“Queen of Bare Knuckle” Bec Rawlings defeated Britain Hart by split decision (50-45, 49-45, 48-47) as Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) returned on Saturday with “BKFC 2: A New Era” from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi and live on pay-per-view.
“I don’t think it was a split decision,” said Rawlings. “When I signed on to fight for BKFC they sent us the rules and they said you can’t run from your opponent. You have to engage. You have to toe the line. That’s where they want the action to happen and you’ll lose points if you don’t obey those rules. So, I definitely was the one pushing the pace tonight. I was in the center the whole time and I landed the harder shots.”
After her win over Alma Garcia at BKFC 1, Rawlings was rewarded the National Police Gazette women’s bare knuckle boxing belt. With the win on Saturday, Rawlings retained her title.
“Capturing my bare knuckle title and now defending it has been such an honor,” added Rawlings. “When I first got into bare knuckle I had no idea the history and everything. I just thought it was a new and fun way to test myself. Then I got this belt after my win at the first show and I found out what a huge deal this is.”
Rawlings concluded, “I’m healthy thankfully. My hands were actually more swollen after my first bare knuckle fight. I’ll probably be good to go again in December, but I’m the champion and I’m here to fight whoever they put in front of me.”
The first of two heavyweight tournament semi-final bouts saw thunderous exchanges as Arnold Adams stopped Joey Beltran :09 into the fifth frame. An extremely calm and collected Adams controlled much of the action.
“I knew I would get the win. I wasn’t really worried about Beltran, he’s had a lot of battles,” said Adams. “I just don’t think he has this in him anymore, but he has heart and he showed it tonight that he wants to compete. I’m hungry though, he’s been to the top and competed on some big shows. I haven’t quite gotten there yet, but this is my time and I’m going to seize the moment.”
In the opening round, Adams cut Beltran over his left eye. As the end of the fourth round neared, Adams landed another devastating blow that further opened the cut, forcing the ringside doctor to stop the fight.
“I cut him in the first round, but that last jab that cut him I saw the blood pouring out around his eye,” added Adams. “Like a shark, I locked in on him. I was licking my lips, my eyes got big and I did what I needed to get the win.”
In the second heavyweight tournament semi-final, Sam Shewmaker defeated Maurice Jackson by split decision (49-45, 48-45, 48-46).
“I was trying to get inside and go to work, but he just wanted to keep wrapping me up,” said Shewmaker. “His style really prevented me from using my game plan. Every time I went inside he’d clinch. It was very frustrating. And it’s hard to work from a distance with a guy that’s so tall.”
Jackson did manage to land some clean shots, catching Shewmaker with a left hook that dropped him in the second round.
“He got me with some good shots, one kind of behind my head that knocked me down, but I just popped back up and kept fighting,” added Shewmaker. “The knockdown didn’t really bother me, just knocked me a little off balance. I felt fine shortly after.”
The wins by Adams and Shewmaker set up the finals of the heavyweight tournament with the pair expected to face each other at BKFC 3.
“It’s time to turn it up,” said Adams. “Sam Shewmaker has power in both hands, but I’m ready for anyone.”
“I expect fireworks when I face Adams,” said Shewmaker. “He has a good jab, but I have a good jab too and I like to bang. So, it should make for a great matchup in the finals.”