Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 6 is set to take place this Saturday, June 22 at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall in Tampa, Florida. The tension towards fight night has been building to a climax as Paulie ‘The Magic Man’ Malignaggi (36-8 Boxing) finally toes the line against a fiery Artem ‘The Russian Warhammer’ Lobov (13-15-1-1 MMA) (1-0 Bare Knuckle) in what will surely be one of the most talked about fights of the summer. The Body Lock is breaking down all the action as it happens live with round-by-round coverage of all ten fights on this stacked Bare Knuckle FC 6 card.
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The co-main event features two seasoned veterans of MMA as Chris ‘The Crippler’ Leben (22-11 MMA) (2-0 BK) takes on a last-minute opponent in Dakota Cochrane (32-13 MMA) (1-0 BK). Both fighters put their undefeated Bare Knuckle records on the line tonight in a double header of combat sports goodness.
Bare Knuckle FC 6 Round-by-round coverage
Artem Lobov def. Paulie Malignaggi via unanimous decision (48-47 x3)
Clean first round from both sides as Paulie Malignaggi looks to establish range while Artem Lobov went for full power blows. The clinch game was predictably in favor for Lobov as he found looping hooks alongside the ropes that have already done damage. Malignaggi has started to gain some momentum now that his feet have been settled in the Bare Knuckle arena.
The jab remains Malignaggi’s most potent tool as he keeps his opponent at bay. Lobov knows that his best option for a finish is an overhand right but the speed of Malignaggi has been another detterent in the offense of the Russian. The focus will now come down to ring control and landed shots as it looks like both fighters refuse to go down stupidly in this bout.
Malignaggi continues to dominate the outside game and his defensive maneuvers have been technical enough to avoid a bulk of Lobov’s damage. The most convincing punch of the third round goes to Lobov though as he clips the chin of Malignaggi with a straight left. The fourth round sees Lobov make significant strides in the offense as he pushes the pace forward after a successful clinch exchange. Lobov may have equalized the rounds in his favor after that herculean effort, but the scores could go either way depending on damage accumulation and total strike differentials heading into the fifth.
The final round doesn’t end with any fireworks as Malignaggi falls into his magician bag. The name of the game is evasion for the former pro boxer as he manages to avoid much of Lobov’s offense but doesn’t land enough in response. In a traditional boxing setting, perhaps Malignaggi walks away victorious but Lobov may merit a victory through damage and forward pressure in this regard.
Dakota Cochrane def. Chris Leben via unanimous decision (49-46 x2, 48-47)
A clinch heavy first round for both fighters as Chris Leben finds early success with the uppercuts. Dakota Cochrane is no novice to this forward pressure and he defends adamantly along the ropes in an effort to stifle some body shots. Leben, ever the aggressor, finds his space to do damage but the fighting once again remains stifled in the center clinch.
Cochrane has really started to up his output in the second round and his shots are finding a home. Leben does well to mitigate some of the damage in the clinch but Cochrane rains down strikes so much that some shots are still finding their way around. The fighting continues with the same pressure and Leben is starting to pick apart Cochrane on the engage. The repeated left hooks from Chris Leben are starting to tack on visible damage to his opponent.
The tempo has taken a step down with the accumulation of damage in past rounds. Leben is still setting the table nicely against Cochrane, but the exchanges aren’t all going his way. Cochrane finds nice angles with his aggressive bursts forward and has made noticeable damage because of it. Both fighters made it a testament to fight to the end of the whistle as Cochrane collapses to the ground in exhaustion at the end of five rounds.
Johnny Bedford def. Reggie Barnett Jr. via unanimous decision (47-45 x2, 48-44)
Reggie Barnett and Johnny Bedford waste no time getting acquainted in round one as both fighters swing for the fences early. Bedford lands some monster hooks in the flurry and drops Barnett Jr. twice in the early goings. The rest of round one has slowed down a notch as Barnett and Bedford both take a moment to reset.
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Barnett is battling back from some serious adversity that he faced in round one. The 3-0 BK fighter has resorted to clinch strikes in order to establish some control. The resurgence of momentum for Barnett is now in full stride as he puts together his shots. The final flurry of round two sees Barnett finally get back to his best.
The momentum shift has been notable in the arena and in the ring. Bedford started this fight with so much steam but Barnett has now harnessed the pressure and keeps moving forward. After a pause for a low blow, Bedford starts to pick his shots and lands flush right hooks on Barnett. Bedford ends the fourth round with another knockdown and the crowd is once again firmly alive at the Expo Hall.
The final rounds commence with Bedford finding his groove and keeping the fight at a winnable pace with his clinch work. Barnett’s pedigree is unquestionable but Bedford has shown that his MMA credentials are nothing to scoff at either. Bedford continued pushing the pace and his effort over five rounds surely put him over his opponent.
Julian Lane def. Tom Shoaff via unanimous decision (49-45 x3)
Julian Lane found his angles early in this bout as he continuously peppered Tom Shoaff with a litany of shots that sent him reeling. While a knockdown wasn’t achieved, Lane did enough to comfortably punish his opponent any time he came forward. Not only that, but Lane’s defensive maneuvers to get out of danger were too slick as well. Shoaff will need to win back momentum quickly if he wants to win this fight and get the crows in his favor.
Lane remains effective with the jab, and finds a strong right hook to rattle Shoaff once again. To Shoaff’s credit, he is remaining resilient and taking all of Lane’s best strikes in stride. Shoaff tries to keep this one on the outside but Lane is too quick with his overhand punches. The success rate for Lane’s punches are easily eclipsing his opponents at this stage, and he ends the second round comfortably ahead.
The pace has slowed down considerably this round but Lane continues to find the better of these exchanges as Shoaff fails to solidify his reach advantage. The end of the round sees Shoaff finding a good rhythm as he strings together some jab, straight combos. The gas tanks will reset for the final two rounds and so far Julian Lane is still the frontrunner at the end of three.
The Bare Knuckle game starts to manifest itself as chess with both Lane and Shoaff trading jabs and straights seemingly at will. The more venomous strikes are once again coming from Lane as he has the answer to any strike Shoaff lands and still finds a way to slip out defensively. Shoaff comes forward and delivers his best round in the fifth. Shoaff kept his hands up and just found his angles to stun Lane at the end of a stiff uppercut in transition. Regardless of the hurrah, Lane wins this fight comfortably based on won rounds. Another productive ten minutes of action for Bare Knuckle FC.
Joey Beltran def. Jamie Campbell via TKO (uppercuts) – R2, 1:50
A surprisingly calculated first round from the heavyweights as both Jamie Campbell and Joey Beltran manage the distance effectively. Campbell does well to keep the fight at bay but Beltran continues to collapse the range and find his chances. The first round ends with little to remark other than a solid feeling out phase for both heavyweight contenders.
Beltran is not letting up one bit with the game plan remaining very much the same in this second round. The reach advantage is being neutralized with his massive strides into the danger zone and Beltran’s flurry of punches proved the difference in this fight as he pressured Campbell into two successive knockdowns.
Joe Riggs and Walber Barros fight to a unanimous draw (47-47 x3)
After a ginger start, both Joe Riggs and Walber Barros start to find their spots as they enter the pocket with vigor. Barros is landing the jab but the follow up hooks from Joe Riggs are equalizing with great effect. An enticing first round of action turned is as both fighters have yet to find the better of each other.
Barros starts the second round with a comfortable flow but the intensity of Riggs’ offense keeps the crowd on edge. The ‘whoo’ chants start to file through as Riggs and Barros continue to test the waters, knowing the immediate danger that lies ahead of their shots. Barros ends the round with a massive overhand right straight down the pipe that finds the chin of Joe Riggs and leaves him on his butt to end the round.
Another contentious round as Riggs tries to claw back onto the scorecards after dropping the last two. The clinch game continues to be controlled positionally by ‘Diesel’ but the defensive IQ of Barros is on full display as he continues to pick apart the seemingly more seasoned opponent.
Joe Riggs has started to accumulate a lot of hits and the damage on Barros’ right side is a testament to that dirty work. The clinch continues to be a point of contention for both fighters as Riggs enters the exchanges with more aplomb than his opponent at this late stage. Barros continues to walk down his opponent and force a flurry of strikes along the ropes but Riggs is just too savvy and stifles the pressure adequately. Riggs ends the fight looking the fresher of the two but the fight could be anyone’s game at this juncture.
Jim Alers def. Elvin Brito via KO (uppercuts) – R1, 0:45
Jim Alers came out with a vengeance in his first appearance for the Bare Knuckle FC banner. His opponent, Elvin Brito, came into this fight fully confident in his abilities but once again the martial arts pedigree of Alers was too much to overcome. Alers remained smooth in the pocket as he dominated the center of the ring. Jim Alers picked apart his opponent and ended the fight in record timing.
David Mundell def. Drew Lipton via TKO (head and body strikes) – R1, 1:35
David Mundell came into this fight as a big favorite and his accumen within the combat sports world did not disappoint against Drew Lipton. Mundell came forward and found success early with a slew of punches to the head and body. The pressure was overwhelming to Lipton who got knocked down twice in successive fashion all within the first round. Mundell makes a massive statement with this win.
Abdiel Velasquez def. Travis Thompson via unanimous decision (49-46) (48-47) (50-45)
Abdiel Velasquez the more mobile fighter in this early going as Travis Thompson opts for forward control. Velasquez does extremely well to commit to damage in the clinch as he finds the better of Thompson with left and right hooks. Thompson starts to level back and finds his target with body strikes once Velasquez feels comfortable enough to engage. Ultimately, the round falls with Velasquez as he keeps up the volume to secure him the round.
Velasquez remains the smoother boxer in this fight as Thompson is frustrated at not finding too much punches landed in spite of his control positionally in the fight. Thompson’s best strikes have come to the body but Velasquez remains the craftier fighter and is finding his chances on the outside with little rebuttal.
Early in the round Velasquez came out with a bit of a pompous stance in an effort to make it look easy against his opponent. Thompson immediately finds his shot within range as he starts to make it a dogfight with his opponent. The action has paced itself more in this round as Velasquez still looks to pick shots as Thompson controls the tempo, but the slick head movement from Velasquez leaves his opponent missing the target.
The boxing clinic from Velasquez continues into the fourth as he relies heavily on his footwork to avoid the dangerous angles Thompson is trying to set up. The least amount of punches thrown in this round but Velasquez still finds a way to remain potent in spite of an eye poke suffered with thirty seconds left to spare in the round. The final round proves much more fiery as both fighters know they have two minutes left to make an impression on the judges. Velasquez gains the approval of the Tampa crowd as he closes out the fight in spectacular fashion.
Chris Boffil def. Jerad Hayes via TKO (uppercuts) – R3, 1:55
Chris Boffil controls the cage early as he finds success with early jabs and dirty bxing. Jerad Hayes responds with a massive straight right that makes the crowd pop with excitement. Boffil the more active fighter but Hayes is weaving out of danger well defensively. Boffil ends the round with a nice exchange that may have nicked him the round indefinitely.
Hayes starts to feel the pressure and his aggression coming forward leaves him susceptible to big shots from his opponent. Boffil is dominating the exchanges when kept at range but Hayes is finding his rhythm in the pocket. Hayes buckles down and puts Boffil on the ground with another stinging combination that leads to the first knockdown of the evening. 10-8 comfortably for Jerad Hayes at the end of round two.
Even with the knockdown against his favor, Boffil starts the third the more active fighter. An early exchange leaves Hayes visibly staggered and Boffil continues to pounce on a tired and injured Hayes. Chris Boffil scores two knockdowns in similar fashion as he pummels an exhausted Jerad Hayes and the fight is finally called in the third round.
English Student at Rollins College with a passion for all things combat sports. Mixed martial arts isn't just entertainment; it's an art form.