Photo Credit: Tracy Lee
The sport of legalised Bare-Knuckle Boxing – British fighter Mark Godbeer is taking part Saturday, 21st, September 2019 live on FITE TV in the UK and PPV in North America.
Born and raised in Bridgwater, Somerset in England, 35-year-old Mark Godbeer had always felt that his ‘hands’ could do the talking – not in the way you’re thinking, but as in a career in combat sports.
Back in 2009, Mark embarked on that career in mixed martial arts.
His first competitive mixed martial arts fight was on a local show in Bath where not only was he the headlined event he won the contest in 2 minutes via TKO.
A year after that fight, Mark got the buzz and had a second fight in which he won again via TKO.
With another four fights that year, Mark won two contests via TKO and two via submission. The two fights Mark had in 2011 were a mixture where he won one via TKO and lost to a TKO himself, his first loss as a pro.
Having had been signed to now-defunct promotion BAMMA, Mark had more than his fair share of success winning all four of those contests and even winning the prestigious BAMMA World Title Belt.
After his success with BAMMA, Mark got called up to the UFC in 2016, which was an achievement and all hard work had paid off.
It was in the UFC (2017) that Mark had never gone the full three rounds and it was left in the judge’s hand to score the fight – they scored it in favour of Mark winning via unanimous decision.
After amassing a record of 13 wins (9 of those coming by way of TKO) and four losses, Mark decided to hang up his 4oz gloves. However, that retirement was short-lived as Mark signed to ACA – Absolute Championship Akhat (formerly known as ACB – Absolute Championship Berkut), which has also given himself another new goal to reach.
“My MMA contract with ACA is still active, and I can talk to my management (Duello Sports Management) they respect what I have to say “ stated Mark “They’ve been really good to me as they knew at that in my point in my career that I wanted to get as many fights in as possible and explore different adventures”
March 20th, 2019 will always be a date that Mark fondly recalls, as he was asked by the British Bare Knuckle Company who had been trying to contact him to fight one of their best guys at BKB16 at The O2 in London, which was also his BKB official debut event.
Mark won that contest against Mickey Parker who was 4-1 in BKB at the time and won the British Title, after that the offers came flooded in.
BKFC David Feldman who held the first legal promotion with it being sanctioned and commissioned since 1889 in June 2018 in Cheyenne, Wyoming had so many offers from people that he was inundated with prospects “someone reached out to me to fight in the heavyweight tournament that Valor was running” said Mark “They told me who was competing, and I was like they are all veterans of the sport, and I’m at the point of my career that I’m also a veteran, so yeah I said f**k let’s do this”.
“It has given me back the fire in my belly. I love to box, and I love the rawness of BKB and the bare-knuckle.”
There is a total miss conception of Bare Knuckle Boxing, and that is where the hands of the fighters get wrapped all around the knuckles, which defeats the object of ‘Bare Knuckle Boxing’, some promotions still use this route; however Mark is keen to put us straight “They are completely bare, the only thing we have wrapped is our wrists so we can punch harder and then say an inch to two inches to your knuckles so that they are complete bare.
“The British version and Valor do not cover knuckles anymore.”
Having decided to have his training camp out in Thailand at Phuket Top Team with Boyd Clarke, for the last five weeks was mainly due to ‘boxing politics’ back in the UK with his very good friend Marley Swindells, Mark felt right at home with Phuket Top Team “I felt that I fitted in straight away with them, having no egos, and I knew most of them from being on the circuit anyway – it was a no brainer.” He said.
“I’ve been out here for five weeks with Marley training my a** off, and now we are here we are all ready to go.”
The event will be the first inaugural promotion promoted by UFC Hall of Famer, four-time Heavyweight World Champion and WWE Legend Ken Shamrock.
“With the four-match tournament it is the first of many I believe on Ken Shamrocks Valor Bare Knuckle show, having selected four big heavyweights, we are all just going to battle it out for two fights all in one night.” Stated Mark “We will have our first fight, then, later on, we find out who we will be matched with for our 2nd fight and see who will become the First Heavyweight Valor Bare Knuckle Champion.”
With Bare Knuckle Boxing taking off all over the world for the past year, or so fans want to see two people go tow to tow in the middle of the ring, once the beer starts flowing, people do like to see a good old fashioned fistfight. Also, mutual respect is shown to each other after they have ‘beaten’ the ‘s**’t’ out of the other fighter after their contest regardless of the result. Two guys/girls have had the b*lls to step into the ring regardless and give their all to their opponent and the fans for a fight they will enjoy.
Lastly, I would like to thank Marley Swindells for helping me get ready for this incredible journey, Phuket Top Team for welcoming me, Booster Fight gear as my sponsor and my management team Duello Sports Management.