Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship sprung onto the combat sports stage in 2018 and has grown into a premier combat sports organization. On June 26th, the organization headed by David Feldman will hold its biggest card ever, BKFC 18, in Miami, Florida. The night features four title fights and certainly promises fireworks.
BKFC 18 Preview
The title fight action will start with a matchup between Thiago “Pitbull” Alves and Uly Diaz for the inaugural BKFC Middleweight Title. The Florida crowd will undoubtedly go wild when these two natives clash in their backyard. In his BKFC debut, Alves skimmed past with a split decision victory over Julian Lane in a bloodied slugfest. Although there is some controversy about the decision, there is no doubt that Alves has the heart of a warrior and will certainly bring the heat in this fight. His opponent, Uly Diaz, is 2-0 in the BKFC ring, going viral after knocking out Donelei Benedetto in three seconds in his last bout at BKFC 14.
This will not be a chess match, so do not expect any intimate strategy in this one. Chins down and hands high should suffice for these two. Once that bell rings, the hands will fly, so do not blink.
BKFC Lightweight Title
The BKFC 155-lb. title will be up for grabs as Luis Palomino takes on Tyler Goodjohn in perhaps the sleeper fight of the night. Palomino earned the title of champion after defeating Isaac Vallie-Flagg at BKFC 11. Since then, the Peruvian has made one successful title defense, knocking off Jim Alers at BKFC 14.
Tyler Goodjohn, an icon of Europe’s bare knuckle boxing promotion BKB, made his USA debut at BKFC 15 where he defeated Charles Bennett by unanimous decision. The professional boxer turned pornstar is undefeated within the realm of bare knuckle and utilizes a variety of angles and level changes to thwart his opponents’ efforts and capitalize on his own.
Unlike the middleweight title bout, this fight should be much more technical, and it would not be too surprising to see this one go to the judges’ scorecards.
The Co-Main Event
BKFC 18’s co-main event will crown the first ever BKFC Cruiserweight Champion. The 205-lb. title will be decided between Hector Lombard and Joe Riggs. Lombard, who made his professional combat sports debut in 2004, made a successful BKFC debut in February 2020, knocking off David Mundell. At BKFC 12, Lombard finished fellow ex-UFC and Bellator fighter Kendall Grove, by TKO in the first round. Joe Riggs has not competed in the BKFC ring since 2019, where he slugged it out with Walber Barros in a matchup that ended in a unanimous decision draw.
This matchup is for all fans of combat sports. Both men have competed in multiple promotions, have more than 35 years of professional combat sports competition combined, and have 129 professional fights between each other.
The Heavyweight Headliner
BKFC 18 will be capped off by a heavyweight showdown between Joey Beltran and Sam Shewmaker for the BKFC Heavyweight Championship. Joey Beltran will be defending his title for a second time after TKOing Marcel Stamps in October 2020 for his first title defense. His opponent, Sam Shewmaker, earned the Knockout of the Night bonus at BKFC 1 when he knocked out Eric Prindle in a highlight reel finish for years to come.
These two men are known for their heavy hands, grit, and technical prowess. This fight will be determined by who can force their style of boxing on the other. Beltran fights his best when he is moving forward and swarming his opponents, getting into the inside and firing off heavy shots. Shewmaker is most effective when he fights long, times his opponents, and lands the right hand.
A Must See Night of Fights
BKFC 18 has all the workings of a historic night. The names. The titles. The anticipation. This is the biggest card to date for BKFC and it promises to be a spectacular one.