Mark Handley Expecting a War with Brad Pickett

Posted on Sunday 10th March

Mark Handley Expecting a War with Brad Pickett

Mark Handley Expecting a War with Brad Pickett


Just a short while ago, BKB™ announced the signing of UFC legend Brad Pickett, who was then scheduled to fight on March 30th at BKB 16. Welcoming ‘One Punch’ to bare knuckle boxing would be Mark Handley, who fights out of Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Currently 2-0-1, Handley brings the greater professional BKB experience, and come the end of the month, he will be faced with a huge opportunity, that being the possibility to outshine Pickett causing a massive upset.

When asked about Pickett joining the ever-growing roster, and having been the one given the shot to welcome him to the ring, Handley says he would be “mad not to take this fight.”

“The man (Brad Pickett) is a legend, and when they offered the fight I jumped at the chance.
I'd be mad not to take this fight.”

At BKB 14, Handley fought to a draw in his bout with Robin Deakin, technically remaining undefeated. Moving ahead, Mark’s conditioning has made impressive improvements, where he will look to put that on display at BKB 16.

Prior to bare knuckle combat, Handley competed in mixed martial arts, where he wouldn’t find much success, but put on some well remembered wars with fellow flyweights – some of the best the UK has to offer.

Understanding what’s at stake on March 30th, Handley understands he a massive underdog while against Pickett, but says in this fight “I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

“My MMA record doesn't reflect my skill set at all, I’ve fought some of the best in the UK’s flyweight division and had some wars. I’ve trained with some of the best too. On paper I'm a massive underdog in this fight [with Brad Pickett] but I'm cool with that, as I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. My conditioning will be through the roof as will Brad's, this is going to be war.”

Sometimes transitioning from one sport to the other can pose some difficulties. For example, while Conor McGregor was dominating the featherweight and lightweight division in the UFC, when he made his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather, he didn’t look bad, but wouldn’t leave the ring the victor. Keeping it mind it is Floyd, but McGregor being the younger, hungrier fighter, too many it wouldn’t come as a shock should McGregor won the fight.

Mark Handley didn’t find the transition difficult. Having fell into the sport by “accident”, Handley was first scheduled to compete in a gloved boxing bout, but after his fight was cancelled, BKB™ offered him a spot on their previous card, and well, here he is…

“(The) transition was easy to be fair, because of [my[ MMA back ground. I fell into the sport by accident really, as I was training for boxing bout but the show got cancelled and I got offered a BKB fight on another show and I loved it. 6 months’ later and I’ve ended up in this situation.”

In bare knuckle, a rather common injury is the breaking of bones in the hand, which can be caused by using too much power and landing the punch improperly. BKB™ previously having traditional style boxing wraps has now fully converted to having the knuckles exposed. With no breaks or major injuries, Handley has suffered swollen hands following a fight, which most do.

A preference of the old wraps, it doesn’t matter much to Handley, saying bare knuckle, “that's the way the promotion wants it so f*** it.”

“My first couple BKB fights I had the traditional boxing style wraps and never had any problems with my hands, my last BKB I had the new style wraps which is completely bare knuckle. I threw heavy and hard shots and my hands were swollen as shit after.” Handley laughed then continued. “I prefer the old style wraps if I'm honest, but that's the way the promotion wants it so fuck it.”

A rather short fighter for his division, Pickett will come in 3” taller than Handley, him being only 5’3”. Though height doesn’t seem to matter, Mark assures the fans this fight will be a war, acknowledging Pickett’s legendary status, saying “it’s going to be an honor punching you my friend.”

“This fight is going to be a war. Brad has that style of fighting that I love, he plants his feet and throws. I'm 5’3”, he’s 5’6” but we have a similar reach so I don't have to punch up. Styles make fights [and] we both love to bang, so let's see what happens. Brad you're a legend and it's going to be an honor punching you my friend.”

Mark Handley vs Robin Deakin Pro Bare Knuckle Boxing BKB15

BKB 16 goes down March 30th, less than three weeks away. Who do you think walks away victorious between Mark Handley and Brad Pickett? Let us know on Twitter: @bkb_official1

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mark handley expecting a war with brad pickett