JUNIOR DOS SANTOS DEFEATS ALAN BELCHER BY TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT TO WIN GAMEBRED BAREKNUCKLE MMA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ON KICK FROM THE KIA CENTER IN ORLANDO

Chase Sherman Scores Thrilling Knockout Victory Over Alex Nicholson in

Co-Main Event Action

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ORLANDO, FL. – March 3, 2024 – Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos defeated Alan Belcher by technical knockout in the exhilarating main event of Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA event at the Kia Center in Orlando, Florida. With the win, Dos Santos captured the first-ever Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA Heavyweight Championship. All of the action on Saturday’s fight card streamed live and for free at Kick.com/GamebredBKMMA.

 

The opening stanza featured back-and-forth punching that left both fighters bloodied. Dos Santos repeatedly landed his jab on the bridge of Belcher’s nose, leading to a cut that gushed profusely.

 

“I was expecting a lot of punching,” said Dos Santos. “I told my coaches and everyone that that’s what I’m expecting out of Belcher, or something very crazy in the beginning to apply lots of pressure so that fight wouldn’t last long. And that’s exactly what he did. He impressed me. He was ready and throwing some good punches, good kicks. But we are patient, and as long as we trust ourselves good things will happen.”

 

Belcher said, “I thought I won the first round. There were a lot of unanswered low kicks. One of the jabs he landed cut me. I’m not sure which one. I got a little better range after a while to where the later ones weren’t really reaching me, and I picked a few off. I changed my strategy to try to look for a clean shot and I had to resort to a blitz because he was keeping his range well too.”

 

In the second round, Dos Santos took Belcher to the canvas for some technical grappling. Although Belcher managed to open up a nasty cut on Dos Santos’ nose, Dos Santos’ ground game proved too much as referee Larry Downs Jr. called a stop to the fight 4:39 into the second round.

 

“I thought if he wants to grapple let’s take him down and take advantage of that,” continued Dos Santos. “But we were so covered in blood that even though I was getting some good chokes on him he was able to escape from that. But I know how to fight any way that I have to and I’ll do whatever is necessary.”

 

Belcher added, “The bigger factor in the second round was his size. He was a lot bigger and stronger than I thought. I came in lighter and I don’t need to be grappling with bigger, stronger guys. I figured at some point he would try to take me down because of the size difference, but what can I say? I’d love to run it back and do it again with Dos Santos.”

 

On becoming the first Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA Heavyweight Champion, Dos Santos said, “This title means a lot to me. I’m making history again with my name and I think that’s a privilege. I’m a blessed guy. God really likes me and I try to be a good son to him.”

 

When asked who he’d like to make his first title defense against, Dos Santos concluded, “I don’t pick fights. The most important thing is dealing with myself and I’ve been learning how to do that better and better. And the more I do in this sport the more dangerous I get.”

 

In the co-main event, heavyweights Chase Sherman and Orlando’s Alex Nicholson each had their moments. Nicholson was able to land some shots early, but it was Sherman that landed a massive left flush on Nicholson’s chin, dropping Nicholson to the mat with his head and neck pressed up against the cage. Sherman followed that up with a couple punches before the end came at the 3:57 mark of the opening round as referee Larry Folsom intervened to rule it a knockout.

 

“Usually, I’m the one dictating the range,” said Sherman in victory. “Clearly, he’s been working on his boxing. I was having a really hard time getting into a rhythm and so I didn’t really get settled into my groove on my feet. So I bit down on my mouthpiece and said, ‘enough with this pitty-patty stuff,’ and I let him have one, a good one.

 

“It felt great to land that left,” added Sherman. “But I just know that I have to continue getting better. Looking back, I think I probably should have worked my defense a bit more and been a little more patient, and then maybe I might have been able to pick him apart with my offense. So there are still some things I can improve on and do a little differently.”

 

In the only fight to go the distance, the second featured contest of the night saw Handesson Ferreira defeat Karl Roberson by unanimous decision. Referees Alice Downs, Barry Luxenberg and Solimar Miranda all saw the 185-pound bout the same, scoring it 30-27 in favor of Ferreira.

 

The first featured fight of the night showcased TJ Brown submitting Joshua Weems by arm triangle in the second round of their 155-pound bout. Referee Larry Folsom stopped the contest with 56 seconds left in the second.

 

Jesse Ronson was able to stop Anthony Njokuani in the opening round of their 170-pound contest. Ronson controlled the action early and submitted Njokuani by Kimura with referee Larry Downs Jr. halting the action 4:46 into the first round.

 

In another 170-pound clash, Brandon Jenkins outlasted the fading Tyler Hill by third-round stoppage. Hill had a strong showing in the first round, dropping Jenkins and winning the round on all three judges’ scorecards. But Jenkins took over in the second round and proved too much for the exhausted Hill. Referee Larry Folsom saw enough and ended the bout at the 2:12 mark of the third.

 

It took just 13 explosive seconds for Anvar Boynazarov to defeat Marlon Gonzales by knockout in their 145-pound scrap. In the opening seconds of the first frame, Boynazarov landed a devastating right knee to Gonzales’ chin, dropping Gonzales to the canvas. Boynazarov followed the knee with a flurry of right hands to Gonzales’ head. With Gonzales showing he was unable to defend himself, referee Larry Downs Jr. stopped the fight.

 

The opening fight of the night between a pair of always-entertaining 140-pounders saw Joe Penafiel defeat Charles Bennett by technical knockout. Penafiel landed a powerful right hand late in the second round, sending Bennett to the canvas. Penafiel jumped on Bennett, trying to end the fight before the bell, but Bennett was able to survive the round. In the third and final round, Penafiel took the action back to the mat for some ground-and-pound and was able to finish Bennett with referee Larry Folsom ending the contest at the 3:49 mark of the third round.

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