Kane Trujillo has never been in a fight before. Up until a month ago, he’d never even been punched in the face.
So why, then, is a 21-year-old newbie getting ready to fight rapper Blueface at BKFC 19?
“Honestly, the first week after I accepted the offer and the fight, that’s exactly what I was thinking,” Trujillo told MMA Fighting with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Dude, did I really just accept this fight against a well-known crip?’ And yeah, dude, it’s still hitting me, for sure.”
The reason why Trujillo vs. Blueface is happening is the same reason brothers Jake and Logan Paul continue to dominate the combat sports news cycle.
With over 2.9 million followers on TikTok, Trujillo is the latest to follow the lucrative trend of YouTubers and social media influencers throwing their hats into the fight game. His three-round boxing exhibition with 14-ounce gloves is slated to appear this Friday alongside a trio of influencer boxing matches — dubbed the “Platform Showdown” — on Saturday’s BKFC 19 card headlined by the rematch between UFC veterans Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich.
As a self-professed fan of Blueface growing up, it’s all still a little surreal for Trujillo, who’s more commonly known by his old TikTok name Neumane. He agreed to the bout with just a month to prepare, but with the business of social media fights booming, he couldn’t say no.
“Let me tell you, I got the call, like, ‘I don’t believe a damn word you’re saying right now, bro.’ So I had to get on the call with [BKFC President] David Feldman for me to actually see if this is legit and to believe in this whole offer,” Trujillo said. “I didn’t believe a single word, because look, Blueface was an A-list celebrity a couple of years ago. He’s still very well known — not nearly as well known as he was back in the day. And this was a guy that I used to listen to. And if you would’ve told me three years ago that, ‘Yo, you’re going to box Blueface in 2021,’ bro, I would have called you f*cking ludicrous, crazy.
“It’s obviously the thing now with these social media influencers, they’re sort of merging into this fight game. I was asked to be a part of it, man, and I couldn’t turn it down. The money was cool obviously. But the recognition, the publicity, and the experience — bro, this is going to be once in a lifetime. Everyone wants to see a brawl. Two influencers going at it, two celebrities going at it — I don’t think anything is more entertaining than that.”
With only one month to train and zero actual fight experience, Trujillo said he’s thrown himself into a crash course on boxing fundamentals with an assist from Jose Zepeda, one of the top junior welterweight boxers in the world. What he’s learned, more than anything else, is to have a newfound level of respect for professional fighters and what they go through on a daily basis. Getting punched in the face isn’t always the easiest way to start a day.
And fortunately for him — or perhaps fortunately for his wallet and for BKFC — there are plenty of people who wouldn’t mind seeing Trujillo get punched in the face these days.
The Los Angeles resident is a controversial figure in social media circles. He’s been referred to as one of the “most hated” figures on TikTok after coming under fire earlier this year for stealing and repurposing other creators’ content as his own.
Trujillo doesn’t deny any of the accusations of content theft, although he ultimately also sees the whole discussion as much ado about nothing.
“People are hating to hate, man. Look bro, when people are sad and angry at themselves, they tend to portray that sh*t onto other people,” he said.
“Those guys are probably just sad people who have nothing better to do but write bad articles about people. But me as a TikTokker, they say I ‘copy content’ — when I think that’s exactly what f*cking TikTok is for, is trends, redoing videos. But I think I got off on the wrong foot in some people’s eyes. People think that I just am out there to steal content and not credit anyone. But man, I think I just made their content better. Mine got more views, theirs didn’t do well, and they get mad at me? So I don’t know, man.”
Trujillo will be at a size disadvantage against Blueface, as evidenced by the pair’s recent viral staredown, but both men will be equal in their inexperience in the ring. And Trujillo is a realist when it comes to his abilities as a fighter.
In other words, don’t expect the second coming of Hagler vs. Hearns.
“It’s going to be one hell of a fight, man. He’s got the height, I’ve got the quickness. I’ve got more strength than him, 100 percent,” Trujillo said.
“Look, I’m not going to look like the best fighter out there, by all means. But I’m going to come out and f*cking fight dude, and I’m putting everything I can out there, dog. And if my right hand lands on his face, it’s not going to be a good day for him.”