Bare Knuckle FC 5 just concluded from Biloxi, Mississippi. Artem Lobov and Jason Knight went to war in the main event, and both men had their moments in the fight. Lobov knocked Knight down three times, and it looked like in the fifth Knight could run away with it as Lobov was visibly exhausted. However it was Lobov who would pick up the decision victory on the night. It was then confirmed that Artem would fight ex-world champion boxer Paulie Malignaggi on June 22nd, at a location TBD.
In the co-main event, Chris Leben started off his BKFC career with a 25-second knockout over Justin Baesman. A brutal onslaught by Christine Ferea in the second round left Britain Hart with a busted up left eye that led to the fight being waved off.
Sam Shewmaker and Chase Sherman fought to a split draw. Reggie Barnett’s unanimous decision win over Rusty Crowder left BKFC president David Feldman with a sour taste in his mouth, he came into the ring after the fight to announce Crowder will be handing half his fight purse to Barnett for the lack of action on his behalf in the fight.
Dave Feldman, president of @bareknucklefc just entered the ring at #BKFC5 to announce half of Rusty Crowder's purse will go to Reggie Barnett because, "We want action, and we demand action from the fighters." pic.twitter.com/fMiIXZPGWp— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) April 7, 2019
A broken hand in the third round meant Isaac Vallie-Flagg was awarded a TKO victory over Randy Hendrick. Johny Bedford kicked off the main card with a bang, knocking down Abdiel Velasquez twice in the second round and eventually getting the knockout in the fourth round.
Artem Lobov def. Jason Knight by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-46)
A check left hook from Knight dropped Lobov, despite him protesting it wasn’t a knockdown. The first round continued its frantic action as Lobov then scored a knockdown on Knight, and blood started to pour from the right eye of “The Kid.” A fight seemed to break out in the crowd at the beginning of the second round, shortly after Lobov landed another knockdown.
In the third round Lobov continued his success, landing a lot of heavy shots on Knight that took a toll on his face as he was badly bruised by the end of the third. Lobov landed his third knockdown of the fight in the third, Lobov got cut in the fourth when both men started to throw haymakers as they threw defense out the window. In the fifth round Knight looked like he would get the finish when Lobov was exhausted and could barely defend himself, but Lobov hung on and prevailed on the scorecards.
Chris Leben def. Justin Baesman by KO at :25 of round 1
Both men charged towards each other at the beginning of the fight, but it was evident that Leben had the advantage in terms of the power department in this fight. Leben backed up Baesman against the ropes with his punches, and as Baesman began to cover-up Leben unloaded a series of devastating uppercuts that dropped Baesman, and he was unable to beat the count.
Christine Ferea def. Britain Hart by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 1:09 of round 2
Little action took place in the first round, but Ferea looked to be the stronger of the two women during the exchanges. The action begun to pick up in the second round as both women began to swing wildly in the pocket.
A ferocious onslaught from Ferea in the second round stunned Hart, but she remained on her feet. However, the exchange left Hart with a bloody and bruised left eye which caused the fight to be stopped and Ferea became win BKFC’s inaugural women’s 125-pound champion.
Sam Shewmaker and Chase Sherman fight to split draw (45-50, 48-47, 48-48)
Both men started the first round trying to figure out each other’s range. Sherman fired off some good straights when level changing his way into range. Sherman upped his striking output in the second round and started to unload more heavy shots on Shoemaker.
Shoemaker dictated the pace and range of the fight, but at the end of the fourth both men ditch their technical striking and begin to throw heavy leather. They finished the fifth round in the same way, trading big punches but both men remained on their feet.
Reggie Barnett def Rusty Crowder by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)
Barnett started off the aggressor with Crowder looking nervy on the back foot, but Crowder then did ome good work on the inside up against the ropes. A slip at the end of first round saw Crowder go down. The second round started and continued to be quite scrappy, with both men winging heavy punches.
Barnett fought much less technical then he did in the first round. Crowder was deducted a point in the third for throwing Barnett to the canvas. Big shots landed by Barnett in the fifth as Crowder finished the fight the way he begun it, on the retreat. Barnett advances to the lightweight tournament final against Johnny Bedford.
Isaac Vallie-Flagg def. Randy Hederick by TKO (broken hand) at 1:22 of round 3
Vallie-Flagg found success fighting on the inside, Hendrick seemed to be getting caught a lot with uppercuts as he ducked his head down whilst coming into range. Hendrick started off round three with a massive combination that set Vallie-Flagg on the back foot immediately. Vallie-Flagg quickly bounced back scoring a knockdown against Hendrick, some left hand pain seemed to be troubled.
Vallie-Flagg then dropped Hendrick again and although he beat the count, he claimed his hand was broken and therefore the referee rightfully stopped the fight midway through round three.
Johnny Bedford def. Abdiel Velasquez by KO at :15 of round 4
Round one proved to be a back-and-forth slugfest, with Bedford clocking Velasquez with a right hand that had his opponent momentarily stunned. Velasquez answered back with several good punches of his own, and Bedford spent part of the round urging Velasquez to go toe-to-toe with him in the inner circle within the BKFC ring. A check hook by Velasquez opened up a cut on Bedford.
Bedford scored two knockdowns in the second-round, one that was a combination of a push and a left hook, while the other was a clean left hook. The former UFC fighter scored another knockdown in round three with a right hand, sealed the deal with a flurry of shots early in round four to advance to the lightweight tournament final.