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Thiago Alves says bare-knuckle boxing ‘very refreshing,’ aims to become BKFC champ

Thiago Alves is enjoying his time bare-knuckle boxing.

The former UFC title challenger is relishing his transition to a new sport after competing in MMA for almost 20 years. Alves made the switch from the UFC to Bare Knuckle FC in January 2020 and made his debut with BKFC last September.

Alves headlined BKFC 12 in Daytona Beach, Fla. taking on short-notice replacement Julian Lane. Alves won the bout via split decision.

Now, a few months removed from his first bare-knuckle boxing bout, the 37-year-old Alves calls the experience refreshing.

“It was definitely different. I almost kicked in the second round, but once I set in into the new fighting style, I felt very comfortable,” Alves told MMA Junkie. “Damage wise, compared to MMA, usually in MMA your whole body is messed up. In this one, I had a lot of cuts, especially because of the head butt, but besides that, from the neck down, I felt pretty fresh. My hands were pretty swollen.

“At this stage of my career, it was very refreshing to have this type of fighting experience. I’m excited. I’m full in. I’m excited to see how much violence I can do in this organization.”

Alves knows he’s no youngster in combat sports, but he thinks he’s got plenty left in the tank. The American Top Team product doesn’t have an end date to his fighting career, but he does have a set goal – to become a BKFC champion.

“We’ll see how it goes. I’m 37 right now. I’ve been in this business for a really long time, I fought in MMA professionally for 20 years, and I feel great,” Alves said. “I always had really good defense, so I didn’t take that much damage throughout my career.

“I definitely want to become a champion. I wouldn’t join the organization if I didn’t think I could become a champ. I don’t have anything set in stone right now, but I definitely want to be successful, so let’s see how much damage I can do.”

To hear the complete interview with Alves, check out the video below.


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