The most active fighter in Bellator MMA history is moving on from the promotion to fight bare knuckle.
On Wednesday night, KO Reps, the management team for David Rickels, posted on Instagram that "The Caveman" would be moving on from Bellator for now to join Bare Knuckle FC. He does not yet have an opponent booked, but he will be competing in the headliner of BKFC 11 on March 11 in Wichita, Kansas. According to MMA Junkie, Rickels' manager Oren Hodak confirmed this information and stated that Rickels was not finished in MMA or with Bellator permanently.
With 15 wins inside the Bellator cage, Rickels currently holds the fourth-most victories in company history. His 23 appearances are the most in organizational history, and Rickels made his last walk under the Bellator banner when he took on Yaroslav Amosov at Bellator 225 in August. Competing both at lightweight and welterweight through his career, Rickels won the Season Eight lightweight tournament in 2013 to earn a crack at the lightweight strap. Chandler came up short, losing by knockout in 44 seconds to Michael Chandler. The Kansas native holds notable wins over Adam Piccolotti, Davi Ramos, Saad Awad and Guilherme Vasconcelos.
Additionally, KO Reps announced that Nico Hernandez would also be competing on the same card. The boxer from Kansas captured a bronze medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics at light flyweight, earning the first medal for the United States in boxing since 2008. With nearly 100 amateur bouts where he took home multiple titles, Hernandez has since turned pro where he sports a 7-0 record with four knockouts. Hernandez is currently the International Boxing Association World Flyweight titleholder, earning that belt by knocking out Szilveszter Kanalas in May 2018.