Butterbean fights a kickboxing champion – ends brutally
Eric Esch, better known as Butterbean, is a professional boxer who also competed in MMA as well as kickboxing like we see here in this video. Despite his physique, he was actually a pretty legit journeyman boxer who was tough as nails and had a lot of power in his hands.
Butterbean is actually one of the few boxers who actually did pretty well in MMA too. He beat some tough guys like Cabbage Correira and James Thompson and even had a couple fights in Pride FC.
His stint in kickboxing was a different story though like we see in the following video. This fight took place in 2003 against the tough South African Mike Bernardo. Bernardo won the K1 Grand Prix in 2000, taking out the dangerous Mirko Cro Cop in a single round during the finals.
Though Butterbean connects with a couple big right hooks in this fight, he really struggled with the low kicks of Bernardo. He doesn’t really know how to check the low kick properly it seems and all those kicks he lands just zaps Bean’s energy as well as limit his mobility.
They also make him apprehensive to throw his own shots. This fight really demonstrates the effectiveness of low kicks. It also shows the limitations of western boxing as a style compared to kickboxing. With kicks you not only have more weapons and more ways to win, but you can strike your opponent from way farther away while remaining outside of their punching range.
In Butterbean’s defense, he does show a lot of heart and toughness in this fight, as he goes down a few times from the low kicks but continues to fight on despite taking a serious beating that first round. Many fighters would give up on their stool in between rounds so you’ve got to give him credit for going back out there for round 2.
He’s little more than a heavy bag that second round after all those leg kicks though. The big man finally goes down after a brutal head kick lands from Bernardo, awarding the South African the KO victory.