On the left, a picture of McGregor and on the right, Franco Tenaglia in a bare-knuckle boxing match. SUR/X Franco Tenaglia
MMA legend Conor McGregor plans to bring bare-knuckle fight to Marbella

MMA legend Conor McGregor plans to bring bare-knuckle fight to Marbella

Very popular in the UK, the United States, Russia and Germany the sport is relatively unknown to the public in Spain - despite the country having one best fighters in the booming discipline

Matías Stuber

Monday, 27 May 2024, 11:33


The ingredients promise an explosive event: Conor McGregor, Marbella and bare-knuckle fighting. If there is a discipline that is booming in recent times in contact sports, it is bare knuckle fighting. As in classic boxing, the contenders step into the ring to fight each other, but they do it without gloves. The only protection is the traditional bandaging of the wrists to avoid fracturing them in the exchange of blows.

In Spain there are only a few events of this type, of which the notoriety is relative. This could change if the plans of mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Conor McGregor, who is considering bringing a bare knuckle event to Marbella this summer, come to fruition.

Nothing is set in stone yet, but the possibility is on McGregor's mind, as he revealed in a stream on his social media. It could be this summer, coinciding with McGregor's possible stay in Marbella to celebrate his birthday (14 July). "There is a proposal to do that bare-knuckle event in Marbella," he says. La Jaula de AS platform dedicated to MMA has echoed these statements.

This proposal fits in with the current context of the bare-knuckle discipline. Very popular in the UK, the United States, Russia and Germany, there are several promoters who specialise in the organisation of bare-knuckle fights. The most important is the BKFC (bare knuckle fighting championship). In fact, McGregor has recently become a co-owner of this organisation.

The rules are similar to those of the noble art, although there are also important nuances. First of all, the ring is circular and has four ropes. On the other hand, the bouts are rated in five rounds of two minutes each. There are judges who score each round, although most fights usually end in a knockout. Bare-knuckle punches have a greater impact and the chances of knocking your opponent out with a quick or accurate hand increase exponentially.

Not yet well known in Spain

Although we are talking about a discipline that is not yet so well known to the general public in Spain, the country currently has one of the best fighters in this discipline: Franco Tenaglia. The Argentinian has been based in Alicante for many years, where he trains at the Climent Club, known for being a forge of champions. In fact, Ilia Topuria comes from this gym.

Tenaglia, nicknamed the 'King of the Street', won the European championship in bare-knuckle boxing over James Lilly of Wales last April in the United Kingdom. The bout was decided on points, but a blow from Tenaglia that sent Lilly to the canvas showed the toughness of this discipline.

If McGregor's plans come to fruition, one thing is clear: Marbella, and therefore the province of Malaga, will host the biggest and most important event of this type ever seen in these parts.

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