Dat Nguyen, new 135-pound champion to be crowned in July

(MMA Fighting): There will be a new BKFC 135-pound champion crowned in July after the promotion was unable to come to terms with Dat Nguyen on a new contract.

BKFC president Dave Feldman confirmed the news when speaking to MMA Fighting on Thursday.

“We’ve been going back and forth trying to negotiate a new contract for Dat Nguyen and we can’t come to anything that works for either party,” Feldman said. “We just couldn’t come to terms.

“I’m not going to hold up other fighters who want to make a run at this thing and that are willing to fight.”

Nguyen had been with BKFC for three fights, where he remained undefeated including a highly competitive unanimous decision win over Johnny Bedford back in February that earned him the 135-pound title.

Nguyen also held wins over Travis Thompson and Abdiel Velasquez in past fights for the bare-knuckle promotion.

Unfortunately, Nguyen’s reign as champion has already ended with the company stripping him of the belt as he exits the organization after they were unable to reach an agreement on a new deal.

With Nguyen out and the 135-pound title vacated, Feldman confirmed plans to crown a new champion at the upcoming BKFC 19 card on July 23 with Bedford getting a chance to reclaim the title in a fight against Reggie Barnett Jr.

Barnett was previously considered the No. 1 contender in the division but he also has a loss on his record to Bedford from a prior meeting in 2019.

On that night, Bedford bested Barnett by unanimous decision in the tournament that crowned the promotion’s 135-pound champion. Now they will meet again with the title going up for grabs now that Nguyen is no longer with the organization.

Bedford vs. Barnett is the latest addition to the growing BKFC 19 card on July 23, which also features a women’s showcase as Paige VanZant returns to take on fellow UFC veteran Rachael Ostovich.

A main event for the card is still to be determined.

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