Sam Shewmaker was originally supposed to fight Mark Godbeer in the BKFC 15 main event, but a late substitution saw Bobo O’Bannon step in, and the two heavyweights tore into one another tonight in Biloxi, Miss.
Shewmaker (4-1-1, 2 KO) dropped O’Bannon (2-1, 2 KO) three times in a wild opening round, ending the fight at the end of the first on the third drop, when O’Bannon just finally ran out of the gas that somehow kept him up and firing back heavy shots while under assault from the 36-year-old Shewmaker.
O’Bannon cracked Shewmaker with some good ones here, but he was in kill-or-be-killed mode after the first knockdown. He knew he was on bad legs, knew he was hurt, and knew Shewmaker was going to try to finish. So O’Bannon, 35, threw back everything he could, and some of the shots that didn’t put O’Bannon down were big ones, too. He showed an incredible heart and chin staying up as much as he did, because Shewmaker was throwing bombs.
“I felt great, I’m back, baby, I’m back!” Shewmaker said after the win. “I’m hungry, I’m ready for that strap! Joey Beltran, where are ya, bud? Get up here!”
Of the performance against O’Bannon, Shewmaker said, “Just like breakin’ them rocks back home, you just gotta keep beatin’ that sumbitch ‘til he breaks!”
BKFC heavyweight champ Beltran, who was on commentary, did come into the ring, and they two exchanged what you might call respectful shit-talking.
“Great job, and I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: everyone says they want this fuckin’ problem ‘til they get it,” Beltran said to Shewmaker, extending his hand. Shewmaker accepted the handshake, said he would “whoop Beltran’s ass” in the spring, and that looks like our next fight.
Tyler Goodjohn UD-5 Charles Bennett
In the co-feature at a 150-pound limit, Tyler Goodjohn came over from the United Kingdom to get a win over super veteran Charles Bennett, aka “Felony” and “Krazy Horse,” an MMA fighter many of you probably remember from his prime, which was quite a while ago, in all honesty.
Goodjohn, now a listed 3-0 (1 KO) in bare knuckle after going 13-5 in pro boxing, maybe didn’t have exactly the performance he wanted, but he deserved the wins despite the boos from some of the pro-Bennett audience in Mississippi. It’s another loss for Bennett, who was dropped once on a right hand and didn’t engage a whole lot, but did open up some legitimate cuts on Goodjohn that came in part from Goodjohn being a bit too cocky for his own good at points.
“I boxed sloppy, to be fair, after 16 months out of the ring,” Goodjohn said after the fight. “He didn’t really want to engage, but I was a bit sloppy, and a win’s a win. You can boo me all you want, I’ve come here and won. It wasn’t a great performance from me, but it’s gonna get better.”
Asked if the cuts bother him, Goodjohn shrugged and siad, “I cut all the time. I’ve cut as a professional boxer every fight, bare knuckle every fight, I don’t give a fuck. The blood just spurs me on even more.”
Goodjohn had a specific name in mind for his next fight, and it could be a good one.
“Me and Jason Knight is the fight. I like Jason Knight, he’s a cool guy, tough as fuck like me. Let’s do it!”
- Dakota Cochrane TKO-5 Tyler Vogel: 185 pound fight. Vogel (0-2) has been in really competitive fights at back-to-back BKFCs; I thought he got the shaft against Jake Bostwick in November, but I think he probably should have been down here against Cochrane (3-0, 2 KO) when this was stopped in the fifth on a nasty eye lid cut on Vogel. In a way, Vogel (3-4 in boxing) is kind of too decent a boxer to be stereotypically BKFC entertaining, but he doesn’t run or clinch or anything. He just knows his way around a ring. He’s also tough and not super heavy handed, so he doesn’t go down easy and doesn’t drop guys real easy. He’s also fought two tough dudes in Cochrane and Bostwick.
- Josh Burns KO-2 Chris Sarro: Heavyweights. Sarro (2-1, 2 KO) came in with a couple wins in bare knuckle, but the 42-year-old Burns (5-4, 5 KO) pretty much just trucked him in the second round. Burns is an American, but he’s fought a lot bare knuckle in the UK, this was actually his first BK fight in the States, and he made it look good. Big, heavy tank of a man, about 265 pounds on a 6’0” frame, generates a lot of power when he lands. He was in Sarro’s face talking smack when he dropped him, and referee Dan Miragliotta just threw Burns away from the downed opponent; that’s a big, big man to throw like that. I wouldn’t mess with anyone who was in the ring here, absolutely including the referee.
- Jenny Savage TKO-2 Sheena Starr: 125 pound fight. This was all action. The two are friends, but there’s only so many people to fight. Starr (1-3, 1 KO) actually loaned Savage (1-0, 1 KO) a pair of shoes for the fight, because Savage apparently didn’t have proper footwear. Savage also fought in a t-shirt like this was an ECW match. But Jenny’s a real fighter, has been around the fight game, and she came to scrap here. It was a competitive first round, both throwing, but Starr left the round with a pretty jacked up eye, which ended the first at 43 seconds of the second round on the doctor’s advice. She had two cuts, a mouse, some knots on the head — she was a mess. Good scrap while it lasted.
- Brad Kelly TKO-1 Kaine Tomlinson Sr: This was fought at, I dunno, 170, they weighed 164 and 167. Tomlinson (0-2) is 46 years old, but he was getting the better of the 38-year-old Kelly (1-0, 1 KO) in the clinch, sort of a hockey fight dynamic to the start of this one. Then Kelly got him with a short shot in close, Tomlinson went down, got up, Kelly got him with a monster right, Tomlinson went down, got up, then Kelly dropped him again and referee Dan Miragliotta stopped it at the end of the first round.
- Harris Stephenson KO-1 Drew Lipton: 185 pounds. Huge height difference here, with Stephenson listed at 6’2” and Lipton at 5’6”, but Stephenson has the same reach as Lipton with some short arms on him. Anyway, Stephenson (3-2, 2 KO) dropped Lipton (0-3) early and cut him pretty bad in one fell swoop. Lipton, to his credit, got up and just went for it, knowing he was in a bad spot. He tried to get back and put Stephenson away, instead got dropped a second time and that was it at 1:19.
- Quentin Henry KO-1 Jason Fann: 205 pounds. Ended in 25 seconds when Henry (2-0, 2 KO) dropped Fann (0-1) and Fann was down and done. Henry, 31, might be someone BKFC can really work with; he’s got a good look, shows a lot of personality, can clearly bang. He’s a bit of a character, as a lot of these fights are, since you have to be a little crazy to get in there in the first place, and having character will help in a fledgling sport looking to find a consistent niche.
- Lewis Rumsey TKO-1 Adrian Miles: Big boy heavyweights, both about 250. Both used to fight lighter in MMA, Rumsey at 205 and Miles at 185. Rumsey landed a left hand and Miles went down as if he’d been poked in the eye, but he told referee Bill Clancy it was just a clean shot, and he got a count. Miles did get up, but Clancy stopped it, as Miles didn’t seem interested in continuing. 20 seconds, all told.
- Adam Pellerano UD-5 Rusty Crowder: Fought at 150 pounds. Pellerano (2-1, 1 KO) boxed smart, relatively, and it resulted in a mostly tentative fight by BKFC standards. If this were a normal ESPN+ prelim or whatever we wouldn’t bat an eye at the lack of action. But it wasn’t. Crowder (2-2, 1 KO) got dropped early in the third when he tried to turn up the heat, and then was a little tentative again the rest of the way. It was smart work by Pellerano and effective. Not everything is gonna be Fight of the Year in any sport.