BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: 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. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Pain Event: Bare Knuckle Boxing's Hard Truth

Step into the bloody, brutal ring.

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.

This form of pugilism first gained popularity near the end of the 17th century, but was eventually pushed underground with the introduction of the Queensbury rules in 1867 — which mandated the use of gloves in all bouts. The International Boxing Hall of Fame dates the last significant bare-knuckle bout in the U.S. to 1889, when John L. Sullivan went 75(!) rounds against Jake Kilrain. But this summer the sport returned to the U.S. with the inaugural BKFC event, which took place in Wyoming in June and was sanctioned by the state.

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. Getty Images staff photographer Chris Graythen was on hand at MS Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi, on August 25 to cover the second edition of the BKFC’s premier event — the Bare Knuckle FC 2. Here, through his lens, images (many of them graphic) of the ferocious fights.

BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Chris Lytle fights Drew Lipton during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images KNUCKLE SANDWICH Drew Lipton lands a huge straight right to the mouth of Chris Lytle. BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Chris Lytle fights Drew Lipton during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images TOOLS OF THE TRADE BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Bec Rawlings fights Britain Hart during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images CRUNCH TIME Fighters Bec Rawlings and Britain Hart bash it out.

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BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Chris Lytle fights Drew Lipton during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Arnold Adams fights Joey Beltran during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images Chris Graythen/Getty Images BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Jamie Campbell fights Dale Sopi during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images CHEEK SHOT Jamie Campbell lands one on Dale Sopi. BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Bruce Abramski fights Kendall Grove during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images FROM BELOW Bruce Abramski battles Kendall Grove. BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Chris Lytle fights Drew Lipton during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images BLOOD SPORT BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Reggie Barnett fights James Clayton Burns during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images POSTMORTEM BILOXI, MS - AUGUST 25: Bec Rawlings celebrates after defeating Britain Hart during the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 2: A New Era at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Chris Graythen/Getty Images BELTED Bec Rawlings after defeating Britain Hart.



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