2016 U.S. Olympic Boxing Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez will venture into the world of bare knuckle boxing at BKFC 11 on March 14, and he will do so in the main event, and in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas.
So what was it about BKFC that made this 24-year-old star want to switch sports?
“A lot of people ask me that question,” Hernandez said when asked why an Olympic boxing medalist would make the leap to bare knuckle competition. “Why? I guess it is in my blood. I’m a fighter. I’m down to do whatever kind of fighting…. MMA, boxing, bare knuckle. It’s just something new that I haven’t done yet and the opportunity came up, so why not try it?”
How did the opportunity to fight for BKFC come about?
“They (BKFC) actually contacted me," Hernandez said. "They said they were having a show in Wichita and that David Rickels was going to be on it. They told me where it was going to be at, at the INTRUST Bank Arena in downtown Wichita. I haven’t actually had a fight in Wichita. It’s always been in the surround area, but not actually in my city. It’s the biggest arena we have and this was my chance to fight there, so I took it.
“It’s a one fight deal, something to mark off on my bucket list. It depends on how much I like it.”
How did those you know and speak with regularly in the boxing community take the news?
“I don’t think the boxing community liked it very much," Hernandez said. "They were telling me I am gonna hurt myself, asking me why I’m doing it. I don’t really think they liked it but I don’t really care what anyone else thinks. It’s my decision. If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it. I feel like if they are going to be my supporters then support it. Either support it or don’t, but either way I’m going to do it.”
You are known for having a fast and aggressive style in boxing. Do you think you will take the same type of approach with bare knuckle?
“I really can’t tell," Hernandez said. "A lot of time in the ring my adrenaline just goes. It kind of depends on my opponent too. I might try to feel him out the first round, I might try to take him out in the first round. I don’t know.”
Speaking of your opponent, what do you know about him?
“I really don’t know too much about my opponent," the Wichita native said. "I don’t really keep up with my opponents. As long as I go in there and fight my fight how I fight then I don’t really have much to worry about.”
Are you training differently than you nomally would?
“I’m training a little differently," Hernandez said. "Changed up a few things. I’ll hit the mitts differently. Wrap my hands differently. Sometimes I’ll use MMA gloves, sometimes no gloves. Sometimes I still use the boxing gloves. Just really depends on what kind of workout we’re doing. Some things have changed with conditioning. We’re only going two minutes for a maximum of five rounds. I’m throwing a lot more punches.”
"BKFC 11" will be broadcast across the United States and Canada, exclusively on pay-per-view through MultiVision Media, Inc., on all major television distribution outlets for $29.99. It will also be available to BKFC's international broadcast partners worldwide and via stream to all in-home and out-of-home connected devices through FITE.
Tickets for the live event are on sale this Thursday, January 30 at 10 a.m. CT and can be purchased online at www.selectaseat.com, by phone at 855-733-SEAT (7328) and in-person at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena.