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Roy Nelson to make bare-knuckle MMA debut for Gamebred FC

One Step Closer Foundation Celebrity Charity Poker Event Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

Roy Nelson is getting back in action.

Jorge Masvidal may have just retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition after his unanimous decision loss to Gilbert Burns at UFC 287 earlier this month (April 8, 2023) but he hasn’t retired from the fight game as a whole. “Gamebred” took to social media today (Thurs., April 20, 2023) to announce the Heavyweight headliner for his next Gamebred Fighting Championship bare-knuckle MMA event on May 5, 2023.

“Let’s get it, baby. Your boy’s back — to promoting that is,” Masvidal said on Instagram. “I bring you South Florida and all of Florida the first ever bare-knuckle event sanctioned. MMA with no gloves, first time in Florida history at the FLA Live Arena. We got Dillon Cleckler, 10-0 as an amateur with 10 knockouts, 11-1 as a pro with 10 knockouts vs. a man that needs no introduction. 19 finishes, 16 coming by way of knockout, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner — this guys does everything big — ‘Big Country’ Roy Nelson. Let’s get it crackin’. And a series of other fights.

“Don’t miss out, Cinco De Mayo to kick off Formula 1 weekend, let’s go Panthers,” he concluded.

The match will be the 46-year-old Nelson’s debut in bare-knuckle, whether under MMA or boxing rules. After ending his eight-year run with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2017, Nelson signed with Bellator where he fought six times, going 1-5 and finishing off a five-fight losing skid. Nelson last fought in Aug. 2020, dropping a unanimous decision to Valentin Modavsky.

Cleckler, on the other hand, most recently earned a big first-round bare-knuckle boxing knockout win over Josh Burns at Gamebred Boxing 4 on April 1, 2023. Cleckler had fought four times in bare-knuckle boxing before the win.

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