Luke Rockhold, former UFC middleweight champion, is set to fight against Mike Perry at BKFC 41.
Although the fight will only involve bare-knuckle striking, Rockhold briefly returned to his MMA roots during a staredown with Perry at the pre-fight press conference.
As the two fighters faced off against each other ahead of their 185-pound main event, things got slightly intense during the staredown, with both trying to establish their dominance. However, the situation did not escalate out of control.
Interestingly, Perry even offered to let Rockhold hold his "platinum" title that he had been wearing throughout the press conference. After the faceoff was over, Perry turned to walk away, and Rockhold playfully grabbed him in a rear-naked choke, before quickly letting go with a smile.
This was a lighthearted moment that showed the camaraderie between the two-time BKFC veteran and the former UFC champion.
Mike Perry boasts two wins in his bare-knuckle career, including a notable victory over Bellator star Michael "Venom" Page. On the other hand, Luke Rockhold will be making his bare-knuckle debut after being released from the UFC.
Both fighters have expressed their intent to secure a knockout win. Rockhold is relying on his size and power advantage, while Perry is leaning on his experience and durability to come out on top.
Meanwhile, in the co-main event, former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez is also set to make his bare-knuckle debut against Chad Mendes, who currently holds a 1-0 record in BKFC.
Perhaps the most tense faceoff came between BKFC flyweight champion Christine Ferea and UFC and Bellator veteran Bec Rawlings. While Rawlings was stoic during the staredown, Ferea kept shouting in her face until the fighters were eventually separated.
There will be one final faceoff on Friday during the official weigh-ins with BKFC 41 scheduled for Saturday night with the main card kicking off at 9 p.m. ET from Colorado.