Horrific photos show the bloody toll which bare-knuckled fighting takes on the brave souls who enter the ring in what is fast becoming a popular American sport.
The renewed popularity of an activity that was forced underground for the past 150 years could be credited to the vision of one man.
David Feldman staged a bare-knuckle boxing match on the undercard of a mixed martial arts show at a Yavapai Nation casino in Arizona in 2011.
The promoter offered the fight on the internet as a paid streaming option, just to see if anybody would watch it.
Bec Rawlings punches Britain Hart during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi last Saturday
The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, or BKFC, may be the only sanctioned event of its kind in the United States, but that doesn't make the bouts any less bloody or brutal. Hart is seen right absorbing a vicious blow from Rawlings
BKFC has a clear drawing card in Rawlings (above), the longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter who emerged as a figurehead for bare-knuckle fighting after her entertaining victory on BKFC's first card
BKFC prides itself on being what it calls 'the truest form of bare knuckle fighting': fighters are allowed to wrap their hands, but not within 1 inch of the knuckle. Rawlings' bare knuckles are seen above during an interview in Los Angeles on August 16
Feldman claims the pay-per-view system crashed under the demand of hundreds of thousands of buyers worldwide trying to watch two men fight with their bare fists.
He didn't get paid, but that's when Feldman knew this archaic sport had a future.
'This sport is absolutely not for everybody to compete in or watch,' Feldman said.
'For some people, the blood, the fast pace and the excitement of the whole thing is not for everybody. But for the group that it is for, I think we deliver exactly what their appetite calls for.'
After nearly a decade of patient work to get this primal version of boxing formally sanctioned somewhere in the U.S., Feldman's Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debuted in Wyoming two months ago.
Chris Lytle (right) fights Drew Lipton during the event in Biloxi last Saturday. It was the second event staged by the BKFC
The event's promoter believes that 25 years after the debut of the mixed martial arts league known as Ultimate Fighting Championship, there is an appetite among the American public for bare knuckle fighting
'This sport is absolutely not for everybody to compete in or watch,' David Feldman, the event promoter, said
Lipton is seen above with a bad cut on the left side of his face during his bout with Lytle in Biloxi last Saturday
Twenty-five years after the UFC's debut, Feldman thinks regulated bare-knuckle boxing might be the next big worldwide thing in the so-called combat sports
The show captured wide-ranging attention online, where it sold about 150,000 pay-per-view buys and drew heavy chatter on social media.
Feldman's BKFC promotion staged its second show last Saturday night in Biloxi, Mississippi, putting ungloved boxers in a ring for two-minute rounds filled with the primally compelling sound of flesh hitting flesh without padding or cushion.
The card featured a mishmash of experienced fighters from other disciplines, including MMA veterans Bec Rawlings, Kendall Grove and Chris Lytle.
Twenty-five years after the UFC's debut, Feldman thinks regulated bare-knuckle boxing might be the next big worldwide thing in the so-called combat sports.
British promoters have staged bare-knuckle bouts for years, but the North American pay-per-view market usually is the ultimate goal for any promoter hoping to cash in.
Even before his second bare-knuckle show, it's clear Feldman has opened a door.
Other North American companies are already rushing to get through it, but the