The Role of WLC On The Global Stage Of Bare Knuckle Organizations
Since hitting the mainstream, Lethwei has become a popular form of combat sports thanks to the World Lethwei Championship (WLC).
Much like what UFC has done for the sport of mixed martial arts, the World Lethwei Championship has taken on the premier role of promoting Lethwei.
That lends itself to put WLC right at the top of the world in terms of pushing bare-knuckle fighting to a global level.
The WLC has already made a name for itself, quickly building a rabid fan base from its home in Myanmar. With a broadcast deal through UFC Fight Pass in the United States and on Canal+ around the world, WLC continues to gain a solid foot-hold here, as noted announcer Sean Wheelock said during a recent interview with fellow commentator Andrew Whitelaw.
Wheelock, who also works with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, which recently signed Paige VanZant to a contract, explained that he is constantly being asked about the rules of Lethwei and the WLC promotion in general.
“Fighters on the card wanted to ask me about Lethwei,” Wheelock said. “I get asked a lot about the rules, but more and more are asking about how do I fight in WLC. They are transfixed by it.
“Lethwei was the best kept secret in all of combat sports. Everyone now knows about it because of WLC world-wide. The secret is out.”
WLC has quickly built up the faces of the promotion with Antonio Faria and Souris Manfredi among others.
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“It is so cool to be part of the dominant promotion in a storied sport,” Wheelock said. “Lethwei is a wonderful culture and now it’s out and showcasing it worldwide in WLC. It is a dream as a commentator.”
Wheelock added that he believes there is a strong opportunity for the fighters of BKFC to transition over to WLC and those in WLC to possibly give BKFC a try here in the United States.
“There is an excellent chance for collaboration,” he said. “One thing is that (the WLC and BKFC) under fighters have to make a living. Just because you are fighting in WLC doesn’t mean you can’t fight elsewhere, same as Bare Knuckle (FC).
“Johnny Bedford, the 135-pound champion (in BKFC) talked extensively with me about fighting in Myanmar for WLC. Joey Beltran has had those conversations as well. And how good would Antonio Faria be (in BKFC)?”
With the fight game continuing to get back to a sense of normalcy heading into 2021, be on the lookout for even bigger and better things from these incredible promotions as they look to take over the world.