ORLANDO, FL. – Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos and red-hot Bareknuckle Boxing Heavyweight Champion Alan Belcher will meet for the first-event Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA Heavyweight Championship headlining action on Saturday, March 2 from the Kia Center in Orlando, Florida and streamed live and for free on the Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA YouTube Channel.
Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA promotion will deliver a stacked night of “The Most Violent Show on Earth” with a lineup that includes all-action heavyweights Chase “The Vanilla Gorilla” Sherman and Orlando’s Alex “The Spartan” Nicholson meeting in the co-main event.
“This is going to be a historic night and we can’t wait to crown the first ever Gamebred Bareknuckle Heavyweight World Champion in front of the great fans in Orlando,” said Jorge Masvidal, CEO of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA. “We’ve got a bareknuckle boxing champion in Alan Belcher against a true legend of MMA in Junior Dos Santos, a true 50-50 fight that’s gonna come down to who can impose their will on the other. This is going to be pure violence from start to finish, and not just the main event, because fans can always expect Gamebred cards to deliver from the opening bell, through the main event. Make sure you’re at Kia Center in Orlando on March 2!”
“Both Junior Dos Santos and Alan Belcher have proven their mettle in bareknuckle MMA and have earned this chance to become the first Gamebred Bareknuckle Heavyweight World Champion,” said Dean Toole, President of Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA. “Fight fans in Florida are in for a treat and are sure to see history made. We’re planning to deliver another card that’s nothing but high-octane contests, so get your popcorn ready and stay glued to your seat on March 2.”
Tickets for the live event are on sale now and can be purchased HERE through Ticketmaster.com.
A native of Cacador, Santa Catarina, Brazil, Dos Santos (21-10 MMA record) became UFC Heavyweight Champion in 2011, as he knocked out Cain Velasquez in just 64 seconds to claim the title. He will look to add another title to his already storied career, having earned this title shot by defeating Fabricio Werdum in his Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA debut in September. Throughout his storied career, Dos Santos scored victories over a litany of notable names beyond Werdum and Velasquez, including Stipe Miocic, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, Gabriel Gonzaga, Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis. Dos Santos also made appearances on the popular All Elite Wrestling series in 2021.
“This training camp is going great and I feel amazing,” said Dos Santos. “I’m very excited to be competing for the first Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA heavyweight title. This is going to be another great achievement in my career. We know Belcher already has a lot of great experience in bare knuckle, so we’re working extra hard on our strategy, because we know who’ll be in front of us on fight night. On March 2, I’ll be 100% ready to become the first Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA heavyweight champion.”
Born and raised in Biloxi, Belcher (18-8 pro MMA record) thrilled his hometown crowd in November as he headlined Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA with a decision victory over Roy “Big Country” Nelson”, continuing his unbeaten run after returning from an eye injury in 2021. Along the way, Belcher won a bareknuckle boxing heavyweight championship and scored impressive victories over Tony Lopez, Arnold Adams, Frank Tate and Bobo O’Bannon. Belcher earned nine victories during a strong 15-fight run with UFC that ended with a technical decision loss to Michael Bisping. He also has recent experience on the Gamebred circuit, having stopped Cameron Graham in one round at a Gamebred Boxing event in May 2022.
“On March 2, I’m going in there to make history and become the first heavyweight champion of bareknuckle MMA and boxing,” said Belcher. “I’ve got a great opponent in Junior Dos Santos, but I know what I have to do to take down a legend. This is my time. Junior will not be able to keep up with my speed and versatility. My belief and will is at a career-high, so now it’s time to collect all the belts and all the checks. You can bet on a knockout.”
A native of D’lberville, Mississippi, Sherman (16-12 career MMA record) will look to build off his Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA triumph in Novmeber, as he stopped Carl Seumanutafa in round one. Previously, Sherman had appeared in the UFC octagon no less than 15 times and bested Rashad Coulter, Damian Grabowski, Jared Vanderaa and Ike Villanueva along the way. The 34-year-old also owns recent bareknuckle boxing experience as he defeated Arnold Adams, in addition to a draw against Sam Shewmaker and a decision loss to Joey Beltran, in a busy 2019.
Fighting out of Orlando, Florida, Nicholson (15-10 pro MMA record) most recently earned a bareknuckle MMA victory in November’s Gamebred event, as he knocked out Prince McLean in round one, doing his damage with a dangerous left hook. The 33-year-old is a veteran of UFC and PFL throughout a pro career that dates back to 2014. He will be competing for a Masvidal promotion for the fourth time, having defeated Tony Lopez and Johnathan Ivey at different events in 2021.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.