hands and wrists, but the absence of padded gloves over their knuckles significantly changes the dynamics of striking.
  • Rounds and duration: Fights are typically shorter, consisting of fewer rounds with each lasting 5 minutes. Many fights are stopped early due to knockouts or doctor's stoppages.

It's More Psychologically Challenging

Beyond the physical demands, bareknuckle MMA presents a unique psychological challenge for fighters. The absence of gloves means that every punch and every block has a more immediate impact, making mental resilience a crucial factor.

Fighters confront the fear and discomfort associated with the vulnerability of their exposed hands, amplifying the mental battle alongside the physical one.

Undeniable Impact on Fight Strategy

The absence of gloves has a profound impact on the overall fight strategy. Fighters need to be more strategic in their approach, as the risk of injuring their hands is heightened.

When you don't have padding to protect the bones in your hand from fracturing or shattering, you are forced to change the way you fight. This leads to an emphasis on precision striking, defensive tactics, and grappling techniques.

If you've ever tried to sink a submission on someone while wearing MMA gloves, you know how much they can get in the way. If you're used to fighting with gloves, this adds even more danger to live competition.

Famous Commentators You Might Know

The Gamebred commentary team brings a wealth of fight experience and deep understanding of the sport to the table.

Retired UFC fighter Paige VanZant sitting on a couch, speaking into a microphone.
Retired UFC fighter Paige VanZant commentated for the first Gamebred Fighting Championship in 2021. Image is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Retired UFC fighter Paige VanZant, commentated for the first Gamebred Fighting Championship in 2021 and offered her first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of the fight game.

Iconic combat sports analyst Robin Black brings his signature "One Minute Breakdowns" and genuine enthusiasm to the commentary. Watch the video below for a short compilation of his martial arts breakdowns.

Pro tip: fast forward to 2:21 to see a Kardashian fight analysis.

Robin Black's ability to articulate complex fight moments in layman's terms is one of the reasons he has commentated for so many different fight promotions.

Two-time Olympic judo gold medalist and former PFL Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison, offers thought-provoking insights and analysis, with commentary grounded in technical proficiency and a deep understanding of mixed martial arts.

Dan Lambert, founder of the famous MMA gym, American Top Team (ATT), brought his wealth of knowledge from the coaching and managerial perspective, offering another well-rounded expert analysis to the audience.

Here are some other Gamebred commentators you might recognize:

  • Paige VanZant (retired UFC fighter)
  • Robin Black (combat sports commentator)
  • Kayla Harrison (American Top Team fighter)
  • Marlon "Chito" Vera (Top 15 Ranked UFC Bantamweight)
  • Dan Lambert (founder of the American Top Team MMA gym)
  • Sean Wheelock (former Bellator commentator)
  • Brendan Schaub (Podcaster and former UFC Heavyweight)

As Gamebred Grows, the Sport Evolves

As the popularity of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA continues to grow, the sport will evolve. New techniques and strategies are emerging, and fighters are adapting to the unique challenges it presents.

In September 2023, UFC veterans, Junior Dos Santos vs Fabricio Werdum fought for the Bareknuckle MMA Heavyweight Championship. (We don't want to spoil the ending, so you'll have to watch it for yourself.)

Their Motto is "The Most Violent Show on Earth"

Gamebred provides us with an unaltered, raw martial arts experience. The purity of the fights resonates with fans who yearn for an authentic and powerful expression of combat sports.

And with a commentary panel that does a good job breaking down the action to draw us into the heart of each bout, Gamebred offers a fresh perspective on an old tradition. From the dramatic swings in momentum to the insightful commentary, every aspect of the Gamebred Fighting Championship experience is designed to entertain fans with fierce elegance, and provide new and seasoned fighters with the opportunity to shine.

Looking a no-filter, visceral combat spectacle? Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA is mixed martial arts in its purest form. If you enjoyed this, keep reading more about the Most Violent Martial Arts.