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May 26, 2024

BKFC founder: Conor McGregor ‘has needle-moving equity’ ownership stake in bare-knuckle

BKFC founder: Conor McGregor ‘has needle-moving equity’ ownership stake in bare-knuckle

Conor McGregor may be one of the best promoters in combat sports when it comes to hyping up an event, but buying a partial ownership stake in BKFC wasn’t just for show.

The former two-division UFC champion recently made a financial investment into the bare-knuckle outfit, joining an ownership group that also includes social media platform Triller. On the surface, McGregor just being associated with bare-knuckle boxing helps raise the company’s profile, but BKFC founder and current president David Feldman promises the deal wasn’t just about putting his face on a few posters.

Instead, Feldman said McGregor’s influence in BKFC runs deep, and he’ll have a say in a lot of major decisions made for and by the company.

“I’m going to let him disclose what he wants to disclose about that,” Feldman said on The MMA Hour regarding McGregor’s ownership percentage in BKFC. “I’m going to tell you that he has needle-moving equity. He has substantial equity in the company. He has enough equity to really make a big play here, and I think he’s going to.

“He’s going to have a say. He’s going to have opinions and say and ideas, and we look forward to it all.”

The genesis behind McGregor buying into BKFC started just over one year ago when he attended a card headlined by Mike Perry fighting ex-UFC champion Luke Rockhold. McGregor was one of the loudest voices in the crowd and even put a BKFC title on his shoulder before engaging in a playful faceoff with Perry following his win.

From there, McGregor became a sponsor for BKFC through his Forged Irish Stout brand, but Feldman stayed in contact with him to eventually broker this deal.

“We just started having conversations,” Feldman said. “One thing led to another and here we are. He is a partner of BKFC and we couldn’t be any more excited about it. It’s going to be an unbelievable partnership.”

Right now, McGregor is deep in training camp to prepare for his return at UFC 303 on June 29. He faces Michael Chandler in his first fight back in nearly three years.

That remains McGregor’s primary focus, but Feldman expects his new business partner to support BKFC in numerous ways, which could include appearances at events or even serving as the master of ceremonies at press conferences or other events for the promotion.

“Blood, sweat, and tears, you don’t know what I had to do to get this thing to this point and I love talking about the company and being the guy there. I love it,” Feldman said. “But they don’t want to see me if they have a choice between me or Conor McGregor. So Conor McGregor all day long.

“The ones he can make that appearance to, would absolutely love him to do it and he’s going to. He loves the sport because it’s as real as it gets.”

When it comes to McGregor pumping up another combat sports promotion while still fighting in UFC, Feldman doesn’t expect there to be any real conflict of interest. He said McGregor “obviously had conversations” with UFC before going public with his ownership stake in the company.

As far as the future goes, Feldman sounds excited to work with McGregor in every possible capacity now that he has a vested interest in BKFC’s long-term success.

But what about McGregor potentially fighting in bare-knuckle boxing one day?

“I’ll tell you what he says all the time — he loves the UFC,” Feldman said of McGregor. “He loves Dana White. He loves the company. He loves fighting for them. He loves what we do too. Look, he’s got two more fights on the contract, we’ll see what happens there. He loves the UFC so I don’t know. I can’t tell you that.

“If I was sitting here and said, ‘Nah, we don’t want him to fight for us,’ come on, what kind of a liar would I be? Of course we want him to fight for us, but I’m not getting in the middle of what their agreement and their deal is right now. But if that opportunity does arise, 100 percent, I think he would like it. But I’ll let him speak for himself.”

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