Des W. Woodruff and Ken Shamrock don’t look like the most natural business partners, but together, the duo have established a chemistry. Woodruff and Shamrock hatched the Valor Bare Knuckle concept and now with a noteworthy team in place, they are looking to lead the charge for the world’s newest–but oldest–combat sport.
I had an opportunity to speak to Woodruff this week and we spoke at length about bare knuckle fighting’s place in the current combat sports market. Woodruff provided some fascinating analysis and comparisons to other industries during our interview.
Woodruff is an entrepreneur who has had success as an investor and visionary in a number of different industries.
Valor BK is his latest project. Under the leadership of Woodruff and Shamrock, the promotion seeks to go where no other bare knuckle promotion has gone in a variety of areas–and this is beginning with the organization’s first show.
At VBK1 in New Town, North Dakota on September 21, there will be a one-night heavyweight tournament featuring four long-time veterans of combat sports. VBK gave fans an opportunity to choose the brackets for the tournament.
President, co-founder and combat sports icon Shamrock spoke with me about the tournament, bare-knuckle fighting and the promotion on Tuesday.
He introduced the tournament and opened the voting. Here are the results:
- 53% – Mark Godbeer vs. Jack May and Rameau Sokoudjou vs. Mighty Mo
- 28% – Mark Godbeer vs. Mighty Mo and Rameau Sokoudjou vs. Jack May
- 19% – Mark Godbeer vs. Rameau Sokoudjou and Jack May vs. Mighty Mo
In a bit of a landslide, fans chose the Godbeer-May and Sokoudjou-Mighty Mo pairings. The winners will battle it out in the finals on the same night. This is the first time I’ve seen a promotion use a poll to determine the brackets for a tournament.
If for no other reason, VBK 1 will offer something unique to fans. When I spoke to Woodruff, he mentioned some other unique presentation elements that could grab fans’ attention. He stopped short of revealing the information, but I’d say it’s safe to expect the competitions to take place in a structure we haven’t seen before.
VBK 1 will be available on pay-per-view through your local cable and satellite providers as well as on FITE TV.