In what was billed as a hateful grudge match fueled with bad blood and murderous intent, the main event of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 between Artem Lobov and Paulie Malignaggi was a passive sparring match, more than anything.
Lobov, an Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, was his expected aggressor from the start, looking to land loopy haymakers and trying to fight Malignaggi in the clinch. Malignaggi fought in his usual stick-and-move style, looking to outbox the Russian Irishman from a distance and, in most cases, both men were successful.
Lobov landed a few clean punches on the inside in the first, a round "The Magic Man" largely gave away to size his foe up. Maliganggi, a boxing world champion in two weight divisions, got heated in the second and third rounds behind his stiff jab and excellent movement. However, Lobov, who was busted up and bleeding, pressed the issue in the fourth to even up the scores and then was a pure aggressor in the fifth and final round, a stanza Malignaggi possibly thought he didn't need as he was on his proverbial bike the entire frame.
In the end, Lobov pressed the action and won a unanimous decision via tallies of 48-47 across the board, pleasing the largely pro-Lobov crowd inside the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida.
Chris Leben was supposed to fight Bellator MMA vet Brennan Ward in the co-main event, but when that fight fell through, longtime MMA contender Dakota Cochrane stepped up. That wound up costing "The Crippler" because he couldn't get things going. Cochrane cracked the former WEC middleweight champ with dozens of punches and Leben's face eventually broke open. Leben continuously tried to land his vaunted power, but Cochrane threw mostly straight punches and he rocked the UFC veteran repeatedly. In the end, two of the ringside judges had it 49-46 and the third saw it 48-47 for Cochrane, who won via unanimous decision.
UFC veteran Johnny Bedford was dominant against Reggie Barnett, winning wide unanimous decision to capture the inaugural BKFC lightweight championship. "Brutal" Bedford dropped Barnett seconds into the fight with a right hook and then floored him again moments later with a barrage of punches. Barnett hung tough, and even though he was felled again int eh third, he never stopped fighting. In the end, two judges favored Bedford 47-45 and the third saw it 48-44.
Julian Lane was a dominant force against Tom Schoaff in their middleweight tussle as he won a rather lopsided unanimous decision. Lane, a veteran of both "The Ultimate Fighter" seasons 16 and 25, dropped Schoaff in the first round with a combo of punches to the head and picked apart his foe down the stretch. Schoaff never backed down, but he wasn't able to find a rhythm. In the end, Lane won via scores of 49-45 across the board.
Joey Beltran, a veteran of both Bellator and UFC, clubbed fellow heavyweight Jamie Campbell out and stopped him in the second. "The Mexecutioner" sent Campbell to the canvas with an overhand right to the head and when Campbell got up, Beltran finished him off with a flurry of punches to. Campbell spit out his mouthpiece and barely got up at the count of nine, but once he was on his feet, referee Andrew Glenn had seen enough. The end came at 1:50 of the second.
UFC veteran and former WEC champ Joe Riggs fought to a five-round draw with Walber Barros at light heavyweight. Both men landed their fair share of punches, but it was a knockdown that "Diesel" suffered late in the second that cost him the decision. Riggs was dropped by a right to the head and survived the round, but turned the tides down the stretch, winning the majority of the rounds. However, all three ringside judges saw it 47-47, resulting in a draw.
UFC and Cage Warriors veteran Jim Alers made quick work of Elvin Leon Brito, knocking him spark out in mere seconds. Alers, who submitted Brito via triangle choke back in 2017, levelled his middleweight counterpart with a vicious right uppercut to the jaw, knocking him completely out. Brito fell face first, officially ending the contest in just 45 seconds.
In the opening bout of the Fite.TV telecast, David Mundell took out fellow light heavyweight Drew Lipton in the first. Mundell rocked his foe with a left hook and then dropped him with follow-up punches, and when the fight resumed, hooks to the body and a pair of rights to the face sent Lipton the canvas again. From there, it was clear that Lipton wasn't going to survive, and referee Bill Clancy waived it off. The official time of the stoppage came in just 95 seconds.
In preliminary action, Abdiel Velazquez toppled Travis Thompson via unanimous decision via tallies of 49-46, 48-47 and 50-45 and Chris Boffil knocked out Jared Hayes at 1:55 of the third.