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BKFC 26 results: Luis Palomino defeats Elvin Brito in champ vs. champ battle

Francesco Ricchi, Britain Hart victorious, while Jimmie Rivera and Howard Davis battle to a draw.
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – In front of another packed house at Hard Rock Live on Friday night, BKFC lightweight world champion Luis "El Baboon" Palomino (7-0) cemented his name amongst the greats in combat sports with an impressive unanimous decision over BKFC welterweight world champion Elvin "El Bandido" Brito (5-3) in their highly anticipated "Champ vs. Champ" clash. 

With the victory in their rematch from February 2020, Palomino is BKFC's first two-division world champion.

"God brought me back after I had COVID, and now I've proved that I'm the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in BKFC," Palomino said. "Brito has gotten better since the first time we fought, and I had to bring the pressure up in the first two rounds.

"I also want to thank David Feldman from BKFC who brought me out of a deep depression and gave me the opportunities to make this happen."

Palomino was able to conquer Brito's awkward and sometimes goading style with precise punches to the head and body over the first two rounds. The next three rounds produced excellent two-way action from both fighters with the second half of the fourth stanza, displaying some of the most violent action of the evening. The relenting aggressiveness from both fighters continued into the final stanza.

Scores at the end of the fight were 48-47, 48-47 and 49-46 for the jubilant Palomino.

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Fighting for the BKFC interim middleweight title, No. 3-ranked Francesco Ricchi (5-0) wasted no time, dropping Uly "The Monster" Diaz (3-2) twice in the first round behind a stiff jab and right crosses opening a deep cut over Diaz's left eye. With the cut bleeding badly, the fight was stopped by the ringside physician at the 1:16 mark of the opening stanza. 

Following the fight Mike Richman, No. 2-ranked middleweight contender, entered the ring to congratulate Ricchi as their championship showdown now looms. Diaz was the No. 1-ranked contender entering the fight.

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In the women's flyweight division, No. 1-ranked Britain "Hart" Beltran improved to 5-3 and gained revenge against "Rowdy" Bec Rawlings (3-1) with a five-round unanimous decision by scores of 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47.

Throughout the fight, Hart was able to use her strong footwork to stick and move against the aggressive Rawlings. Opening a cut in the third round in Rawlings' lower lip, Hart continued her successful gameplan with strong body shots, an accurate range-finding jab and a tight defense. In the final round Rawlings started strong, landing numerous power shots against Hart's guard. However, Hart turned the tables nicely as she continued her hit-and-move tactics with success as the round ended. A frustrated Rawlings yelled at Hart for a few moments after the final bell and after the decision was read, voicing her displeasure at the victor with the Australian refusing the offer of a handshake.

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In a highly entertaining featherweight scrap, MMA superstar and BKFC debuting Jimmie "El Terror" Rivera battled No. 1-ranked Howard Davis (2-0-1). After a measured first round, Rivera would control the action in the second using his strength advantage, excellent feints along with strong three punches combinations.

Davis turned the tide his way in the third round using his height and reach advantage to land an array of punches and drop Rivera with a massive right hand as the round drew to a close. Rivera, landing an extraordinary 77 percent of his punches throughout the fight, would seemingly take control in the fourth round utilizing huge power shots with each hand. The final round saw outstanding two-way action as both fighters emptied their tanks fighting to the final bell. The fight was declared a majority draw with scores of 49-45 for Davis and 47-47 twice.

In the welterweight division, Bryan Duran (2-0) stayed undefeated with an impressive first-round knockout over the Braedon Tovey (1-1). Duran drilled Tovey to the canvas with a huge right hand 15 seconds into the fight and dropped him again with ferocious body shots as a final left hook did the most severe damage. Time of the stoppage was 1:15 of the first round.

Light heavyweights made their BKFC debut as Blake Davis challenged Cody Beierle. The 6-foot-5 Davis sent Beierle to the canvas shortly after the first bell with a huge right uppercut. Davis continued to use his reach advantage and skills as an undefeated professional boxer (9-0) to hurt the game Beierle, who was dropped again from a barrage of punches. With Beierle bleeding badly, the ringside physician stopped the fight at the 1:12 mark of the opening round.

Welterweight newcomers squared off as Gorjan Slaveski (2-0) scored his second consecutive first-round knockout with a devastating performance against Juston Stills (1-1). Slaveski dropped Stills with a huge left upper cut and followed up with powerful left hands that landed cleanly as the fight was stopped at the 1:06 mark.

Flyweight Cary Caprio made his successful debut in BKFC with a third-round knockout of previously undefeated Tyler Randall (2-1). Recovering from a flash knockdown in the first round, Caprio ended the first stanza with huge right hands which staggered Randall. Caprio would score big in the second round and drop Randall three times in the third round each from battering right hands with the stoppage coming at the 1:45 mark.

In an exciting heavyweight prelim battle, Steve Townsel (2-2) overcame two knockdowns, one each in the second and third rounds to finish Idrees Wasi (1-1) with an array of power shots ending the fight at 1:14 of the fourth round.

In the opening fight of the evening, featherweight BKFC debuting Freddie Masabo stopped Will Shutt (2-1) at 1:21 of round two. Shutt was unable to continue after being dropped three times by the powerful Masabo.