What Are the BKFC Rules? (Simplified Into 9 Sections)

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Are you wondering what the BKFC rules are?

In this article, we’ll examine the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship rules (BKFC rules) in full.

What Are the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Rules? (BKFC Rules)

The current BKFC rules can be separated into 9 sections:

  1. Strikes
  2. Clinching
  3. Knockdowns
  4. Methods of Victory
  5. Medical Timeouts
  6. Rounds
  7. Wrist Wraps
  8. Attire
  9. Ring

Let’s take a closer look at each of the BKFC rules.

1. Strikes

Punches to the body and head are the only strike permitted.

Knees, elbows, and kicks aren’t allowed.

Punches must be thrown with closed fists and backfists and hammer fists aren’t allowed.

2. Clinching

BKFC boxers can clinch as long as they’re punching their way out with a free hand.

The referee won’t break a clinch until there’s been 3 seconds of inaction.

Fighters aren’t allowed to clinch and punch an opponent from behind. This is due to dangerous rabbit punches and spine strikes.

BKFC boxers can use collar ties (grabbing the back of the head/neck), underhooks, overhooks, forearm framing, and any type of clinching as long as they’re continually punching or trying to escape.

3. Knockdowns

BKFC knockdown rules state a fighter has 10 seconds to get back to their feet if knocked down, or they lose the fight via TKO. 

Fighters can’t be saved by the bell and have to show the referee they can fight even if the bell has rung at the end of a round.

Punching a downed opponent isn’t allowed. Doing so can lead to immediate disqualification and payment being withheld, and is decided by the commission regulating the event.

The standing fighter has to walk away from the downed fighter and wait for the referee to time them back in.

4. Methods of Victory

BKFC boxers can win via:

  • Knockout (KO)
  • The opponent not returning to their feet in 10 seconds once knocked down (TKO)
  • Decision via the judge’s scorecards
  • Referee stoppage because of blood affecting a fighter’s vision (TKO)
  • Doctor stoppage because a cut, hematoma, or other injury is deemed serious and likely to get worse if the fight continues (TKO)

5. Medical Timeouts

The referee is allowed to stop the fight if they see a fighter’s vision impaired by blood, and have a cutman attempt to stop the bleeding in just 30 seconds.

If the blood continues to run into the fighter’s eyes and prevents them from seeing, the referee has the power to stop the fight and give the win to the other fighter (TKO).

Ringside physicians check boxers in the break between rounds and have the power to stop the fight if they believe the injury is serious and likely to get worse. In this case, the other fighter wins a TKO via doctor stoppage.

6. Rounds

BKFC fights have 5 rounds for both title and non-title fights, and each round is 2 minutes long – for a total of 10 minutes of fighting. 

Fighters have a 1 minute rest period between rounds where they can drink water and have their injuries tended to by cutmen.

In the event a fight is declared a split draw by the ringside judges, BKFC rules state a fight can continue with 1 overtime round to determine a winner.

The first BKFC overtime was at BKFC 13 on November 13th, 2020, Jake Bostwick vs Tyler Vogel. The second overtime was at BKFC 27 on August 20th, 2022, Mike Perry vs Michael Venom Page (MVP).

7. Wrist Wraps

BKFC fighters are allowed to wrap and tape their hand, thumb, and wrist, but not within 1 inch of the knuckles as they must be exposed.

Boxing gloves aren’t allowed (obviously).

8. Attire

BKFC rules state a fighter must wear:

  • Mouthpiece – protects the teeth, jaw, and tongue
  • Groin protector and cup via jockstrap or compression shorts – protects the groin
  • Boxing trunks – worn over the cup
  • Boxing or wrestling shoes – support the feet and ankle for effective footwork

9. Ring

BKFC fighters compete in a circular 4-roped ring which is 22 feet in diameter and on top of a 28-foot square platform. The ropes connect to 8 padded pillars which support the ring.

In the center of the ring, there are two perpendicular lines. Each BKFC fighter starts standing opposite each other with any part of their lead foot on one line.

This is known as ‘Toe the Line’, which has them only 3 feet apart when the referee times in the fight. This is great for action as the fighters can immediately punch each other.

The referee starts the action at the start of the fight and every round by saying, “Knuckle Up!”


So, ‘what are the BKFC rules?’

BKFC rules state a fighter can only punch (with closed fists), clinching is allowed if fighters keep punching, fighters lose via TKO if they can’t get up once knocked down, fighters can also win via knockout (KO), judge’s decision, and referee/doctor stoppage (TKO).

BKFC rules also allow cutmen 30 seconds to stop any bleeding affecting a fighter’s vision, all BKFC fights have 5 rounds and each round is 2 minutes in length. Fighters have a 1-minute break between rounds.

Lastly, fighters can wrap their hands with tape and gauze up to an inch from the knuckles, they must wear a mouthguard, a groin cup, boxing shorts, and wrestling/boxing shoes, and fighters must start every round at the two lines in the middle of the ring.

If you found this article helpful, you may also enjoy the 16 hottest BKFC ring girls of all time.

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