Every June, the Casper Events Center is home to the College National Finals Rodeo, where national champions are crowned.
Friday, the Events Center will crown champions in a much different sport as the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation holds its inaugural event there.
The “Rise of the Titans” will be headlined by a WBKFF middleweight title fight between Johny “Bigg Rigg” Hendricks and “Irish” Brennan Ward.
“I am super excited about our first show,” WBKFF President Bas Rutten said in a release. “Every single person I’ve talked to who has heard about this event let me know what a crazy good card we have.”
Hendricks won the Ultimate Fighting Championship title belt in 2014 when he defeated Robbie Lawlor at UFC 171 in Dallas. Ward was a top contender in Bellator for years.
In other matches on the card:
— Mixed Martial Arts veterans Chris “The Crippler” Leben and Phil Baroni will meet for the light heavyweight title.
— In a special heavyweight fight, former NFL All-Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman will take on MMA veteran Mike “The Rhino” Bourke.
— Christina Marks, the 2017 Ultimate Fihter runner-up will square off against professional boxer Jasmine Clarkson for the WBKFF Flyweight Championship.
— The WBKFF will also launch its $100,000 Lightweight Tournament, which showcases eight fighters in four separate bouts. The winners will advance to the semifinals at the next WBKFF event.
Doors open at 5 p.m. with the main card scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 with ringside seats available for $500.