The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship had their best card to date. So far, nine fights had resulted in 9 finishes. As we headed into the main card fight of Houston Alexander vs. Wes Combs, people were banking on someone ending it with another knockout. Houston Alexander, a former UFC veteran, was the betting favorite against another UFC journeyman in Combs.
Houston Alexander had a built reputation for being a powerful puncher in his time as an MMA fighter. Alexander (17-16-1, 1NC MMA) had not fought since 2017, a 4-year hiatus until he took part in BKFC 21. However, the former UFC fighter captured his rhythm early and flatlined Wes Combs in 34 seconds of the first round.
One particular, bittersweet moment happened when Alexander followed up the knockout with a powerful hammer-fist strike, leaving Combs counting the stars and the canaries. Of course, there are no ground strikes allowed in bare-knuckle boxing. But, on the other hand, it’s a move that would make sense in MMA, where you don’t stop fighting until the official intervenes.
The official BKFC ruling regarding striking a downed fighter goes like this:
“You are NOT permitted to hit a downed fighter. If you do you will be disqualified, and your purse will be withheld. While a fighter is downed, the other fighter will be instructed to report to a neutral space.”“THE DEFINITIVE BARE KNUCKLE RULESET” VIA MMAMICKS.COM
Now, Alexander was visibly upset after the realization of what transpired. But, unfortunately, fans online were split down the middle. Half of them defended Alexander based on the pure adrenaline rush. Others were saying it was an unnecessary and blatant strike, resulting in the rules coming into effect.
Houston Alexander was visibly upset and couldn’t savor in the victory as a result. However, Combs seemed to be taking what transpired like a good sport. The big moment fans were concerned about was the unfortunate incident being overlooked by BKFC officials and not letting the ruleset take effect and get in motion.
When The Scrap approached Houston Alexander for a statement regarding the events that transpired, he replied:
“Although I am humbly honored to have participated in the BKFC 21, I would like to take the time to address the results of my match. First and foremost, in all my years of competing, I have always respected and appreciated the rules and my opponents. With that being said, my actions during the fight were instinctual and I take full responsibility. I remain neutral and respectful of the final decision, and I am thankful for any future opportunities. Thank you to my opponent Wes Combs and his coach, for understanding that the extracurricular activity wasn’t malicious or intentional in any way.”VIA HOUSTON ALEXANDER
BKFC is a growing sport, and we all know that there are road bumps on a promotion’s journey to reach the top. But does blatant disregard of the rules help in any way of growing the sport, or is it something that pushes the sport even further away from legitimacy?