BKFC Strikes Again In Tampa As Ostovich Upsets VanZant

By on July 25, 2021
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Bare Knuckle Boxing made its triumphant return to the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa with a card that included a lot of variety with some fresh faces and some veteran fights mixed in. Friday night was also the first time that some well know You-Tubers and Tik Tok mavens would enter the ring.  

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Headlining the event was the second fight for Paige VanZant after signing a multi-fight deal since coming over from UFC. Her opponent was her rival from the MMA cage in Rachel Ostovich who made her debut at BKFC 19. Co-headlining the card was a heavy weight smash fest with Chicago’s own AJ Adams v Mick Terrill with the winner looking to get a shot at the title. 

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Getting the night kicked off were the preliminary fights on the card but boy these were not to be missed. 

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First off was Jordan Nash taking on Brandon Allen in an absolute slugfest from start to finish during their 5-round battle.  

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During the first round, both fighters exchanged punches from all angles with the connect rate being at a high percentage for both fighters. After the pace slowed a bit in the second, Jordan Nash continued to press the action with blood streaming down his face.

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Once again during the fourth the action slowed a bit but turned into a flurry of fists in the fifth with both throwing haymakers trying to end the fight. Neither connected the knockout blow as the first fight went to the cards with Jordan Nash winning a close but unanimous decision with all three judges ruling the fight 48-47. 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

It was an amazing fight to start off the night and I give big props to not only the fighters but also the booker who put these two fighters against each other. Winner Nash by unanimous decision 48-47,48-47 & 48-47 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The next fight pitted two heavyweights against each other in 242 pound Kyle McElroy v 262 pound Chris Jensen.  This fight did not last long as expected as Jensen crushed McElroy with a three-punch combination up against the ropes that put McElroy on the canvas at 1:27 of the 2-minute first round. Jensen has considerable power and I am expecting to see him again very soon at a future BKFC event. Winner Chris Jensen by KO at 1:27 of Round 1 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Next up was Louisville’s Damon Bell vs Saginaw’s Jay “Action” Jackson. This fight looked like it was going to go in a different direction as Bell dominated the first round against Jackson. Jackson took a standing 7 count and then recovered.

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The action turned a bit but was still close to even in the second round, but Jackson landed some big right hands that hurt Bell as his face flowed with blood. Jackson then went to work again in the third as Bell was rocked by a huge and perfect right hand by Jackson. Bell’s eyes rolled back when he hit the canvas. Big win for Jackson with the crowd jumping out of their seats with the knockout. Winner Jackson at 1:58 of round 3  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The action and the drama of these first three fights are the reason you get to the arena early and you don’t miss a minute of bare-knuckle fights. 
 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The pay per view event on FITETV got underway with Zion Tomlinson taking on Tampa’s own Jarrod Warren who walked out to “Stranglehold by Ted Nugent. This fight was over quick as the ref warned Tomlinson for clinching at around the 50 second mark of the first round and as the fight continued Warren completely crushed Tomlinson with a thunderous left hand. Tomlinson was on the mat for a considerable amount of time with the paramedics bringing in the stretcher. Thankfully, Tomlinson was able to walk out of the ring on his own accord but was very wobbly as he walked back to the dressing rooms. I would suggest a different profession for this young man.  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Fighting out of Brooklyn, Tony “Loco” Soto matched up against Lake City Florida’s Joshua “The Wayward Son” Sikes. This one was slow going for many of the rounds and I personally thought like others in the crowd that Soto was behind in the fight especially when the calls for Soto to get moving and that he needed a KO for the win. A key point in the fight was when Soto hit Sikes in the groin and Sikes took a few minutes to recover which also helped Soto catch his breath and hit Sikes with a barrage of punches late in the deciding fifth round. Winner Soto 50-45, 49-46 & 48-47. Not sure how someone saw that fight at 50-45 for Soto. 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

In the 185lb division Terry Janoski battled Richard Carsten from Anaheim and this one was not much of a fight as Janoski bludgeoned Carsten. Carsten threw wild punches from the start and Janoski hit him with a brutal 1-2 combination that dropped Carsten. Carsten shook it off and then was creamed by the best uppercut of the night and fell to the canvas once again.

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Carsten is a tough SOB as he got up once again. Two more knockdowns by Janoski and the fight was over as the ref stepped in and stopped the fight. One thing is for sure is that it was going to be a long and painful flight back home to Anaheim for Carsten. Winner Janoski by TKO at 1:55 in the first round.  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The next section of fights on BKFC 19’s card was the “Platform Showdowns” featuring fights containing content providers and influencers from Tik Tok & Youtube etc. The three fights held some entertainment value but were not like the rest of the evenings card especially in one fashion as all 6 fighters wore boxing gloves instead of wrapped hands with exposed knuckles.  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

First fight was Evil Hero v Dakota Olave. This wasn’t much of a fight as Evil Hero chased Olave around the ring and bashed him throughout the three rounds. Dakota can take one thing away as he showed a lot of heart by going the whole three rounds. Winner Evil Hero by unanimous decision. 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Dk Money v Nick Ireland. Pretty consistent punches being thrown by both with few connecting but it was still entertaining. The second round was big for Ireland as DK Money struggled to stay on his feet after eating some big shots. He even spit out his mouthpiece for a quick break which got the crowd amused. Both fighters were exhausted, but Ireland was better and landed more punches and he got the win by decision. 
 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The last of these fights was Blue Face v Kane Trujillo. Blue Face is a hip-hop artist from L.A., and he had his way with Trujillo the whole fight. The size difference was huge with Face being almost a foot taller and having considerable length and reach on Trujillo. Trujillo was a warrior though and took a beating but stayed on his feet until the final bell. Winner Blue Face by unanimous decision.  There was a huge melee afterward as a fan jumped in the ring to get at Blue Face and was dragged down the catwalk by security etc. Thís was highly amusing.  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Overall, the three fights were watchable but were considered jokes by the other fighters at the tables near me.  

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Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Back to bare knuckle boxing as the next fight consisted of Abdiel Velasquez v Geanne Herrera with Herrera coming out to “Push it to the Limit” from Scarface. Well that he did as Herrera hit Velasquez with a flash knockdown after a fury of punches from both fighters. After the end of the first round, the doctor checked on Velasquez as his face was beaten and bloodied. As Herrera continued to pound Velasquez, the ref stopped the fight at 14 seconds into round two. Winner-Herrera by TKO at :14 of round 2   

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The next fight was the first of 3 featuring the ladies with Taylor Starling fighting Cassie Robb. This fight wasn’t even close, and I don’t think Cassie Robb hit Starling with one punch as Starling must have thrown 150 punches in the 28 seconds it took to stop the fight. Amazing performance by Starling. Can’t wait to see her fight again. Winner-Starling first round TKO 

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Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff


Britain Hart took the ring coming off her stunning upset of Paige VanZant in a matchup vs Jenny Savage. This 5 round fight lasted only three as Hart dominated Savage with a punch connect total of 67-8. Hart destroyed Savage’s ribs with amazing precision.

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Her technical fighting ability was on full display as she fought inside-out and when she got Savage to drop the gloves to protect her body, Hart shifted her focus on Savage’s head and the only thing left was Hart’s hand being raised and the crying. What an effort and performance by Hart and her team. Winner Britain Hart at 1:55 of the 3rd.  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The big men hit the ring with only two fights left and everyone knew this one wasn’t going to last the scheduled five as UK Bare Knuckle Champ Mick Terrill fought former BKFC Champion AJ Adams. In the first round, both fighters fought in the middle and exchanged punches with me giving a slight nod to Terrill. In the second, it looked like Terrill knocked down Adams, but the ref waived it off. Both fighters were connecting and doing damage and once again, it looked like Terrill won the round.

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But like any heavyweight fight in the BKFC, things can change quickly, and they did as Adams caught Terrill right behind the temple and he went down on both knees near the ropes. The ref slowly counted to 10 and the fight was over shocking the crowd. Huge win for Adams as he looks once again to wear the heavyweight bely in the BKFC. Winner Adams by Knockout.  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The last fight of the evening was a five-round doozy between rivals Paige VanZant and Honolulu’ s Rachel Ostovich. From ringside as both fighters entered the ring, Ostovich looked extremely confident and VanZadt a bit nervous but in a zone.  

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The first round was tough to call as both fighters threw punches but there was a lot of in fighting and grappling with a ton of punches being thrown. It was obvious they both do not like each other after meeting at UFC Fight Night 143 were VanZant beat Ostovich with a second-round arm bar submission. The second round was more of the same with both exchanging shots and doing some damage but nothing significant. I had the fight even after 2 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

The third round was where the fight became one sided as Ostovich started connecting with her right hand and moving away and creating some distance. VanZadt was connecting but not at the same rate as Ostovich. Ostovich’s power was also on display and had an effect of VanZant. This continued throughout round 4 & 5 with VanZant applying some pressure but dwindling in the fifth with the crowd even asking if she and her corner knew she was obviously behind in the fight like we did. Ostovich’s hand was raised by the ref after her unanimous decision and was overwhelmed in the ring as VanZant sprinted towards the locker room dejected. Winner Ostovich by decision 48-47,48-47,49-46 

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

During the event, fan favorite and BKFC powerhouse, Lorenzo Hunt raffled off one of his custom robes for the End Veteran Suicide Charity. Hunt has these robes made with the image of him knocking out his most recent opponent. He’s doing a great thing for a special and much needed cause.

Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff
Photo-Jordan Raiff

Overall, BKFC 19 was a considerable success from a live sport viewing event as the stands were packed and the fights were strong and the most importantly, entertaining. If you are a combat sports fan. BKFC is not to be missed and Its future looks outstanding. 

For more info on BKFC, go to https://www.bareknuckle.tv/ 

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