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BKFC 18: Beltran vs Shewmaker predictions & main card preview

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 56

The Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship will be making a huge splash this Saturday night in Miami, Florida, with a loaded card that contains four championship fights headlined by a main event bout between champion Joey Beltran and challenger Sam Shewmaker. Here’s a look at the four title fights and an odds update on the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 18 card.

Heavyweight: Joey Beltran (-375) vs Sam Shewmaker (+310)

Joey Beltran is a perfect 3-0 through his first three fights in Bare Knuckle FC. He defeated Tony Lopez by unanimous decision in 2016 and then won the BKFC Heavyweight Championship with a decision victory over Chase Sherman at BKFC 9. He most recently defended his championship with a TKO win over Marcel Stamps last October and is hoping to continue building his legacy with another win here.

Sam Shewmaker is 2-0-1 in his last three BKFC fights with wins over Joel Parades and Bobo O’Bannon and a draw against Chase Sherman. Shewmaker’s best shot at an upset would be to keep Beltran at a distance, but this will be a lot easier said than done as the champion is an aggressive fighter that is always moving forward. Expect the champion to retain in this one.

Joey Beltran by KO/TKO

Best odds

Cruiserweight: Héctor Lombard (-160) vs Joe Riggs (+140)

Hector Lombard enjoyed an impressive 34-4-1 through the first 39 fights of his professional mixed martial arts career from 2004 through 2014 before losing each of his last six professional MMA fights. Lombard has found new life as a bare-knuckle boxer going 2-0 through his first two fights with the BKFC with wins over David Mundell and Kendall Grove.

Lombard will take on Joe Riggs to determine who will become the first ever BKFC Cruiserweight Champion. Like Lombard, Riggs had a long career in mixed martial arts before transitioning into bare-knuckle boxing as he compiled a 49-18-1 record as an MMA professional. Riggs is 2-0-1 so far in the BKFC with wins over Brok Weaver and Heriberto Tovar and a draw against Walber Barros.

This should be a fun, competitive bout. We’ll take a shot on Riggs pulling off the upset at this price.

Joe Riggs by points decision

Best odds

Lightweight: Luis Palomino (-300) vs Tyler Goodjohn (+250)

Luis Palomino is a perfect 3-0 in the Bare Knuckle FC with a decision win over Elvin Brito and first-round knockout wins over Isaac Vallie-Flagg and Jim Alers. The win over Vallie-Flagg made Palomino the inaugural BKFC Lightweight Champion. Palomino will attempt his second title defense in this event against Tyler Goodjohn. Goodjohn was a fan favorite in Europe and recently made his BKFC debut with a decision victory over Charles Bennett. The champion’s edge in power should lead him to another successful title defense in this bout.

Luis Palomino by KO/TKO

Best odds

Middleweight: Thiago Alves (-210) vs Ulysses Diaz (+180)

This is the perfect fight to get the title fight party started as both Thiago Alves and Ulysses Diaz are Florida natives and aggressive fighters that will be looking for a knockout early to crown the first ever BKFC Middleweight Champion. Alves compiled a 23-15 career in mixed martial arts and earned a win in his BKFC debut by split decision against Julian Lane. Ulysses Diaz is off to a fantastic start in the Bare Knuckle FC with two first-round knockout wins over Brian Maxwell and Donelei Benedetto. In what should be a fun slugfest, there’s plenty of value on the underdog.

Ulysses Diaz by KO/TKO

Best odds

More BKFC 18 fight odds

In addition to four title fights, the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 18 card will also feature 10 non-title fights. This is the biggest card in the promotion’s history.

  • Steve Herelius (-205) vs Juan Torres (+175)
  • Alan Arzeno (-130) vs Yosdenis Cedeno (+110)
  • Montaser Aboughaly (-260) vs Luke Parsons (+220)
  • Josh Alvarez (-120) vs Paul Teague (+100)
  • Jarod Grant (-160) vs Travis Thompson (+140)
  • Brian Maxwell (-160) vs Francesco Ricchi (+140)
  • Eduardo Concepcion (-215) vs Gabe Brown (+185)
  • Eddie Hoch (-160) vs Bruce Lutchmedial (+140)
  • Jake Bostwick (-110) vs Julian Lane (-110)
  • Pearl Gonzalez (-190) vs Charisa Sigala (+165)
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