Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, the world’s fastest growing combat sports promotion, broke new ground on Friday, Nov. 17 with its debut in Bulgaria with the action-packed BKFC 54 at the sold-out Arena Sofia in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Twelve different nationalities were represented in the Squared Circle and a number of exciting new prospects emerged with impressive victories.
In the BKFC 54 Main Event, Bulgarian MMA legend Rosen Dimitrov turned heads in his highly anticipated bare knuckle fighting debut with a second-round knockout victory over fellow Bulgarian Todor Zhelyazkov.
Dimitrov dropped Zhelyazkov with a left hook – the first knockdown of the fight – which left Zhelyazkov unable to continue. Time of the stoppage was 1:40 of the second round.
In the BKFC 54 Co-Main Event, Bulgaria’s Georgi Valentinov overcame a fifth-round point deduction for excessive grappling to defeat Bojan Kosednar of Slovenia in their middleweight matchup. Valentinov knocked down his opponent once, in the first round, which paved the way for the unanimous decision victory. The judges’ scores weren’t read.
In the BKFC 54 Feature Fight, Bulgarian Vladislav Kanchev needed just 54 seconds to defeat Kazakhstan’s Ilyas Sadykov via KO in their lightning-fast middleweight showdown.
In one of the strangest fights in BKFC history, Bulgaria’s Kaloyan Kolev was declared the winner of his heavyweight bout with Lebanon’s Amer Abdulnabi after Abdulnabi was forced to retire due to equipment malfunction. Abdulnabi’s faulty right shoe was the culprit, which led to his loss just 57 seconds into the first round.
Bulgaria’s Marian Dimitrov scored one knockdown in his unanimous decision victory over Poland’s Jedrzej Durski in the middleweight division. The judges’ scores weren’t read.
Mahmoud Ahmed and Forlin Lupu combined to register seven knockdowns in their action-packed, five-round bantamweight matchup. The Egyptian Ahmed accounted for five of those knockdowns – which earned him the unanimous decision victory – while the Bulgarian Lupu scored two knockdowns in the losing effort. The judges’ scores weren’t read.
Bulgaria’s Veselin Ivanov defeated Italy’s Marco Guistarini via third-round KO in their featherweight matchup. Time of the stoppage, which followed the first knockdown of the fight, was 1:08.
Bulgarian Mladen Iliev knocked down Yunus Batan of Turkey three times over three rounds en route to a TKO victory in their middleweight showdown. The bout was stopped 40 seconds into Round 3.
To kick off the highly anticipated BKFC 54 Main Card, France’s Steve Pasche was declared the winner via doctor stoppage TKO in his heavyweight bout with Turkey’s Mehmet Ozer when Ozer tore his bicep and couldn’t continue in the first round. Time of the stoppage was 1:30.
In a battle of evenly matched Bulgarian lightweights, Angel Petkov defeated Nikola Arsov via split decision in the final, back-and-forth bout of the BKFC 54 Preliminary Card. The judges’ scores weren’t read.
Brazilian Felipe Maia picked himself up off the canvas once and dropped Bulgaria’s Martin Stoichkov three times in their lightweight bout, paving the way for a third-round KO in their Preliminary Card matchup. Time of the stoppage was 1:55.
Slovakia’s Tomas Vojtela kicked off the BKFC 54 Preliminary Card with a third-round TKO victory over Bulgaria’s Zdravko Dimitrov in featherweight action. The fight was stopped by the ringside doctor due to an eye injury 30 seconds into Round 3.
BKFC 54 Main Card Results
Rosen Dimitrov def. Todor Zhelyazkov via KO in Round 2 (1:40)
Georgi Valentinov def. Bojan Kosednar via Unanimous Decision (scores not read)
Vladislav Kanchev def. Ilyas Sadykov via KO in Round 1 (0:54)
Kaloyan Kolev def. Amer Abdulnabi via TKO (fighter retirement due to equipment malfunction) in Round 1 (0:57)
Marian Dimitrov def. Jedrzej Durski via Unanimous Decision (scores not read)
Mahmoud Ahmed def. Forlin Lupu via Unanimous Decision (scores not read)
Veselin Ivanov def. Marco Guistarini via KO in Round 3 (1:08)
Mladen Iliev def. Yunus Batan via TKO in Round 3 (0:40)
Steve Pasche def. Mehmet Ozer via TKO (doctor stoppage) in Round 1 (1:30)
BKFC 54 Preliminary Card Results
Angel Petkov def. Nikola Arsov via Split Decision (scores not read)
Felipe Maia def. Martin Stoichkov via KO in Round 2 (1:55)
Tomas Vojtela def. Zdravko Dimitrov via TKO (doctor stoppage) in Round 3 (0:30)