Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) darling, Paige VanZant, turns in the four-ounce gloves TONIGHT (Fri., Feb. 5, 2021) when she headlines Bareknuckle Fighting Championship’s (BKFC) latest pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza against promotional regular, Britain Hart.
The 26-year-old “12 Gauge” ended her Octagon run last year after a submission loss to Amanda Ribas and now faces a stiff test in the durable Hart, who’s gone 4-4-3 as a professional boxer and 1-2 in the “Squared Circle.” The two losses came via split decision to UFC veteran Bec Rawlings and via cut stoppage to current division standout Christine Ferea. The evening’s best match up comes in the co-feature, which sees Octagon washout turned undefeated (5-0) bareknuckle menace, Johnny Bedford, defend his Bantamweight title against former 20-3 professional boxer Dat Nguyen. In addition, Chris Leben returns to action against Quentin Henry (2-0).
BKFC 16 ‘Knucklemania’ Quick Results:
Paige Van Zant vs. Britain Hart — Hart def. VanZant by unanimous decision (49-46 x3) — HIGHLIGHTS!
Johnny Bedford vs. Dat Nguyen — Nguyen def. Bedford by unanimous decision (48-47 x2, 49-46)
Chris Leben vs. Quentin Henry — Leben def. Henry by KO at 1:07 of Round One — HIGHLIGHTS!
Martin Brown vs. Zach Zane — Brown def. Zane by TKO at 1:28 of Round Two
Lorenzo Hunt vs. Rob Morrow — Hunt def. Morrow by KO at 2:00 of Round Four
John Chalbeck vs. Greg Bono — Chalbeck def. Bono by KO at 0:20 of Round Three
Haim Gozali vs. John McAllister — Gozali def. McAllister by KO at 1:08 of Round Two
Dillon Cleckler vs. Chris Jensen — Cleckler def. Jensen by KO at 0:24 of Round One
Charisa Sigala vs. Taylor Starling — Starling def. Sigala by unanimous decision (50-43 x2, 49-44)
David Morgan vs. Travis Thompson — Thompson def. Morgan by TKO at 0:22 of Round Two
Jarod Grant vs. Brandon Lambert — Grant def. Lambert by KO at 1:11 of Round Three
Drew Lipton vs. Jeff Bailey —
BKFC 16 ‘Knucklemania’ Round-By-Round Updates:
Featherweight: Paige VanZant vs. Britain Hart
Round one: Hart advancing, VanZant circling. Trading in the clinch. Separation. Halfway through. Good combo by VanZant, eats a hook in return. Hard with a nice flurry at the bell. 10-9 Hart.
Round two: VanZant with an early combination. Hart sending out jabs, eats a left hook and lands one in return. Hart right hand, heavier left hook from VanZant in return. Hart to the body in the clinch. Halfway through the round. VanZant lands a straight right. 1-2 from Hart. 3-2 by Hart, overhand right after taking a right cross. 10-9 VanZant?
Round three: VanZant comes on aggressively, gets forced back by some heavy shots from Hart. Hart to the body. Cross counter from VanZant. Hart landing in the clinch. Halfway through. Big 2-3 by Hart, more body shots in the clinch. Separation. Hart with a good right hand, clinch. 10-9 Hart.
Round four: Early combo from VanZant. She tries to flurry, clinch. Hart lands jabs, follows with a clean uppercut. Halfway through. VanZant combo falls short, Hart tries to flurry. Clinch. Big 1-2 lands clean for Hart. 10-9 Hart.
Round five: They start with flurries once again. VanZant circling now. Left hook lands for her. Slugging in the clinch, Hart getting the better of it. VanZant right hand, clinch punches halfway through the round. Separation. 1-2 connects, then one from Hart in return. Heavy blows by VanZant, her best work of the fight. Hart knocks her back with a right cross. Clinch, trading inside. 10-9 VanZant.
BKFC Bantamweight Championship: Johnny Bedford vs. Dat Nguyen
Round one: Bedford walks right to the clinch and they start slugging. They get a warning for refusing to break initially. Nguyen combo, more clinchwork by Bedford. Nguyen hook, clinched. Bedford lands a combo, but gets blasted by a left hook. Nguyen follows with an uppercut, taunting as he throws combos. Slip from Bedford just over a minute in. Good body shots by Nguyen, lunging left hook. Clinch. Cross counters from Nguyen. Bedford trying to mug in the clinch. 10-9 Nguyen.
Round two: Nguyen steps in and they slug. Overhand right, left hook. Bedford riips the body, lands a 1-2 upstairs. More slugging. Clinch. Again, takedown by Bedford. Big trade, huge hook and overhand right by Nguyen. More brutal strikes by Nguyen as they exchange. Bedford cracks him with a right hand. Bedford clinches with a semi-guillotine grip and Nguyen punches on the break, getting warned again. 10-9 Nguyen.
Round three: More wild exchanges. Heavy swings by Bedford, faster and more technical punches by Nguyen. 1-1-2 by Nguyen, clinch, body shots. Warned for fingers on the throat, Bedford claims he got poked. Halfway through. 2-1 by Nguyen. Clinch. Overhand right lands for Nguyen, Bedford to the body. Short right shovel hook by Nguyen, good jab. Clinch. 10-9 Nguyen.
Round four: Short uppercut lands for Nguyen; he’s just so much sharper than Bedford, but Bedford’s power and grit is giving him success. Good right hands by Bedford. Clinch, short punches. Good exchange, left hook lands for Nguyen. Uppercut-cross met by a left hook from Bedford. Halfway in, clinch fighting. They separate. Uppercut by Nguyen. Counter left hook, right hand. Left hook again. Bedford continuing to wade in with wide swings. Clinch, separation. Bedford with a right cross in the center. 10-9 Nguyen.
Round five: Heavy exchanges to start, as usual. Bedford with some loose wraps, they pause to cut them off. Slower round, unsurprisingly. Clinch. Halfway through. Right hand lands for Bedford. Nguyen doubles up the left hook, eats jabs. Bedford uppercut, Nguyen left hook. Hard overhand right lands for Nguyen.Nguyen landing some heavy shots in the last 30 seconds. Bedford wades in, absorbs a left hook. That was fun. 10-9 Nguyen.
Final result: Nguyen def. Bedford by unanimous decision
Heavyweight: Chris Leben vs. Quentin Henry
Round one: Good body shot to start from Henry, who eats a counter left on his way into the clinch. Another clinch and Henry suddenly stumbles to his knees when they separate. He says he can’t see because of an eye poke. Replay shows that it was a knuckle, which the ref acknowledges, but he still gets five minutes to recover, apparently. That’s stupid. He doesn’t take the full time, instead rushing into the clinch. More Frye-Takayama action. Henry lands a huge right hand, but two clubbing lefts from Leben sends him to the mat for the full 10-count.
Final result: Leben def. Henry by KO
Lightweight: Martin Brown vs. Zach Zane
Round one: Both men trying to jab early. Zane tries a combo. Brown steps into the clinch behind a right hand. One minute in. Zane avoids an overhand right and they clinch. Brown slips awkwardly and it looks like he’s hurt his knee. He does elect to continue after a brief break. Zane tries a combo, clinch. Both swing big in the waning seconds. 10-9 Zane.
Round two: Zane tries an early Superman punch, some jockeying in the clinch. Counter right by Brown. He tries a right and clinches. More clinchwork and Zane’s eye seems to be bothering him. One minute in. Brown opens up as they separate and a heavy right hook sends Zane to a knee. Zane beats the count, but tells the ref he can’t see out of his eye.
Final result: Brown def. Zane by TKO
Light Heavyweight; Lorenzo Hunt vs. Rob Morrow
Round one: Relatively tentative start. Hunt lunches in with a right that falls short. Mostly just feints from both men. Morrow lands a counter right. Halfway through. Hunt steps in, both men land in the exchange. Morrow tries a jab. Morrow with some nice counters before the bell. 10-9 Morrow.
Round two: This fight is largely Hunt feinting just out of range and periodically bursting in. Crowd isn’t happy. Morrow just misses with a couple combos. Halfway through. 1-3 by Hunt. Right to the body. Hunt sneaks in a left hook, takes some return fire. Big swings from Hunt. 10-9 Hunt.
Round three: Morrow tries a left to the body, falls short. The next combination lands clean and drops Hunt, but the ref calls it a slip. Hunt rushes in halfway through, misses. Morrow with a Superman punch, prompting Hunt to charge in with some wild swings. 10-9 Morrow.
Round four: Hunt with loads of feints, falls short with a flurry. Counter right lands for him. Jab from Morrow. Right hook connects. Halfway through. Hunt with a winging left hand, follows with a straight right after a brief chase. Another big right by Hunt hurts Morrow and Hunt savages him in the clinch, turning the lights out and forcing him to take the full count.
Final result: Hunt def. Morrow by KO
Featherweight: John Chalbeck vs. Greg Bono
Round one: Quick left hook and right hand from Chalbeck. Bono definitely the less technical of the two. Body shot, 3-2 by Chalbeck. Fast jab. 1-2. Lead right, then a three-punch combo. He shrugs off an overhand right and pours on combinations until Bono goes down. He’s up near the end of the count and Chalbeck continues the barrage. He takes his foot off the gas for a bit, then cracks Bono with right hands. They trade in the clinch. 10-8 Chalbeck.
Round two: Chalbeck working behind the jab, takes a body shot. Good head movement, continuing to taunt. Bono tries overhand rights. Nice uppercuts by Chalbeck, Bono comes back with an overhand, and Chalbeck batters his body in the clinch. Good right around the guard halfway through, clinch. Chalbeck lead uppercut. Bono comes back with a flurry. Counter right by Chalbeck, eats a jab, trades inside. 10-9 Chalbeck.
Round three: Sneaky lead uppercut hurts Bono and Chalbeck follows with a right hook to put him down for the count. Bono looks like something in his face is broken.
Final result: Chalbeck def. Bono by KO
Light Heavyweight: Haim Gozali vs. John McAllister
Round one: McAllister marches right into the clinch, tried to land inside. Extremely aggressive early. Ref separates them again. McAllister continues to advance and spins him around with a lead right. Gozali ties up for a breather. Again a minute in. More clinching. McAllister punching in the clinch. Separation. Flurry from McAllister seems to ding Gozali, who clinches again. Wild exchange. 10-9 McAllister
Round two: Gozali goes back to the clinch, lands some body shots. Good right by McAllister, but Gozali responds with a vicious combination. A right hand sends McAllister to the mat, and while he beats the count, he looks totally compromised. Clinch punches put him down again. He’s up, but McAllister is done.
Final result: Gozali def. McAllister by TKO
Light Heavyweight: Dillon Cleckler vs. Chris Jensen
Round one: Both men fall short early, then Cleckler knocks him back with a straight right before crushing him with another right to the body. Jensen’s in agony and he doesn’t even come close to beating the count.
Final result: Cleckler def. Jensen by KO
Bantamweight: Charisa Sigala vs. Taylor Starling
Round one: They meet in the center and go Frye-Takayama for a bit before the ref splits them up. Starling already cut. constant exchanges, Sigala seems like the more technical. As I say that, Starling floors her with a right cross halfway through. Sigala beats the count and Starling is all over her. Brutal punches from both women. Sigala landing on the retreat. They clinch before the bell. 10-8 Starling.
Round two: Right back to the close-quarters bruising. Sigala the more technical, Starling finding success with her pressure. Trading in the clinch. Good counter rights from Sigala. Separation. Good 1-2 from Starling halfway through, then another right cross that puts Sigala on her seat. She beats the count again, but is struggling to get out of the way of Starling’s right hand. Clinch. 1-1-2 from Starling. 10-8 Starling.
Round three: The story continues, and there’s another big cross by Starling. Good jabs, big right behind them. The pressure’s working for her. Halfway through. Sigala lands a combo, eats a pair of crosses. Right hands continue to land for Starling. Sigala gets in some nice shots at the end that split Starling’s cut back open. 10-9 Starling.
Round four: Quick close-range exchanges. Sigala having a better round so far. Right hands still connecting for Starling. Halfway through. Big combo by Starling. 1-2 connects. Good jab. 10-9 Starling.
Round five: Sigala lands a right, eats a combo in return. Left hook by Starling on the break. Starling right hand. Three-piece lands a minute in. Another combo behind it. Sigala’s combos aren’t there this round. There’s another right by Starling, eats one in return. Starling forces her back to the ropes for a final exchange. 10-9 Starling.
Final result: Starling def. Sigala by unanimous decision
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