Updated: Aug 7, 2019
Bare Knuckle FC 7 was to feature two fights in the women's featherweight tournament semifinal which would later crown the promotion's first 125-pound women's champion.
After an injury forced Sadie Ault out of her fight with Corrine Laframboise, the event will continue with just one semifinal matchup pairing Las Vegas native Christine Ferea battling the Dominican Republic's Helen Peralta. The other fight will be contested at a later date.
Despite the card losing one of the two slugfests, the stakes are still very high as Ferea's Police Gazette women's featherweight title will be up for grabs this Saturday night in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Both Ferea and Peralta previously competed for Invicta Fighting Championships but have recently transitioned from MMA to bare knuckle. Ferea earned two BKFC wins with stoppages over Jennifer Tate and Britain Hart, whereas Peralta will be making her debut in the sport.
"I think coming from MMA to bare knuckle makes more sense," Peralta said. "The precision is smoother than going from boxing to bare knuckle. I think MMA fighters have the upper hand especially since we work in the clinch so much. Boxers are usually against the BKFC rules. I mean I know they clinch every now and again but usually the referee breaks it up. They won't break it up in Bare Knuckle FC. Also, we are use to the smaller gloves which are just about the size of a fist so we know how to block more efficiently than a boxer would. They are used to having to giant pillows in front of them that they can use to cover up."
In preparation for her first bare knuckle event, Peralta has switched things up entirely.
"100 percent my training camp has changed for bare knuckle," Peralta said. "My MMA training camp is in Orlando. I didn't even go there at all, there is no point. This has been more about precision, making sure we can throw punches without breaking our hands, making sure we have enough in the gas tank to do a spring every two minutes with 45 second breaks. I know during the fight there is about a minute break but we are training for 45 seconds.
"Definitely foot work, a lot of emphasis on that. Accuracy in general, knowing your range. In MMA you can get away with just throwing a punch in a general direction and setting something else up. I might throw a jab, I don't think about exactly where it is going to land, but the purpose is for me to land a kick or something like that. In bare knuckle boxing you only have your hands. You have be more precise, make sure you don't hit the top of the head, make sure you don't hit elbows when you go to the body, make sure you stick to the meatier part of the body to inflict damage and only go to the head when you see an opening.
"Most of the girls in MMA, they don't like getting hit," Peralta said. "Usually I put a lot of emphasis on wrestling because I'm going up a grappler. This time I was just able to stay home and work on my striking. Before I was a shitty striker but the girls didn't want to stand up with me because they are even shittier than I am. Now that I am working for and training for bare knuckle, I can't even believe the level I am at. It has been amazing for me because now I am a real striker. I've been working on my strengths so much that my weaknesses are going to become irrelevant when and if I go back to MMA."
While Ferea and Peralta are foes for the meantime, they do not necessarily not like one another either. When Ferea won Police Gazette gold earlier this year, Peralta took to social media to congratulate her on her hard work paying off. But now things are a little different as the two women will stand opposite one another in search for dominance. That is where the mental warfare comes into play.
"She (Ferea) said some things but for me, I see it as part of the game," Peralta said. "Here's the thing, you either have a personality or you have to adapt a persona. She doesn't have a personality so she has to adapt a persona. But then she is not very smart, so her persona is not interesting. She has to put her ego on the line in order to raise the stakes and perhaps bring in some of the casual fans. To be honest, for real fight fans, it is about 5 to 10 percent that buy pay-per-views, and that's not enough to pay the bills. We need people who want to trash talk, we need people who want to see you put your ego on the line. Most of her followers are probably hoping she loses. They are following her career to see her lose. People do that, they pick people who they love to hate. Everybody has their place in the business. If she decides she wants to go that route, okay. I mean as a female fighter you can also just show your ass if you want attention, but I don't think anybody wants to see her ass."
"I'm not 100% set on how I think it is going to go," Peralta said. "She's not very smart, but I think her coach is very smart. If I was him I would tell her to take it easy in the first round. I noticed things in her previous fights. I haven't fought in almost a year so there's not much out on me as far as what I can do at this point or what my improvements have been. If I were her coach I'm telling her to take it easy that first round and see how that goes. If she see's an opening, go for the kill. But she's not gonna see an opening so try again in the second round, but she's not gonna see an opportunity there either. When she's waiting, that's when I'm gonna catch her."
"I love bare knuckle boxing," Peralta said. "Even though I haven't done it yet myself, I've watched over 100, maybe 200 bouts to get ready. I think it is a beautiful, beautiful sport. The stakes are high, but you are not really getting hurt. When you see these guys, these pro boxers that go 12 rounds just pounding on each others' heads, guys that know how to throw punches, punching each other for over 30 minutes, that's insane. Five years down the road when they are in front of the ATM machine, that number is just not gonna through. It's just science. It's not gonna work out like that. Bare knuckle, you might get a cut or two, but it is superficial damage. You can learn a lot about a human being by how they react in that cage or ring. For me, I can't wait to get in there. This is my therapy. I'm trying to figure out where I am mentally because my life is not about what other people have to say. If you live your life like that, which most people do, you never really accomplish your full potential. I really want to accomplish my full potential and this is a shortcut for me. I want to test my character. I would like to think that if she hits me and I fall down that I would get right back up, but we don't really know that. We like to think that we are all this, or all that, but we are constantly making excuses for ourselves when shit don't go our way. So I want to see what happens. I want this to be a hard fight."