Tonight Bareknuckle Fighting Championships makes its debut appearance in our hometown of Omaha, NE with mixed fanfare. BKFC is an absolute stacked card with some of Omaha’s favorite fighters from the years, including fan favorite and former UFC fighter Ryan Roberts, UFC start Houston Alexander, former UFC Fighter, and UNL wrestler Jason High. And a matchup between TJ Benson and Cody “Locked and Loaded” Land! But with this stacked card, and honestly what we believe is a can’t miss debut event here in Nebraska, but today being fight day almost half of the tables in the arena are still unsold (23 of 57 tables are still available at the Ralston Arena Website). Is this because combat sports fans in Nebraska think Bareknuckle is too dangerous? Are there to many other things going on this weekend? Is BKFC asking to much for their product? Is it a lack of promotion? Or a combination of everything?
I do believe that combat sports fans may be less accepting of bare-knuckle fighting than of MMA or Boxing, and with that I think there are fewer “fans” of bare-knuckle than of other combat sports. That being said bare-knuckle fighting as a sport is growing in leaps and bounds with BKFC not much older than the pandemic.
As far as other events happening I’m sure there is a ton going on with it being the weekend after labor day. Many combat sports fans are probably enjoying the waning days of summer or going to concerts while the season is still in full swing. I personally know that MMA events have a much lower attendance in the summer months than in the winter.
So the next question is BKFC. I do believe that BKFC has overpriced the market for combat sports in Omaha, with similar events such as Dynasty Combat Sports, who is doing an event at Ralston arena in less than a month being less than half the price for the same tickets it may be a tough pill to swallow for everyday combat sports fans to pay an ultra-premium price ($2,000 a table, or $200 a seat) for something they may have been on the fence on in the 1st place when they are used to paying $700 a table of $70 a ticket for the same type of event. But I do believe that there is a market for ultra-premium tickets, the issue is you have to reach that audience and that requires putting money into promotion and marketing which I personally have seen none of by BKFC in the Omaha area.
The real question is how well will they do in the end, they may have a ton of people buy tickets at the door and I have a feeling the arena will be pretty full, and that’s good for BKFC but not great for the fighters that rely on ticket sales for income. Do we see BKFC coming back? Will they be able to have a card of the same caliber as this one? Honestly only time will tell. I hope we see them back and hope that all of Omaha’s fighters do well and want to be apart of the event again.