Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) will bring sanctioned bare knuckle action to Alabama for the first time on Saturday, April 11 as UFC veteran Chris Leben and former University of Alabama linebacker Marcel Stamps go toe-to-toe in the main event of BKFC 12 from Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, Ala.
The BKFC 12 co-main event will showcase a highly anticipated heavyweight title bout as BKFC Heavyweight Champion Joey Beltran defends his belt against rugged MMA veteran Mark Godbeer.
“It will be a great fight,” said BKFC founder and president David Feldman. “Chris Leben is a legend, he always comes to fight and he’s ready to throw down. Marcel Stamps is one of the most athletic fighters in BKFC, and we expect him to do some big things with the organization. This fight is a statement of how we do things at BKFC. The best fight the best!”
“I’m excited to be part of the BKFC 12 main event in Alabama,” said Leben. “On April 11, I will make Stamps regret he ever got into this. I will knock him out in front of his hometown fans.”
“I have my hometown supporting me and I will not let them down,” said Stamps. “Leben has nothing left. He is old and is nothing more than a name. I will retire him for good!”
Leben returns for his third BKFC fight, having previously knocked out Justin Baesman at BKFC 5, before losing a decision to Dakota Cochrane at BKFC 6. Originally from Portland, Oregon and now training out of Chula Vista, California, Leben first emerged onto the scene in the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter before going on to become a WEC Middleweight Champion. A veteran of over 20 UFC events, his career includes a five-fight win streak that led to a challenge of Anderson Silva.
Born in Brantley, Alabama and now fighting out of Birmingham, Stamps will step in for his second BKFC bout after previously knocking out Kendall Grove at BKFC 3. The 34-year-old played linebacker for Nick Saban at the University of Alabama from 2004 through 2008 and played in the CFL before transitioning to combat sports. Stamps competed in Bellator prior to debuting with BKFC in 2018.