‘Keep me in your prayers’: Ex-UFC star admits to being ‘scared’ ahead of surgery after breaking face in bare-knuckle KO (VIDEO)

A former UFC fighter asked fans to pray for him after discovering he kneeded surgery on five orbital bone fractures following a gruesome 59-second beating in a headline Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship scrap.

American middleweight Melvin Guillard, who fought the likes of Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz during a spell of almost ten years with the UFC, was pummeled through the ropes by Joe Riggs in Montana on Saturday, suffering a fourth defeat out of four fights with the promotion.

Riggs was visibly concerned for his poleaxed opponent after the brutally short bout, and battered Guillard shared photos of his horrifically swollen left eye with fans afterwards.

"Just found out, at 3.15am, I have five fractures in my orbital so I will be having surgery today," the former Bellator competitor and foe to the likes of Justin Gaethje and Israel Adesanya told his supporters.

"Just wanted to get my fans, friends and family the news. I'll be OK – just keep me in your prayers.

"I'll be lying if I said I wasn't a little scared right now. We'll see what happens."

Brave Guillard later reported back: "Leaving the ER now at 11.05 on October 10th."

He had earlier told his audience that he had finished receiving stitches and was waiting on the results of scans including an MRI to decide whether he would need an operation.

© BKFC / Phil Lambert
© BKFC / Phil Lambert

"Appreciate the love from all my fans and supporters... just not going to slow me down – [nothing will] stop me from accomplishing my goal," he defiantly added.

The one-punch beating could raise further questions about mismatches and fighter safety.

© BKFC / Phil Lambert

While 38-year-old Guillard was without a win in 10 MMA fights – a barren run dating back to 2014 – Riggs, who is a year older, had lost just one of his previous five bare-knuckle fights and one of his 11 MMA showdowns since 2016.

An MMA reported warned: "No commission should be letting Melvin Guillard fight at this point."

"Guilard was in terrible shape for this," argued one fan. "His punches looked slow and he went down from the first punch Riggs threw.

"He seriously needs to stop. BKFC is an absolute joke – their whole roster is washed-up MMA fighters."

Another said: "Melvin is a warrior but time has caught up with him. Both guys are great fighters."

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