Thiago Alves likes what he sees for a potential title defense of his Bare Knuckle FC belt.

The former UFC welterweight contender and now BKFC middleweight champion is down in knuckle up and defend his belt against bareknuckle boxing newcomer Mike Perry.

Perry, who’s also a former UFC fighter, made his debut with the promotion on Feb. 19 defeating Julian Lane in the co-main event of KnuckleMania 2. Following the bout, Perry took to the mic to call for the title shot against Alves, and “Pitbull” is all in on the idea.

“I think that’s the fight the fans want to see,” Alves told MMA Junkie. “That’s the fight that could bring this sport to a new different level, probably bring the sport to the mainstream. That’s the only high-profile fight where I can make the money I deserve.

“If BKFC is willing to pay what I think I deserve to fight somebody else, I’m more than happy. I see myself as a hitman – just pay my fee and tell me who I need to take care of. I think right now that’s the biggest fight in BKFC. He has a big following and everybody knows who I am in combat sports. I was at the top of the UFC and now I’m the champion at BKFC. That’s the fight that makes sense, so hopefully, we can get to an agreement and make this happen.”

Perry is now 2-0 since his departure from the UFC in 2021. Prior to his BKFC debut, Perry defeated boxer Michael Seals in a decision at Triller’s inaugural Triad combat event.

When asked to review Perry’s debut win, Alves praised his performance, but also had some criticism to come with it.

“He looked good at the beginning,” Alves explained. “I thought Julian Lane was sloppy at the beginning, just launching forward. I think towards the middle and end of the fight Julian Lane looked a lot better and Mike Perry didn’t look so good.

“It’s a different animal. The more you do it, I think the easier it becomes. But you have to be aware of the risks. You’re going to get cut, it’s going to get bloody, you’re going to get tired, and your hands are going to hurt.”

Considering the attention Perry brought to the promotion in his debut, Alves believes a fight between a pair of UFC veterans, with the added bonus of the BKFC title on the line, would be a massive showdown.

“For me, it’s just another day,” Alves said. “It’s not going to stop me from throwing punches and doing what I have to do to win. I think he has the same mentality. He comes forward and he doesn’t mind getting dirty. So me and him versus each other in that square circle, I think it has a great potential for the biggest fight in BKFC ever.”

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