Shaquille O'Neal Plans to Invest in BKFC: 'This Is the Future of Fighting'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2021

Former NBA player Shaquille O' Neal is interviewed on the red carpet for Shaq's Fun House, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Miami. This carnival themed music festival is one of numerous events taking place in advance of Miami hosting Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal plans to get involved in the world of bare-knuckle fighting. 

Speaking to Josh Peter of USA Today, O'Neal is investing in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship organization. 

"These are the greatest, toughest athletes in the world," he said. "The fact that they're not using gloves makes them the toughest athletes in the world. I think this is the future of fighting."

Peter noted that O'Neal was in attendance at Friday's BKFC Knucklemania in Lakeland, Florida. He presented Dat Nguyen with the lightweight championship after he defeated Johnny Bedford by unanimous decision in the co-main event.

BKFC founder Dave Feldman told Peter that O'Neal's investment is nearly done, with "dotting the i's and crossing t's" all that's left to do. 

O'Neal has not been shy about his admiration for combat sports. He even fought Forrest Griffin in a friendly bout at the UFC Performance Center in 2018.

BKFC has held 16 events since its launch in 2018. Its next scheduled pay-per-view event will take place March 19 in Biloxi, Mississippi.