"El Bandido" Elvin Brito returns to the Bare Knuckle FC squared-circle for a fifth time when he meets Brad Kelly this Friday night at BKFC 16 in Biloxi, Mississippi.
In order to prepare for the upcoming bare knuckle bout in front of him, Brito enlisted a little help from some friends.
Bare Knuckle FC competitors Chris Sarro, Britain Hart, and Brandon Lambert, recently all arrived in Brito's native land of Puerto Rico to put in some work.
“They came out here to help me with my training camp,” Brito said. “Chris has a fight coming up in April and he wanted to jump start his training camp as well. Britain was putting in some work as well. She’s a hard-working girl. She showed up every day and made no excuses. Between all of us we were able to keep a really competitive pace and we were just grinding."
"There are some great boxers in Puerto Rico so we got some serious sparring in," Brito said of the training. "It was a boost in morale. I was super-hyped up having everybody out here working with me. Every day was all business. We had a lot of fun doing hard work. People might get the wrong idea when you look at the photos because we are at the beach and stuff between sessions but this is the most intense and most solid training camp I’ve had in a long time. Having them come out here and get a different look was eye opening for everyone. I’m gonna run tomorrow just because I want to but I honestly feel that I don’t need to put any more work in with this camp. I truly feel great. The work is done. I’m aiming for that title shot and I have to get through Brad Kelly first.”
There was also another member of Team Brito who helped put in some of the work in preparation for BKFC 16.
In the wide-world of sports there is a term that often floats around; sometimes it is used correctly, sometimes a little prematurely. "GOAT," stands for 'greatest of all-time.' It is a status given to the likes of the top competitors to have ever competed. Names such as Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Georges St-Pierre, and many others are some of the iconic all-time greats in their respective sports.
Well, Elvin Brito is also working with one of the GOATs, except this one has four legs, a tail, and a bit of fur.
“They all got some Poncho love,” Brito said as he laughed and reminisced of the camp with Hart, Lambert, and Sarro.
“We didn’t get a group picture because when we were hanging out with him, he started peeing on himself,” he continued to joke and laugh.
Poncho has become so popular with the fighters that he has his own Facebook fan page and Instagram account.
“Ever since we trained for the Luis Palomino fight, fighters are always asking me ‘hey, what’s up with the goats?’” Brito said.
Poncho is one of a handful of goats that Brito owns and works with.
“I have seven goats,” Brito said. “Poncho is the big man. He’s the stud. They goats are my stock market. I invest in them. Stocks are up right now,” he said as he continued to laugh.
Ironically, there is another GOAT in Brito's life. The 35-year-old fighter is currently signed to GOAT Combat Agency for representation.
Scott Farley, one of the co-founders of the management agency was the one who came up with the idea to have Poncho become a part of Brito's training camps. Whether Farley was partly joking or not, the idea has taken off and training with the goats has become a staple in Brito's fight preparation.
"We got that Palomino fight and we knew he was the best guy in the tournament," Brito said. "Scott was like, 'you better pick up that damn goat and run the hills with him,'" Brito recalled.
"The next thing you know, I did like six reps with him (Poncho)," Brito said.
The workouts would continue to develop.
To help build up head and next strength, Brito would often push his head against Poncho's as the two exercised their force against one another.
"He's a lot bigger than he used to be," Brito said of his training partner. "I can still pick him up and squat him but I'm not doing too much running around with him," he said as he laughed.
Brito estimates that Poncho now weighs close to 200-pounds.
"I'd say if he is not 200-pounds, he is definitely 190, maybe more," he said of Poncho who is three-years old.
"He's part of the crew. He gets a lot of play. It's just part of what we do," Brito said.
While Poncho does play a small part of Brito's fight preparation, it is not all fun and games.
Brito believes that his hard work and determination will be the deciding factor in Friday night's outing, and will lead to him earning a potential title shot in the near future.
"Brad is a veteran of MMA, so he's very dangerous," Brito said. "Yeah, I've got more bare knuckle bouts, but I'm the kind of guy who will fight anybody they put in front of me. Brad Kelly is anybody this time.
Headlining BKFC-16 is a lightweight grudge match between Leonard ‘Bad Boy’ Garcia, (18-13-1), fighting out of Lubbock, TX and Joe ‘The Hitman’ Elmore, (13-12), of Atlanta, GA.
Co-featured and making his BKFC debut, Former Boxing World Champion DeMarcus ‘Chop Chop’ Corley of Washington, D.C. clashes with BKFC veteran Reggie ‘Eaz-E’ Barnett Jr. of Virginia Beach, VA in a bantamweight bout.
Tickets for BKFC-16 are Now On-Sale starting at $55 and may be purchased through the BKFC website, www.bkfc.com. The Biloxi Civic Center is located at 578 Howard Street, Biloxi, MS 39530. Doors will open on the night of the event at 6PMCT with the first bell at 7PMCT.