Bare Knuckle FC 4 just wrapped up from Cancun, Mexico. The top of the billing saw Leonard Garcia overcome some early adversity to rally and score a second round TKO to capture the Bare Knuckle FC middleweight belt. Bec Rawlings dished out enough damage to Cecilia Flores in the early rounds to hang on and walk away with a unanimous decision to retain her Bare Knuckle FC title. Rawlings lost a tooth in the fight, but she won nonetheless.
Joey Beltran and Tony Lopez ran it back for a second time in a bout that much different from their initial meeting. Instead of Beltran doing damage early, it was Lopez who pumped his jab to keep his foe on the outside. Beltran had very few moments in the match, but when the dust settled, the judges questionably ruled the contest a split draw.
Chris Lytle found himself overcoming some early adversity as JC Llamas came out hitting his mark. The bout was back and forth, but it was the longtime UFC veteran Lytle who walked away with the decision win.
Sam Shewmaker and Joel Paredes went the distance in the heavyweight division, with Shewmaker earning the split decision. Representing team U.S.A. Joe Riggs leaned on his left hook to earn himself a unanimous decision over Rudo Tovar of Mexico.
Earlier in the night, Tom Shoaff and Diego Garigo put on for the crowd in their rematch. Shoaff was on fire right out of the gate, and even dropped his opponent four times, with Garigo answering the count each time. The bout was ultimately called off once the doctor was brought in to check on Garigo, awarding Shoaff the TKO victory.
Leonard Garcia (Mexico) def. Julian Lane (USA) by KO at 1:31 of round 2: 165 pound Title
A body cross from Garcia opened the bout, but a heavy punch from Lane dropped Garcia. The fighters began to brawl a bit, whiffing strikes just passed the other man’s face. With about 10 seconds left in the round, Garcia blasted Lane, knocking him to the floor.
Garcia began to find a home for his left hand and then BOOM! Garcia hit Lane with a crazy combo that had him stumbling all over the ring. Garcia was relentless and the referee had no choice but to step in and stop the fight.
Bec Rawlings def. Cecilia Flores by unanimous decision: 125 pounds
Rawlings took the center of the ring to kick off the match. Flores scored with a right hand but the return shot from Rawlings busted her nose. Both athletes stood in the pocket and traded for the final ten seconds of the round.
Round two started with a fury! Both warriors met in the middle and began trading. Flores landed some solid punches on the inside from the clinch, but so did Rawlings. Flores began to bleed pretty bad from the nose and mouth, prompting a brief timeout. The aggressiveness of Flores slowed down a bit when time was called back in.
A series of right hands landed in succession for Rawlings to open the third act. Rawlings pressed forward, leading the dance and dictating the pace. Flores did put together a solid 15 seconds of offense at the end of the round.
Flores was leaking blood from her mouth in the fourth round, but that didn’t stop her for going after Rawlings. Several times, Flores would land a flurry of punches that would back up her opponent to the ropes. Rawlings did a descent job. Of circling her back off of the ropes, but she ate quite a few punches in this round.
The blood continued to pour from the mouth of Flores. She also showed some substantial amount of swelling around the eye and mouth. Despite the damage, Flores continued to move forward, backing up Rawlings and landing the bulk of the strikes.
Tony Lopez vs. Joey Beltran was declared split draw: 265 pounds
Lopez looked to his jab to keep his foe off of him early in the opening round. Beltran landed one clean punch at the end of the round, but the jab of Lopez was the star of round one. The stiff jab of Lopez opened up a small cut around the left eye of Beltran to kick off the second stanza. Beltran really struggled to close the distance and get inside the length of Lopez.
Lopez continued to use his jab to disrupt whatever Beltran was trying to accomplish into the third round. There were a few moments where Beltran worked his way on the inside, but he wasn’t able to deliver much damage. Beltran showed some more urgency in the fourth frame. He was able to spend a lot more time on the inside, where the jab of Lopez was ineffective. Lopez went back to his jab in fifth round, keeping Beltran at bay. Beltran was able to score with a plethora of body shots from the clinch, until the referee separated the two.
Chris Lytle (USA) def. JC Llamas (Mexico) by unanimous decision: 175 pounds
Llamas wobbled Lytle early and went in for the kill. Lytle recovered clinched up to regain his composure. Llamas was able land several more clean shots, getting the attention of Lytle just before the bell sounded.
Lytle came out chucking hooks at his opponent. Llamas responded with a flush three-piece, but Lytle ate it like a champ. It was a much better round for Lytle, but maybe not enough to take the frame. Lytle began to tag his opponent in the third act, but Llamas kept throwing back. The round went back and forth, with both athletes getting their licks in.
Llamas started scoring in the fourth act, timing the head movement of Lytle to catch him as he shifted. Lytle pressed forward with his jab, but Llamas would counter and score. Lytle went for it in the final round, swinging with bad intentions as he moved forward. A cut opened up around the right eye of Llamas but it didn’t seem to bother him too much. Well, until he got clocked again and the referee called a time out to bring in the doctor. The fight resumed and the warriors traded until the final bell sounded.
Sam Shewmaker (USA) def. Joel Paredes (Mexico) by split decision: 265 pounds
There was a bit of feeling out going on to kick off this heavyweight tilt. A couple of jabs here and there scored, mixed in with a ton of measuring, but it was a rather underwhelming opening round. The second round looked a lot like the first round, except Shewmaker landed a hook before the bell sounded.
Shewmaker came out pumping his jab in round three. Paredes got his mouthpiece knocked out, but the referee was right on top of it to pick it up and put it back in. The jab of Shewmaker was consistent throughout the round as Paredes was mostly defensive.
Paredes landed a huge shot in the fourth frame that wobbled his foe, and was also the most significant strike of the fight up to that point. Shewmaker recovered quickly and went back on the offensive. Shewmaker went back to his jab in the final round. Neither man wanted to make a mistake and a bunch of measuring ensued to close out the match.
Joe Riggs (USA) def. Rudo Tovar (Mexico) by unanimous decision (49-45, 50-46, 50-44): 185 pounds
Tovar came out working the body and clinching up. Riggs showed of solid movement, evading most of what Tovar threw his way. The referee earned his paycheck in the first round, breaking up the clinch several times.
Tovar continued to work the body in the second round. Riggs tried to throw combos, but Tovar consistently clinched up with him and threw short body shots. At this point, more punches landed to the body than either man’s face.
Riggs caught his foe with a clean cross, and then kind of just pushed Tovar to the canvas. The punches of Riggs began to find a home, including a hefty right hand that dropped Tovar. The count was answered but Tovar was unable to steal back the round. Tovar landed a series of right hands from the clinch to start the fourth frame. The southpaw lead hook of Riggs got the attention of his opponent as Tovar seemed to be slowing down.
Tovar began the round with a lot of swelling around his left eye, and Riggs was targeting it with his left hook. A sinister left from Riggs staggered Tovar, but the Mexican was able to hang on until the bell sounded.
Tom Shoaff (USA) def. Diego Garigo (Mexico) by TKO at 1:26 of round 4: 165 pounds
Shoaff got off first with right-left, but Garigo was right there to return fire. Moving forward aggressively, Shoaff dropped his foe with a heavy shot. Garigo answered the count and fought on, making it out of the opening round. Shoaff came out sharp, landing a left hook followed by a right-left. Garigo started to push the pace, backing up Shoaff and leading the dance. Shoaff landed clean with a counter two-piece, and Garigo answered back as the bell sounded.
Garigo came out hot, backing up his opponent, forcing Shoaff to circle out. Shoaff dropped his foe for the second time, but Garigo was able to recover. Garigo blitzed again, but got dropped again in the pocket because of it. The toughness of Garigo was on display as he answered the count yet again, and even finished up the round strong.
Garigo came out for the fourth round with a massive hematoma on his cheek. Shoaff was able to blast his opponent yet agin causing Garigo to hit the deck. In true Garigo fashion, he answered the count and began to swarm Shoaff. The referee paused the action, bringing in the doctor to take a look at Garigo, and ultimately stop the bout.
Alejandro Solorzano (Mexico) def. Erik Leander (USA) by TKO at :29 of round 4: 265 pounds
Leander got busy right out of the gate with vicious body hooks, and kept after it. Solorzano clipped his foe coming in, but Leander went right back to the body. Leander landed a couple of right crosses before the round expired.
The second round started a lot slower than the first did. Leander bobbed his way into landing a clean left hook, but Solorzano smiled and shook it off. Solorzano stung his foe and got aggressive, but the round ended on him before he could follow up.
Solorzano stalked forward in the third frame as Leander was on the back foot. Leander snuck in a few more body blows before the referee separated them from the clinch. A big right hand from Solorzano jarred Leander, but it only ignited a fire, causing him to rage forward in a flurry. Leander got clipped with a right hand as he bulldozed his way into the clinch. At this point, Leander was a bloody mess an d the fight was waived off.
Travis Thompson (USA) def. Ivan Rocka (Mexico) by KO at 1:59 of round 2: 135 pounds
Thompson landed some heavy hook right away, to which Rocka responded with a two heaters of his own. Thompson scored a knockdown in the opening frame, but Rocka recovered and continued on. Thompson dropped his foe again as time dwindled down, but again Rocka recovered and finish the round. Rocka answered the bell for round two with a mouse around his left eye. Thompson kept up his aggression and pressed forward behind his jab, which ultimately led to the knockout blow.