Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) returned Saturday night at Florida State Fairgrounds Entertainment Hall in Tampa, Fla. as former UFC star Gabriel Gonzaga knocked out Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in a heavyweight attraction that headlined BKFC 8.
Midway through the second round, Gonzaga landed a right hand that dropped Silva to the canvas. Silva made it to his feet, but he appeared to never fully recover as Gonzaga took advantage of the opportunity, landing a combination of vicious shots that knocked down Silva a second time. Referee Wayne Spinola intervened to stop the action 1:50 in to the second round.
“I worked my combinations,” said Gonzaga. “I know I used a lot of my speed and my jab worked well. When I saw an opportunity, I threw my hands and that was it.
“I loved this victory because it was a lot to do with boxing, and it was even better with no gloves on,” continued Gonzaga.
When asked about his future plans to return to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship Gonzaga concluded, “I’m a really simple guy. If you pay me the right price, then I’m here to do whatever needs to be done.”
The BKFC 8 co-main event featured Florida’s Jim Alers knocking out Julian Lane of Nevada in a 155-pound contest. In the second frame, Alers landed a right uppercut flush on Lane’s chin, dropping Lane. Lane regained himself and opted to continue, but Alers quickly swarmed Lane with a barrage of punches, causing referee Bill Clancy to stop the fight :53 in to round two.
Florida’s Dat Nguyen battled Pennsylvania’s Travis Thompson in a five-round contest that Nguyen controlled from the outset, landing the cleaner punches and using his superior defense to cruise to a unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) win.
Abdiel Velazquez of Florida got off to a very quick start against West Virginia’s Rick Caruso. Velazquez stunned Caruso with a left instantly following the opening bell, sending Caruso to the mat. Velazquez continued landing his left hand and scored a second knockdown towards the end of round one. Velazquez started round two equally aggressive, immediately dropping Caruso. At that point, referee Wayne Spinola had seen enough and stopped the fight :11 in to round two.
Lorenzo Hunt received a technical knockout victory over Reggie Pena in an all-Florida showdown. Pena suffered an early cut over his left eye, as well as a sizeable hematoma on his right eyebrow, leading to a medical stoppage with the ringside physician calling an end to the contest at 2:00 of round three.
Delaney Owen of Florida picked up a technical knockout victory over Michigan’s Sheena Starr. Owen scored a knockdown midway through the second round. Starr made it back to her feet and initially beat the count, but she elected to go back down and the fight was waved off 1:01 in to the second round.
Nevada’s Joey Angelo faced Florida’s Walber Barros in a five-round bout that went the distance with Angelo securing the split-decision (48-47 & 49-46 for Angelo, 48-47 for Barros) victory.
The first pay-per-view bout of the night showcased Florida’s Dave Mundell facing Ronnie Forney of Iowa. Mundell found success early and often, scoring two knockdowns of Forney, the second of which proved too much and resulted in the fight being stopped at the 1:09 mark of the second round.
In off-pay-per-view undercard action, Cuba’s Gustavo Trujillo overwhelmed Robert Morrow of Illinois from the opening bell, flooring Morrow twice and knocking him out :35 in to the opening stanza.
Jared Warren of Florida was knocked down early in the first frame, but he was able to recover and then dropped Virginia’s Brian Maxwell twice en route to a stoppage victory 1:59 in to the first round.
In the opening contest of the night, Zach Juusola of Nevada stopped Oklahoma’s Fred Pierce :33 in to round two.