When Johnny Bedford signed with BKFC back in 2018, he believed fistfighting would be the next big thing in combat sports.
After three years and 20 events, he is happy to have confirmed his case as BKFC continues to increase the audience and general interest in the promotion, especially after several high-profile signings, as well as outstanding cards such as the event titled Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi. became one of the most talked about shows of the entire 2019.
Despite all this, Bedford remained a staunch supporter of the BKFC and fistfights, while continuing to tout 135lb as the absolute best weight class in the sport.
“I was honored to be a part of this trip,” said Bedford MMA Fighting before returning to BKFC 20. “[BKFC president] Dave Feldman was the guy who picked me up from the airport. [for BKFC 1] and I told him that I would be the face of this sport. Nobody will beat me. Reggie [Barnett] and I won that night, and we went up to Dave and said, “We’re next, we’re the next 8-man tournament,” and it happened.
“I did everything I said I was going to do, and in truth, promotion too. The action exploded. I am proud to be a part of this. I am happy for the owners and people who did their best to make this happen. It flows down. I’m happy. I am a happy employee. This is a good place. I get paid what I think is fair. I’m happy, honored and grateful to be a part of it. “
Bedford’s dedication to the 135 lb weight class helped lead the first ever crowning champion, where he went undefeated before claiming the title in his fourth fight in the promotion.
Since then, BKFC has continued to invest in talent to expand the pool of fighters competing in the division, which is why Bedford truly believes that he represents the best of the best in ultimate competition.
Of course, this weekend Bedford will be fighting Reggie Barnett Jr. for the second time for the BKFC lightweight title because former champion Dath Nguyen was unable to come to terms with promotion on a new contract and was eventually released.
After losing to Nguyen in a decisive decision earlier this year, Bedford was eager to reclaim his belt and BKFC wasted no time in booking it against Barnett to crown the new champion with the vacant title on the line on Friday. Bedford believes the speed with which this fight was booked is the best proof that the BKFC wants the 135-pound division to thrive.
“We can not [have] the biggest drawing power, or having the biggest fake boobs and thus reaching all the media, but damn it, we’re dogs, ”Bedford said. “We are the most popular division, so the show must go on.
“The show must go on. The promotion must go on. Truthfully, 135 is the best division at the moment. They need a champion. that even without you, me and Reggie Barnett are still two of the most successful guys in naked fist history.There is the undefeated Jared Grant.You have veterans who have been there since Bare-Knuckle 1 with Travis Thompson and Abdiel Velasquez. in fact, we are the coolest division among naked fists. “
Echoing the match that defined the first BKFC 135lb champion, Bedford is set to defeat Barnett a second time, and his opponent is currently on an impressive three-win streak.
Barnett has been calling for a title throw since Nguyen won the belt back in February, but he will now have a rematch with Bedford instead.
While he certainly appreciates the work that Barnett has done to get back here, Bedford doesn’t expect the outcome to matter when they start swinging their fists inside the ring.
“Reggie and I are going to find out who this master dog is,” Bedford said. “I think it will come out a little different. I have a feeling that he wants to grapple with me and mess up the box, and it just shocks me. Obviously, being a Division I college fighter and fighting all his life and having a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, you don’t think he would want to grapple with me, and perhaps I’m only saying this because of his ugly performance against [DeMarcus] “Chop Chop” Corley.
“He couldn’t forward Chop Chop and probably most can’t. I understand that “Chop Chop” is a top class boxer, but he made him ugly. He turned it into a scramble, picked it up, slapped it, and shit. He didn’t beat Corley “Chop Chop” – he made the old man leave. “
Bedford promises he won’t leave so easily, and while Barnett wants revenge, the former UFC fighter expects to send him home without the BKFC title and another loss on his resume.
“He is confident that he will win and become the champion. It won’t happen, ”Bedford said. “Johnny Bedford, who defeated Reggie Barnett a year and a half, two years ago, is a completely different fighter today.”