Canada’s Devin Gibson suffers first loss in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

Canada’s Devin Gibson suffers first loss in Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship

MYRTLE BEACH, SC — Devin (The Canadian Assassin) Gibson suffered his first loss as a bare-knuckle fighter on Friday night, beaten by American Albert Inclan at BKFC 35.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC — Devin (The Canadian Assassin) Gibson suffered his first loss as a bare-knuckle fighter on Friday night, beaten by American Albert Inclan at BKFC 35.

The judges scored 50-44, 49-45, and 48-46 for Inclan, who grew in strength as the fight progressed, improving to 1-1-0 in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.

Gibson was left with a 2-1-0 record and an ugly moon-shaped wound under his left eye.

The 28-year-old from Sarnia, Ontario, scored consistently with his left hand in the first round. But Inclan soon found his rhythm, catching Gibson late in the second round with a straight left that knocked out his mouthpiece.

The third round was briefly paused to allow the ringside doctor to see Gibson’s cut. The fight continued and Inclan dropped Gibson with a reciprocal right. Gibson immediately jumped to his feet.

“We’ve got two rounds, we need them both big,” Gibson was told in his corner after the round.

Gibson lost his mouthpiece again in the fourth round as Inclan was the busier fighter.

“I need you to put that man on his ass,” Gibson was told before the final round. While taking on the challenge, Gibson couldn’t find a way to finish off Inclan, who had a small gash near his eye.

Inclan landed 71 of 171 punches, according to BKFC, while Gibson was good at 66 of 93.

Referee Sean Woods told the fighters to “get on their knees” if he wanted more action.

The main event at the John T. Rhodes Sports Center was a matchup between undefeated Macedonia welterweights Gorjan (GoGo) Slaveski (4-0-0) and Cuba’s Yosdenis (Pink Panther) Cedeno (2-0-0).

Bare knuckle fighting isn’t for everyone. Fights scheduled for five two-minute rounds can end quickly and awkwardly.

Featherweight Marcus (The Bama Beast) Brimage stumbled around the ring after hesitantly getting up from a nasty right hand to the chin that pitched him backwards onto the canvas, ending a 40-second smash to 25-year-old Trevor Loken.

Brimage, 37, with an 8-7-0 MMA, has seen better days.

He fought eight times in the UFC from 2011 to 2015. He won his first three UFC fights and then lost four of the next five, including a 67-second TKO over (The Notorious) Conor McGregor in the Irish star’s UFC debut in April 2103.

Brimage has lost his last five MMA games.

Heavyweight Willie Sears, despite ending his bout face down on the canvas, won with a golf ball-sized mouse around his right eye after Tomar Washington was disqualified for an illegal ground punch to a prone opponent. Sears swallowed a series of punches and was decided to have a knee on the canvas as Washington swung away.

The fight was called 57 seconds into the second round and Washington, 44, was stunned when the decision was announced. The 38-year-old Sears had already left the ring.

Gibson and Inclan were scheduled to fight as flyweights (125 pounds). But the fight went like a bantamweight affair with both fighters weighing around 130 pounds.

Inclan had plenty to say as the two fighters squared off at Friday’s weigh-in and used expletives to describe what he had planned for the Canadian. “See you tomorrow,” replied a smiling Gibson wearing a Maple Leaf bandana.

Gibson stopped American Kody (The Black Rose) Murray in the fourth round last time out at BKFC New York 2 in March 2022 in Salamanca, NY. His first fight in promotion was a decision victory over Ray Lopez at BKFC Fight Night: New York in November 2021 in Seneca, New York

Gibson and Jake Young, welterweights from London, Ontario, are currently the only Canadians among the approximately 220 fighters contracted in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, which comprises eleven weight classes (nine males and two females).

BKFC has attracted fighters from other martial arts including UFC veterans Mike (Platinum) Perry, Ben Rothwell, John (The Magician) Dodson, Greg (Prince of War) Hardy and Alan (The Talent) Belcher, and Muay Thai stars Sombat (Buakaw) Banchamek and Suphachai (Saenchai) Saepong.

BKFC says only “established professionals” in boxing, MMA, kickboxing or muay thai can compete, while referees and judges must also have “extensive professional martial arts experience.”

BKFC was founded in 2018 by former boxer David Feldman, who sold a majority stake in Triller, an American video-sharing social networking service, last February.

It marked its 50th card last year, with England, Mexico and Thailand joining the US hosting events.

Maps approved by local commissions have been preserved in Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, and Wyoming.

Gibson began boxing at age 11 and became an Ontario amateur champion, competing nationally with around 50 bouts.

He happened upon bare knuckle fighting after returning to martial arts after an absence of several years.

Gibson was scheduled to make his professional boxing debut in Alabama in early 2021, only to find the fight over after gaining weight. A bare knuckle card was scheduled a week later, and after meeting some people involved in the sport, Gibson attended a BKFC Test in upstate New York, where he met his future manager Kevin Smith.

When not training or fighting, Gibson works as a security guard and works night shifts.

Contenders may wrap and tape the wrist, thumb and metacarpus, but no gauze or tape may be within 1 inch of the knuckles.

Strikes are the only strike allowed. In a clinch, a contestant may “slap himself outward with his open hand”, but the referee will intervene if there is a three-second pause in the clinch.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 27, 2023

The Canadian Press

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