“BKFC 53 Breaking It Down At Olympia!!!”

By on November 7, 2023


Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL

All Photos by Jordan Raiff

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship returned to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL on November 3rd. Marking the return of BKFC Middleweight Champ, and FL fighter David Mundell, this was a packed card and held in a smaller more personal section of the Olympia showcase.

With scale issues causing issues for Julian Lane, and Crystal Pittman’s opponent disrespecting herself, Pittman and BKFC as a whole. As a fighter, coming in more than 20 pounds overweight is inexcusable. You know when you aren’t making it, and she seemed to think BKFC would just roll with it. After weigh-ins were done, and a catchweight agreed to, BKFC officials still scrapped the bout. Hopefully, Pittman will get to compete before the end of 2023.

Opening the prelim card was Ja’Far Fortt versus Aaron Sutterfield. With a five-inch height and reach advantage, Sutterfield wanted to bring his advantages to the forefront. Getting into his second fight, he got a wake-up call for his first fight. Fortt is 2-0 in BKFC and he has been a huge force in the sport since he started.

Landing a tremendous overhand right, Fortt dropped Sutterfield in under 30 seconds. Unable to properly get his footing, and balance the fight was done. There was no control from Sutterfield at all, Fortt simply dominated, even driving him back from the scratch line to start.   Winner: Fortt TKO in the 1st Round

Jeff Janview and Devonte Jeffrey were left to follow such a great TKO. Both making their debut, Jeffrey came out ultimately more aggressive and focused. This energy was brought out by some simply devastating shots. As the two traded shots, Jeffrey seemed to lose his pace for a moment, and Janview locked right in on that. Letting the hands fly, he sent Jeffrey stumbling, but not quite down. 

In the second round, Jeffrey came out stiffer. Janview capitalized on this and started pinpointing his shots. With fury and a fierce attack, his overhand right hammered on Jeffrey’s forehead, and made him drop his head to protect himself. Backed into the ropes, he couldn’t move and was stuck bent over. With no choice but to call it, the ref ended the fight with some mercy for Jeffrey. Winner: Janview by TKO in the 2nd Round

In the third fight of the prelims, Michael Larrimore took on Justin Watson. Already suffering a prospects loss, Watson seemed timid about going 0-2. Meanwhile, the confidence from his first BKFC victory back in July had Larrimore incredibly anxious to get the win.

Hitting Watson so hard he got lifted at one point, he kept that pressure up and showed that his defense simply lacked what it takes to last. Taking a knee after a liver shot, Larrimore had an easy TKO as Watson couldn’t pick up the count at 9 like he thought he could. Winner: Larimore by TKO in the 1st Round

As the broadcast switched over to the pay-per-view portion of the night, the BKFC audience snagged a ton of free swag. These first-round TKOs make it difficult to eat up the full hour on YouTube’s Free-View and to let the late fans have time to grab a drink as they enter. The fans enjoyed this and had some great give-and-take with Brian Soscia.

Beginning the PPV was Dagoberto Aguero making his BKFC debut, and 3-2 Chancy Wilson. These 125lb fighters may be light in weight, but the power behind their punches is incredible. Off the start, both fighters seemed to be feeling each other out, with some excellent footwork.

While neither fighter took a distinct edge, Aguero started dog-walking towards Wilson to taunt him, a move Wilson didn’t have a good answer for before the bell.

The second round was starkly different, with Wilson coming out of his corner and getting in Aguero’s face. Seemingly feeling disrespected following the charge, Aguero kept the distance, and while he ate and traded some shots, Wilson started responding to the fans, and talking something to Aguero that prompted a series of middle finger responses. Now fighting more in the clinch, Aguero found this was still his game.

Round three opened with Wilson trying to take advantage of his experience and using his speed to keep the fight close. While using his speed to try and help with this, Aguero timed his attacks, forcing Wilson to bring it back in. This gave Aguero the opening to land a beautiful shot to check Wilson’s chin.

Crashing to the mat, he didn’t have a chance to get back to his feet. After the 10-count, the docs and medical officials raced to the ring. After 30-45 seconds, Wilson got up, with Aguero checking on him and raising his hand to the roar of the crowd. Winner: Aguero by TKO in the 3rd Round 

Mike Heckert and Scott Lampert made their BKFC debut. With a 5-inch reach advantage and 2 inches of height, Lampert seemed poised to take an easy victory. Given the sheer size and “combat-ready” build of Lampert, he looked like he could take the hits and keep coming.

Both coming out strong, Lampert slipped on the canvas and found himself crashing down multiple times in the opening round. Seemingly disappointed in himself, Lampert kept walking right into knockdowns and being thrown down in the clinch. Just before the end of round Lampert crashed again and took Heckert down with him.

Coming off of the stool, Lampert seemed unable to get it together. Slipping and falling down quickly, Lampert seemingly had no clue where he was. The intelligent defense was gone, and his own corner recognized it.

Waiving it off, the doc climbed the apron and waived the fight off. Ending as Lampert yet again fell down, it’ll be interesting to see how he recovers and if he can come back to BKFC. Heckert’s dominant performance is a testimony to his work, and the caliber of fighters the Tampa area is churning out. Winner: Heckert by Disqualification (intentional headbutt) in the 2nd Round

Nathan Rivera made his BKFC debut against Jaymes Hyder, who wanted to avenge his loss back in August during BKFC 49. Showing uncertainty with his footwork, Rivera seemed ready to get some punches in. As Hyder fought for defense, he suddenly froze. Looking as if he broke something, Hyder became a statue. Seemingly like time stopped for him, Rivera took advantage and landed some vicious strikes to the head and body of Hyder.

Trying to fight back, he just couldn’t seem to get back in the pocket before Rivera sent him to the ground, where he would stay. Winner: Rivera by 1st Round TKO

Diego Romo and Ravon Baxter were up in the seventh bout of the night. These two light heavyweights had a solid and intense faceoff, and that carried over into the opening round. With Romo clearly the aggressor, he was eager to make his mark in his debut in the promotion.

Baxter being 1-1 gave him the patience to stick the pocket and push the fight his way. Frequently tying up on the ropes, Baxter was able to keep Romo off balance through the round. 

Round two had Romo leading the aggression, and Baxter used this to his advantage. Timing the aggression of Romo, Baxter dropped him with a solid left. Recovering quickly, he got onto his feet and kept the attack up. Again, frequently tying up, the fighters each spent a good chunk of time leaning on one another and the ropes. 

The third round saw Baxter using the ropes almost to his advantage. By keeping Romo on the move, and only having to pivot, Baxter found a rhythm that allowed him to build some lazy but slightly effective offense. It also gave him comfort and energy savings that benefit his fight style. Many of the fans were left questioning the fight, with many yelling for more action.

In round four both fighters were simply running on heart and heart alone. Getting into the clinch for most of the round, the ref kept having to break them up.

Romo took a few solid strikes to the jaw and answered back with some devastating body shots. Baxter was able to clinch up but slipped as he was hit. Ruled a knockdown, he recovered and finished the round somewhat strongly.

In the fifth and final round, Romo seemed to get a fire lit under his ass. Realizing he was likely down on the cards, he started motioning for Baxter to bring the fight to him. Clearly exhausted, the two fighters leaned significantly on one another.

While not the level of damage we saw in the original Rocky movie, these two stood and traded blows as best they could as the fight ended. As the first (and only) fight to go the distance all night, the fans were excited for the end.

Going to the cards, many in the audience were chanting “One more round!!” as it echoed over and over across the arena. Given the promotion’s rule that fights should be afforded a bonus round when there was a draw, many in the audience were left questioning what happened as “Mr. Live Worldwide” Jeff Houston announced the fight was a majority draw. Romo took one judge’s card by a point, and the other two judges ruled it a draw. Winner: Majority Draw

Jonathan Miller and Sawyer Depee took the squared circle next in the featured Cruiserweight battle of the card. With Depee having a sizeable height advantage, Miller kept trying to shrink himself and charge in to close the gap.

Bullrushing in, Depee kept sidestepping and punching him while driving him down towards the mat. Trading shots when they lacked up, Miller stopped ducking when he saw an opening.

As the round came towards a close, Miller was stunned, with Depee dropping him right as the bell sounded. Unable to recover Miller stayed down through the announcement of Depee as the winner too. Winner: Depee by KO to end the 1st Round

The 1-0 Turkish superstar Murat Kazgan and “Let Me Bang” Julian Lane were up in the co-main event. Losing 20% of his fight purse following some true bush league scale problems, Lane came in at 170, with Kazgan at 166.

Determined to follow up his bloodthirsty response to Kazgan’s headbutt at the weigh-ins, Lane came out with a plan. The plan? Simply to keep him tied up and work that patented banging clinch attack. While not landing significant damage, the two traded shots. Cheers of “USA!!” and “Istanbul!!” filled the room off and on during the fight.

The second round was a more violent and unpredictable part of the bout. Kazgan landed a powerful blow to Lane that I could hear but not see or photograph, thanks to people standing in front of the media section. Lane got back up quickly, rating the knockdown more like a slip. Busted open (as usual for Lane) the blood dripping down seemed to wake him up. 

Round three saw both Lane and Kazgan in the clinch frequently, with both fighters showing life, but not accurate or significant shots. As the ref kept pulling them apart, like magnets they kept linking back up and leaning on one another. Lane used this time to maneuver his head around as his head rubbed in a bit a worked the cut.

This traditional and classic style of infighting was beautiful, and Lane targeted the hell out of Kazgan’s left eye. Again, heavily blocked from seeing the end, the eruption of the crowd told the tale of their excitement. Surviving the round, the doc looked at his eye and determined he could no longer effectively see to defend himself. Winner: Lane by Doctor Stoppage at the end of the 3rd Round

Taking to the squared circle in the main event, David Mundell defended his 175lb Middleweight championship title against the 3-0 Doug Coltrane. Coming out an inch taller and with four inches more in reach, Coltrane moved more like a giraffe on ice skates than a challenger for a world title.

Mundell tested the waters and figured out a game plan, and seemed to have an answer. Working with a squatted stance, Mundell showed Miller a prime example of how this is supposed to look. Making Coltrane slip on his feet, as well as knocking him down, Coltrane was lucky to survive the round, but still pieced together an answer as the bell rang.

Going into the second round, Mundell stuck to working the body. As Coltrane grabbed at Mundell, he couldn’t seem to grab him. As one person described it, this was like someone trying to “rip out a mighty oak stump, but the damn thing is rooted so deep the crane tipped over instead!!”

A few exchanges of volleys later, Mundell forced Coltrane to double over in pain before dropping him with a devastating right hook. Unable to find his feet, much less the count Coltrane was done for.

Thought to be a minor challenger, after being announced the winner, Mundell expressed his disappointment with paper challengers. Calling out Mike Perry (who was ringside) the two look to be squaring up soon!! Winner: Mundell by KO in the 2nd Round

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