BKFC Fight of the Year! Artem Lobov Survives Bloody Jason Knight, Paulie Malignaggi Next

By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media Head Boxing Correspondent

*Photo Credit: Credit: Phil Lambert/Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

 Biloxi, Mississippi (April 7th, 2019)– In the Bare Knuckles Fighting Championship 5 main event in the square circle at Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi, on Saturday night, April 6, 2019, a bloody southpaw Artem ‘The Russian Hammer’ Lobov came off the canvas, and had to survive two rounds of living hell to decision Jason Knight in the BKFC Fight of the Year in the 145 pound BKFC Featherweight division. The BKFC card was broadcast on Fite TV and www.barekuckle.tv.

In the first post-UFC appearance for both combatants, Knight, 20-7 with three knockouts, D’lberville, Mississippi, buoyed by the hometown crowd, landing a shocking power shot with speed, timing, and power as the bout began to put Lobov down. The crowd, smelling the possibility of a shocking upset, went wild. However, Lobov outworked a bloody Knight, bleeding profusely from the side of the right eye. Master cutman Stitch Duran kept Knight in the fight. Knight kept switching stances from orthodox to southpaw, confusing Lobov.

Despite going down in rounds one, two and three, Knight kept coming. By rounds four and five, Lobov began to tire, and Knight came back, pressuring Lobov into furious inside nonstop toe to toe exchanges. Lubov, tired, bloodied, battered and staggered, hung on to win and qualify for BKFC’s ultimate showdown-Lobov versus former World Welterweight champion Paul Malignaggi, in the summer of 2019. Lobov, 30-15-1 with four knockouts, Dublin, Ireland, by way of Russia, has put the BKFC on the map. Malignaggi slapped Lobov at the New York BKFC press conference this week, lighting the fire.

Knight felt he was looked past, and could have earned a majority draw if he had earned one more point. The furious exchanges in the last two rounds brought back memories of yesteryear, in the best Bare Knuckles Championship bout since the days of the late former World Heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan. Real Combat Media neutrally scored the BKFC bout 47-45 for Lobov. Former World Light Heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver, providing commentary at ringside, noted after the bout “Do Paulie Malignaggi really want a part of this?”

Result: Artem Lobov Win 5 Jason Knight, BFC Featherweights
Scoring: 48-47, 48-46, 48-46 Lobov. Lobov down in first. Knight down first, second, third.

BKFC Undercard Results

Chris Leben KO 1 Justin Baesman (0:25)
Leben trapped Baesman on the ropes, and unleashed vicious head shots. Baesman KOed.

Christine Ferea TKO 2 Britain Hart (1:09)
Ferea wins American Women’s BKFC Featherweight title
Cut eyelid leads to shocking ending. Ringside doctor ruled Hart unable to continue.

Chase Sherman Split Draw 5 Chase Shewmaker
Scoring: 50-45 Sherman. 48-47 Shewmaker. 48-48-48 Draw.
In the rarest of BKFC outcomes, Sherman and Shewmaker fought a cautious jab war,
with good defense, and good foot movement throughout. Controversial decision.

Reggie Barnett Win 5 Rusty Crowder
Scoring: 50-44, 50-44, 50-44 Barrett. Tournament Semifinal Lightweight Eliminator

Johnny Bedford KO 4 Abdiel Velasquez (0:15)
Tournament Semifinal Lightweight Eliminator

Harris Stevenson Win Split Decision 5 Khalib Harris
Scoring: 50-47, 49-46 Stevenson. 48-47 Harris.

Isaac Valloe Flagg Win TKO 3 Randy Hederick (1:22)

Sheena Starr KO 2 Ivana Coleman (0:37)

Bobo O’Bannion TKO 4 Troy Beets

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Credit: Phil Lambert/Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship
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Credit: Evan Zentar/Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship
BILOXI, Miss. (April 6, 2019) – Former UFC veteran Artem Lobov defeated former UFC veteran and Mississippi native Jason Knight by unanimous decision (48-47 X 2, 48-46) to win the main event of “BKFC 5: Lobov vs. Knight” in a Fight of The Year candidate on Saturday night at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss. and live on pay-per-view.
Knight started off fast, knocking down Lobov just 10 seconds in to round one. However, Lobov quickly popped up and came back to knock down Knight later in the first frame, again in round two, and for a third time in round three. The fourth and fifth stanzas showcased furious exchanges with both fighters leaving every ounce of themselves in the ring.
“I thought he was conquered many times,” said Lobov. “I dropped him three or four times. He’s a tough, tough kid. He kept coming and coming. That was a great fight.”
“We all know that I didn’t lose that fight,” said Knight. “We all know that I got robbed. It’s alright, I’m still going to party tonight.”
The co-main event featured former UFC veteran Chris Leben quickly overwhelming former Bellator standout Justin Baesman with a devastating left hand, followed by a series of uppercuts that stopped Baesman just :25 in to the light heavyweight contest.
Christine Ferea scored a technical stoppage win over Britain Hart for the Police Gazette American Women’s Featherweight Bare Knuckle Championship. Ferea had Hart in trouble midway through the second round as referee Dan Miragliotta called for time to have Hart’s severely bloodied and bruised left eye checked. The ringside physician stopped the contest moments later at 1:09 in to the second round.

“I’m the first woman to ever have this belt,” said Ferea. “I’m going to rep it strong and I’m super happy right now. The first round I was feeling (Hart) out. I was watching some of her footage and she can do it all. So, I just felt out the first round, touching her with the jab. And then the second round that’s when I went in and let my power go.

“I would love (a fight against Bec Rawlings)!” added Ferea. “I’ve been asking for a fight with her for three fights. I think I deserve it.”

Former BKFC heavyweight title challenger Sam Shewmaker and former UFC veteran Chase Sherman fought to a split draw (50-45 Sherman, 48-47 Shewmaker, 48-48) in a crowd-pleasing heavyweight attraction that featured spirited exchanges all the way until the final bell of the fifth round.
One BKFC lightweight tournament semi-final matchup saw Reggie Barnett defeat Rusty Crowder by unanimous decision (50-44 X 3). An extremely evasive Crowder was deducted one point in the fourth round for throwing Barnett to the canvas as Barnett cruised to the victory by a wide margin.
After his win, Barnett said, “Everybody expected me and Bedford to be fighting in the championship. Johnny comes to fight. I come to fight. So, you’re going to see nothing but fireworks and I personally think it’s a main event-caliber championship fight.”
In the other BKFC lightweight tournament semi-final contest Johnny Bedford stopped Abdiel Velazquez :58 in to round four. Bedford scored two knockdowns in the second round, a third in the third frame and sent Velazquez to the canvas for the fourth and final time in round four, with Velazquez electing to not get back up and continue.
Before Barnett and Crowder fought, Bedford prophesied, “I anticipate I’m going to fight Reggie Barnett in the finals. I thought that from the beginning. I think Reggie knew that from the very beginning. And I think Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship knew that from the very beginning by putting us on opposite ends of the bracket. I think it doesn’t matter who you name the number one and number two seeds, we are the two top dogs in this division.”
With Barnett and Bedford winning their respective BKFC lightweight tournament semi-final bouts they will now face each other in the finals for a chance at BKFC’s first lightweight championship title.
In undercard action, former UFC fighter Isaac Vallie-Flagg scored a technical knockout victory over Randy Hedderick in a 165-pound showdown. Vallie-Flagg recorded two knockdowns in the third round and forced Hedderick to quit 1:22 in to round three due to an injured left hand.
The swing bout saw Gulfport police officer Harris Stephenson defeat Khalib Harris by split decision (50-47 Stephenson, 48-47 Harris, 49-46 Stephenson).
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About Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship
On June 2, 2018, Philadelphia-based Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) made combat sports history when it promoted the first legal, sanctioned and regulated bare knuckle event in the United States since 1889. “BKFC 1: The Beginning” took place in Cheyenne, Wyoming and featured 10 professional bouts, all under the auspices and control of the Wyoming Combative Sports Commission. BKFC uses only established fighters who have previously competed professionally in boxing, MMA, kickboxing and/or Muay Thai. All BKFC bouts are sanctioned and regulated by ABC member athletic commissions. For more information visit www.bareknuckle.tv or follow on Twitter at @BareKnuckleFC, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/bareknucklefc and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bareknucklefc.