The two best lightweights on the BKFC roster collide Friday – Luis "Baboon" Palomino (8-0) defends his title for a record sixth time against James “Lights Out” Lilley (7-0-1) in the Main Event of BKFC 45, LIVE on The BKFC App. We asked some of BKFC’s most knowledgeable fighters for their predictions heading into Friday’s action in Hollywood, FL.
James “Get Down” Brown: I have to go with Luis Palomino on this one. James Lilley has a wicked right hand, but I feel Palomino's experience wins him this fight. He also keeps his head moving on a swivel so he's not a sitting duck. “Lights Out” Lilley only needs one shot, but I don't think he finds Palomino's chin on this one.
Zach “Shark Attack” Calmus: I respect all fighters and am a fan of both guys. However, the experts say Palomino is pound for pound the best. James Lilley will have a lot on his hands at the Hard Rock!
Doug “ColdRed” Coltrane: Luis Palomino is one of my current favorite fighters on the BKFC roster and I have had the pleasure to share a locker room with James Lilley, a really great dude. Both fighters are incredibly skilled and tough. I think it’s a pretty evenly matched fight, to be honest. I definitely see it going back and forth but I think Palomino will edge Lilley out in the end with a decision.
Devin “Dreamy” Gibson: Honestly, no idea! I really hope Lilley can pull it off, though (laughs).
Josh “Danger” Marer: I like this matchup. Lilley is a great boxer. Excellent combos, great at using his range, conserves energy well, and counters well picking his shots with footwork. Lilley has definitely fought some of the toughest in the division, but Palomino will be his greatest test to date. Personally, as much as I love Lilley’s boxing, he hasn't fought anyone with the athleticism, sheer power, and experience as Palomino. Palomino is purebred power with insane combos, footwork, and unrelenting pace. I think Palomino is likely to win by KO in the third or fourth round. If Lilley wins, it will be a close split decision. I don't think Lilley will finish Palomino. But hey, it's bare knuckle! Anything can happen!
JR “The Lion” Ridge: I’m going with my man Palomino on this one! But don’t count Lilley out. If anybody can, it’s Lilley on his best night, but Palomino has been unstoppable. Palomino with the win.
Esteban “Mohawk” Rodriguez: I believe Luis Palomino is gonna win with explosive forward pressure (uppercut then hook). He has my favorite fighting style of controlled chaos, which a lot of fighters can't handle.
Sydney “Sundance” Smith: My money is on Luis Palomino, for sure. After interacting with him at BKFC 42, I just got the sense that the man is on a tear. Humble yet incredibly intense and excited to be alive. You don’t become the double champ for no reason; he has belts in two divisions because he’s formidable and fierce. As per usual, BKFC is bringing the fire!
Steve “Tomahawk” Townsel: I’m fighting on this card as well and I’ve trained with Palomino for the past year and half. It might sound a little biased, but I’ve seen firsthand how hard he works and the discipline it takes to be a world champion. I respect Lilley – he’s a good fighter with great fight IQ – but Palomino takes this one in the third by stoppage.
Jared "Captain Deadpool" Warren: I think James Lilley has what it takes to get the W this Friday, specifically if he causes damage early on like he’s been good at doing. If he starts slow for any reason and lets Palomino get in a groove, then I see the champ retaining his belt by decision.