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Conor McGregor has big plans for the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

It was revealed last month during the promotion’s KnuckleMania 4 event in Los Angeles that the UFC’s first-ever two division champ (and possible three division champion?) Conor McGregor had become a co-owner of the BKFC, with the fight league’s president David Feldman noting that he expects the Dubliner to have a significant say in the organisation’s combat output moving forward.

And speaking exclusively to The Mac Life in recent days, McGregor said that he is confident that his experience as the biggest star in the world’s most famous mixed martial arts promotion will pay dividends when it comes to expanding Bare Knuckle’s reach to become a global powerhouse much like the UFC.

“The matchmaking is what got me excited about it, so I began discussions with my team internally, visited a show and met Feldman himself. I believe in David Feldman as well, he has a great vision,” McGregor said.

“The matchmaking has been stellar and what he’s been doing with it has been amazing. We came together and had a good discussion and decided together we will be a force in this industry. I came up as a protege of Lorenzo Fertitta and Mr. Dana White, I spent ample time with these gentlemen, we travelled across the world.

“Their thing was to get people to the live event because they knew their live product had that ‘wow factor,’ they had all the bells and whistles. And inside the cage it was ‘wow’. You get the fan into the arena — they are there for life then. I believe in Bare Knuckle we have that.

“It’s almost daunting, you walk into the arena and see the bells and whistles of the high-end promotion; the lights, the ring girls, the theatrics, the fireworks and then you see the walk-ins, and then they come out with no gloves whatsoever and it has that ‘wow’ factor.

“It has exactly what Lorenzo was speaking on. So I relate to that and I say ‘I’ve got that now with Bare Knuckle — what they had with the UFC’.  And also what was frequent in discussions with Lorenzo and Mr. White was the characters we had, the fighters we had, the stories they could tell. Their life stories. Very interesting characters.

“There’s no more interesting character than an individual who is willing to go into the ring and fight Bare Knuckle, that is a point blank fact.

“We’ve got the ‘wow’ factor at the live events, now it’s about building the athletes, getting their stories to the people, which I’ll be playing a part in. And then getting people to the arenas and then just keep growing it. Bare Knuckle is only in its growing stage, so it’s very exciting and I’m very happy to be a part of it. The eyes of the world are now on the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.”

Throughout its brief history to date, BKFC has has managed to attract some major names from combat sports to compete within its ranks, and there is one name that McGregor says he believes would be ideal for the sport’s ruleset: his lightweight rival Justin Gaethje.

“We’ve seen former UFC champions or UFC veterans move to other mixed martial arts promotions. We’ve seen them fight MMA all their career and now they still fight MMA. It doesn’t pop for me,” he explained.

“Now let’s take Justin Gaethje, who is a UFC veteran, former BMF holder, interim belt holder — take him, let’s put him in Bare Knuckle. That’s exciting, that’s really, really exciting. Now let’s take him and put him in another MMA organisation, not so much.”