Billed as the first legal, sanctioned and state-regulated bare-knuckle event in U.S. history, the 10-card bout got underway at the Cheyenne Ice and Events Center in front of a sellout crowd of 2,000. A potentially far bigger audience watched the pay-per-view telecast.
Fighters wearing gauze wrapped around their hands but with knuckles exposed paraded in the "squared circle," specially designed for the event that prompted threatening phone calls, according to promoter David Feldman.
"One guy said, 'I'm going to welcome you to Wyoming with a bullet in your head,' " Feldman, founder of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships, told USA TODAY Sports. "Just a lot of junk that came our way.
"I know that most people are just talking, trying to scare me off, and I didn't want to take it seriously. But you never know what may happen.''