Johnny Bedford, a two-time BKFC champion and UFC veteran announces his retirement.


Two-time BKFC bantamweight champion and six-fight UFC veteran Johnny Bedford has announced his retirement from combat sports.

After spending four years in the promotion, Bedford made this announcement on Wednesday’s BKFC podcast. His retirement will also mean that Bedford is relinquishing his bantamweight title, which he reclaimed back in August 2021 with a win over Reggie Barnett Jr.

“I had to be honest with myself,” Bedford said about his decision. Bedford said, “I can leave at my own pace. I had to just be honest with myself and I think that’s the hardest thing for fighters to do.

” You should be able to tell if you are having it. I have it, but it is not good enough for me. It’s also not good for my family legacy. .”

Bedford added that with his 40th birthday approaching in January and a new baby on the way that he just didn’t want to sacrifice another holiday season spent in a grueling training camp when he could have valuable time with his family.

Although he has decided to retire from competitive boxing, Bedford will continue to be involved with BKFC as a coach and in other capacities moving forward.

Bedford first came to prominence when he joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter season 14 where he was coached by Jason “Mayhem” Miller. On the reality series, Bedford went 2-1 before being eliminated from the competition by eventual winner John Dodson.

Despite not winning on the show, Bedford was still invited to join the UFC roster where he amassed a 2-3 record with one no contest through six fights.

In 2018, Bedford successfully made the switch from MMA to bare knuckle while fighting on his first BKFC card. He quickly became a stalwart in the promotion while putting together a 6-1 record including two stints at bantamweight champion.

“I tried to have fun fights,” Bedford said. “Whether you like me or not, I know how to defeat these young men. I get them emotional. I can stand over them and say things in interviews to break their hearts.

“I think people talked about it whether in a good or a bad way, I wanted to fight. It was my dream to fight in the phone booth, and to give fans what they want to see. I tried to bring it.”

With Bedford sidelined throughout 2022, BKFC had actually already crowned an interim champion with Barnett winning the belt with a victory over Jarod Grant in July. With Bedford now retired, it is expected that Barnett will be the undisputed champion in 2023..