Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has signed for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship and will headline on his debut against fellow former UFC fighter Mike Perry on April 29 in Denver, Colorado.

BKFC 41 was announced on The MMA Hour by the promotion’s president David Feldman, who confirmed the main event matchup, as well as a trio of other fights that offer intrigue for longtime MMA fans.

Rockhold’s first foray outside of the UFC will see him ditch the gloves to take on hard-hitting former welterweight Perry, who has seemingly found an ideal home in BKFC. “Platinum” has been a surefire hit for the promotion, and most recently defeated Bellator welterweight contender Michael “Venom” Page via majority decision after a final-round decider at BKFC 27 in London in August 2022.

Now the Floridian will welcome former UFC champ Rockhold to the BKFC ring in a 185-pound matchup that pits Rockhold’s technical distance fighting with Perry’s high-pressure brawling style, which has proved to be successful in both of his BKFC bouts to date.

Speaking about his decision to join BKFC, Rockhold told The MMA Hour, “Given the opponent, the payday, and the stage, I think this was the best opportunity, for sure. There’s still other opportunities still on the table right now, in the mix, but this is exciting, and this is new, and this is what intrigues me the most.”

Joining Rockhold and Perry on the card is a co-main event clash between former Bellator and UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, who makes his promotional debut against former UFC featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes in a 165-pound bout.

There is also a BKFC title bout on the card, with Australia’s former UFC and Bellator veteran Bec Rawlings stepping up to challenge defending women’s 125-pound champion Christine Ferea, who has a 6-1 record under bare-knuckle rules.

Also set for action on the card is former UFC heavyweight contender Ben Rothwell, who has been announced for the event, but currently does not yet have a confirmed opponent.

BKFC 41: Confirmed bouts

  • Luke Rockhold vs. Mike Perry
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Chad Mendes
  • Christine Ferea vs. Bec Rawlings – for women’s flyweight title
  • Ben Rothwell vs. TBC