Former boxing world champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi and UFC veteran Artem “The Russian Hammer” Lobov continued their heated rivalry Thursday at the final press conference before their highly anticipated grudge match that headlines Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) action this Saturday night live on pay-per-view from Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Fla.
The televised portion of the can’t-miss night of fights features Chris Leben taking on Dakota Cochrane, plus the finals of the BKFC Lightweight Tournament pitting Reggie Barnett against Johnny Bedford in a showdown for the BKFC Lightweight Championship. These fighters were in attendance for today’s event and faced off against their opponent at the Harley Davidson of Brandon.
The event will be broadcast across the United States and Canada, exclusively on pay-per-view through MultiVision Media, Inc., on all major television distribution outlets for $39.99. It will also be available worldwide via stream to all in-home and out-of-home connected devices at FITE-TV and www.bareknuckle.tv. Additionally, fight fans in the U.K. can watch “BKFC 6: The Line is Drawn” exclusively on Premier Sports for only £9.99 on Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player.
Tickets for “BKFC 6: The Line is Drawn” are available now exclusively at www.bareknuckle.tv. Florida will become the latest state to host a BKFC event after previous contests have been held in Wyoming and Mississippi, plus an event that took place in Cancun, Mexico.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Thursday:
“This is the biggest fight of his career and he only got here because he started with me. I’m going to finish it on Saturday.
“I’m going to pummel this guy like he stole something. I’m going to teach him some manners. I’ve only been talking because of what his crew started.
“I don’t think there’s a lot to say that hasn’t already been said. This guy is so nervous he’s not going to know what to do when the bell rings.
“This is a growing sport and it was a pleasant surprise to find out the fight would be here in Florida. I have a second home here and spend a lot of time in the state. It feels good to be competing here.
“I’m not impressed with Artem’s last fight in BKFC. I thought he blew the fight. I thought everyone would realize how bad he is. I’m definitely not second-guessing myself after seeing that performance.”
“The talk is over for me. I’ve said everything I have to say. I just want to get in there with this man on Saturday night and show the world what happens when you run your mouth the way Paulie has.
“He’s coming off the couch and he’s only here for the money. It’s the truth. Unfortunately for him, he bit off more than he can chew. He’s going to make a nice paycheck, but I’m going to make two holes in his head and go home happy.
“I want to whoop this guy so bad. I actually liked my last opponent and you saw what happened to him.
“Number one, I just want to hurt this guy. I don’t know how much he’s going to be able to take at 40-years-old. He doesn’t have the fire burning in his chest.
“It’s great to be here for this event and I’m thankful for everyone who made it happen. I’m going to put on a spectacular performance Saturday night.”
“My opponent is aggressive and a quick starter. I’ve seen him start and finish fights fast, so I have to be ready for that.
“At the last minute we had to switch opponents, so hats off to the Dakota [Cochrane] for stepping in. I have seen him do this before as the replacement. I saw him do it to Johny Hendricks and I fought right after that fight. I know what this guy is capable of.
“Cochrane definitely poses some interesting threats. He’s not what I was training for. He’s nothing like my last opponent because he has a different style. He hits a lot harder and comes forward. I am going to have to rely a lot on what I think are my veteran abilities to make these adjustments and go out there and perform Saturday night.
“We both go hard and leave it all in the ring and I think this is going to be one to watch for sure.
“All you have to do is look at the tape and watch me fight. I don’t need to talk about my opponent, because everyone knows what I’m going to do Saturday night. You’re going to see more of the same in that ring.”
“Being a last-minute replacement is not a big deal for me. I’ve taken last-minute fights a lot in my career and done well, so this is nothing new.
“I’m going to come out and fight hard. Bare knuckle is super interesting to me. I think I was built for it, so I appreciate the opportunity.
“It’s going to be a hell of a fight. He’s going to throw hard and I’m going to throw hard. So, let’s see who comes out on top.
“Leben has size and power and I’ll be ready for it. I know what he’s capable of and we’ve used the time we had in camp to be at our very best for it.”
“I’m going to be the first lightweight bare knuckle champion in history. That’s it. It’s that simple. That’s my mindset.
“The only advantage Johnny has over me is his size, but I have everything else in my arsenal that’s going to make this my night.
“I want to thank David Feldman for this opportunity. I’ve been here since the tryout in Philadelphia. I wasn’t given my spot, I earned it. I’ve been through this tournament, I’ve shown up every time and never had one lackluster performance.
“I have never made any excuses for my performances and everyone knows what they can expect from me on Saturday night. I just hope Johnny Bedford is ready for it too.”
“Barnett can’t finish anybody. It doesn’t matter how much time he has, he doesn’t hit hard and I’m too tough.
“I’m not too worried about what Barnett brings to the table. I’m too big and too strong for him.
“We’re fighting for a pretty big title, the first of its kind. That belt is coming back with me to Texas, I can promise you that.
“I’m really excited about this. This has been a fight that has been in fruition for a year now. Reggie and I both fought on the first BKFC card. We went together collectively to make this tournament happen and here we are a year later.
“We are going to find out who the baddest man at 135-pounds is. I put my work in, he put his work in. The talking is done. I’m ready to put on a show Saturday night and leave it all out there for sure. The fans are going to win on Saturday night.”
DAVID FELDMAN, BKFC Founder & President
“This is boxing vs. MMA, fighting in the middle ground. Who will win? Is it the pure boxer in Malignaggi, or the rough, tough guy in Lobov? We’re going to find out on Saturday night. Make sure you tune in to this epic event.
“We’ve been working really hard and our team has been working really hard this past year and now one year later, we’re the most talked about sporting event around. The combat sporting event of the summer of 2019 is Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
“This card is truly stacked from top to bottom. A lot of promoters say they have a great card, but every fight on this card can be the fight of the night.
“To be able to be here in the state of Florida, promoting an event of this magnitude really says something about the vision we have and the team we have surrounding us. We’re happy about that.
“With this fight, we have two guys that genuinely have dislike for each other and they each think they have a good reason to have that dislike. The whole world is watching right now to see how it plays out.”