BKFC 17: Knuckles Clash on April 30th

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BKFC 17
TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 05: Dillon Cleckler reacts after knocking out Chris Jensen during the BKFC KnuckleMania event at RP Funding Center on February 5, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images)

Bare Knuckle Fighting returns with BKFC 17 on Friday, April 30th in Birmingham, Alabama. The last event was March 19, so fans will be thrilled to watch the fists fly. Ten fights in total with high finish rates will have fans watching closely. With a heavyweight bout for the main event who knows what we’ll see. Let’s analyze the card with who to watch and what can happen this Friday.

Prelim Fights

Ryan “The Juggernaut” Jones who beat Eric Thompson at BKFC 16 will continue his career against Robert Washington. After losing his debut to Kenmon Evans, Robert needs this win and at least get past the first round. If Ryan Jones makes quick work at BKFC 17 he can start to fight top guys in the middleweight division. Washington has one MMA win via guillotine choke in the third round back in 2014. Hopefully, he can have a better performance and make the fans remember his presence.

Another early competitor is Anthony Retic, who is transitioning to bare-knuckle fighting after a 6-9 MMA record. His debut was at Toe The Line 1, and Retic would get the decision win over Chris Johnson. His opponent, Raymond Locker, has no combat sports history that can be found online. Most of the time fighters with no history do not perform very well. If Retic can get a quick finish maybe he can really focus on a bare-knuckle future.

Returning to BKFC is “Rowdy” Rusty Crowder and Tom “Your Local Ninja” Shoaff against two newbies. Crowder has a 2-2 record with one KO so, he’s not a rookie by any means. He also has a 6-9 MMA record that shows “Rowdy” is here to entertain at BKFC 17. However, “Your Local Ninja” has an impressive MMA record of 11-4 with five fights ending with punches. Surely both guys will put on a great show for the locals.

Main Card

BKFC 17 also has a 175lbs division quarter-final tournament match between Marcel “Shift” Stamps versus Mike “The Marine” Richman. Now Stamps has some MMA experience along with two bare-knuckle bouts. His last fight was for the title against Champion Joey Beltran. However, Stamps was finished in the fourth round. Richman on the other hand had an MMA record of 18-5 until he lost three straight fights back in 2017. Moreover, “The Marine” has five finishes with his hands, so this match will be very tense when they knuckle up.

Originally BKFC 17 was headlined by Dillon “Bad Boy” Cleckler against Josh “The Hammer” Burns. However, Clecker pulled a hammy at his last workout, so Frank “Big” Tate will be his replacement to save the main event. Off-topic, but Tate has a loss to Clecker that occurred at BKFC 11. The fight did not last a minute, with Cleckler defeating Tate 59 seconds into the bout via KO/TKO.

Anyways, this is still an opportunity that can really help “Big” Tate make a name for himself. His opponent Burns is coming off of a knockout win over Chris Sarro. With this change on short notice, it must surely make the match more competitive.

Tate seems to fight more defensively with counter punches. His last fight ended in a draw, which may spark a fire with this opportunity at BKFC 17. As far as his opponent goes, “The Hammer” is more than a nickname, it tells us that he loves to fight. It only took Burns 19 seconds to get his first win, so he will be looking to stop Tate from getting comfortable.

Predictions & Advice

Streaming BKFC 17 from the app via a monthly subscription is cheap. With all the money I waste on combat sports, it is the cheapest. After these last-minute changes who knows if the opponent of Tate’s will find a replacement. Also, if Burns wins, he for sure will talk about title shots. As for the tournament fight, “The Marine” will surprise a lot of people that are underestimating his power.

Bare-knuckle fighting is the fastest growing discipline of combat sports, and the popularity shows. The number of finishes that occur is almost like the beginning of the UFC or Pride days. Everyone is there to be noticed and title shots are more possible in the future. Tune into BKFC 17 on Friday night, no matter the time zone, and I promise you won’t fall asleep!


Follow me on Twitter @rhinocad1166 for news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all of your sporting needs. And don’t forget @MMA_OTH for all things MMA. Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!

Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images

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