‌BYB Extreme CEO Says They Are 100 Percent The Next Big Thing In Combat Sports‌

‌Greg Bloom confident in his fast-growing brand of bareknuckle boxing.‌

<p>BYB Extreme CEO, Greg Bloom says they are 100 percent the next big thing in combat sports.</p>

BYB 24 “Super Brawl which took place in Biloxi, Mississippi the day prior to the Super Bowl, much like Super Bowl 58 did not disappoint. 


BYB (Back Yard Brawls) could have easily stood for “Bring Your Best,” because the fighters delivered an action-packed card in which none of the judge’s final scorecards were needed. All eight fights delivered and ended in some type of stoppage. Blood, sweat, and tears were shed inside of the BYB Trigon. The fans weren’t the only ones who left the arena pleased, BYB CEO Greg Bloom was thoroughly pleased and vows that there is more of where that came from. Next stop, Tampa Bay, Florida for BYB 25 on April 4th. BYB 24 crowned two new champions, Ike Villanueva and Harold McQueen. 


Zenger News caught up with BYB’s lead man to discuss the past, present, and future of BYB. 


Zenger: BYB 24 Super Brawl was a huge success. What were your thoughts on the card? 


Bloom: I was pleased with it. I think every show, things are getting better and better, crowds are getting bigger, and distribution is getting bigger. I’m happy. 


Zenger: Obviously, it was strategic to place the card the day before the Super Bowl. Why Mississippi? 


Bloom: I think it goes hand and hand with the territory. Biloxi in particular being a casino town. I think it will bring a lot of intrigue to those properties. So far, my experience has been, Mississippi and Biloxi in particular have been a great fight town. People come out to support, they enjoy it very much, and they keep coming back. It’s a great place for us to go. 


Zenger: The judges had the easiest job of the night and it highlighted your great matchmaking as well.  


Bloom: Our matchmaker Mel Valenzuela is one of the best in the business. He’s been matching boxing, MMA, and now bareknuckle for the better part of the last 15 years. He’s very well connected. I think being connected in all different areas of combat sports is beneficial to him. He knows all the fighters, he knows their styles, and what’s going to make an exciting matchup. He really knows what he’s doing when it comes to bareknuckle.


Zenger: There is something about a good heavyweight scrap in combat sports that just captivates the audience. Your main event did not disappoint&mldr; DJ Linderman and Ike Villanueva. 


Bloom: I thought it was great. I thought Ike took the first couple of rounds. I thought DJ was mounting a combat in the third, and then in the fourth round, Ike caught him with those “Hurricane” blows and took the title from him. 


Zenger: Two new champions with Harold McQueen taking Brandon Birr’s title in their rematch. What were your thoughts on Harold’s performance?


Bloom: I think Harold McQueen is a star in the making. He has all the skills necessary to be a success in bareknuckle fighting. His only loss was the disqualification in the previous fight with Birr. He hasn’t had any layups. His first fight against Pablo Caballero, which is a very tough way to get introduced to bareknuckle fighting, and he took him out in short order. I have high expectations for Harold McQueen. 


Zenger: The setting of a BYB event, the Trigon forces all the action to the center, there is not a bad seat in the house. What has the reception from fans across the world been like? 


Bloom: It’s been great. I haven’t had one fan who has come to an event that didn’t leave saying, “When is the next one?” I say this all the time, Percy, but we are the best product in combat sports that no one knows about. And that’s what we’re working aggressively to change because we have a growing fan base, and it’s a rabid fan base, but it needs to be bigger. We are the originators of bareknuckle fighting in the modern era. Even though competition will try to make you believe otherwise, Dada 5000 is the originator of the new era of bareknuckle fighting. We just need to continue on our path, continue to get the BYB name out there to all combat sports fans. As bareknuckle starts to grow in popularity, which it is, BYB will be locked in that growth because we are, 100% the next big thing in combat sports, and 100% the best company in bareknuckle boxing. 


Zenger: Looking at your upcoming calendar and the stellar few months you guys have had already this year, are you on par to hit those 2024 goals?


Bloom: Absolutely! One of the goals for 2024 is to do 12 shows. We are on pace to do those 12 shows. We will go back to the places where we have been and continue to grow that fan base. We were in South Florida, we came back to Biloxi, we’re going back to Tampa, where we have been in April, then in May we’re going to Denver, Colorado where we were in December. Our strategy is to not spread ourselves to thin. We have 12 events, 8 of them will be in places we have already been, and 4 of them will be new venues, new states, or international destinations. Our whole methodology is a slow growth. It’s a turtle and hare race, Percy and we’re the turtle. We’re taking it nice and slow and we’re going to grow. We’re not going to be like some of our competition who are building a house from the roof down. We are building a strong foundation and really building this house so that it’s sturdy and will be able to last the test of time. 


Zenger: As more barriers are being lifted with more state commissions legalizing bareknuckle therefore making your job easier in terms of finding hosting sites? 


Bloom: Yes! It’s been great. I attended the ABC Convention this past August, the Association of Boxing Commissions. As a collective group of bareknuckle organizations presented the unified rules of bareknuckle fighting, that commissioning was approved. Once that was approved, you saw a lot of states eager to put it on their legislation to vote to have bareknuckle fighting become legal. I believe by the end of this year, it’s gonna be legal in almost every state, with a few states saying they are waiting to see. But the growth has been fantastic. I think the sport in general has turned a corner and is now being more widely accepted. So, it’s been a lot easier to have the opportunity to go wherever you really want. 


Zenger: Tell us about April 4th in Tampa, Florida.


Bloom: I’m not going to speak for Mel Valenzuela, but I can see the heavyweight bout between Rashad Coulter and Levi Costa being a title eliminator. Two heavyweights meeting in the center of the Trigon, you saw how those guys get down in the Trigon, Percy. There is not a lot of room to maneuver. You have to bring it. These two guys have power, so I’m looking forward to that. Also, seeing Cub Hawkins fight again and defend his belt against Chad Kelly. And also seeing the females fight for the title, Agnesa Kirakosian against Shelby Cannon. It’s going to be an exciting night of fights. Everyone who is reading this, go out and follow BYB Extreme @BYBExtreme on all platforms and come see what you’re missing and what’s causing all this. 

(Additional reporting provided by Miriam Onyango)