Houston Alexander had a problem.
He had battered South African opponent Jeremy Smith for much of the first 3 rounds, busting up his left eye.
Smith wouldn’t give up. He continued coming forward, pounding the 51-year-old with right hands to the body. Alexander was completely exhausted after round four.
Somehow, Alexander was able to dig deep, firing right uppercuts as Smith brutalised his midsection late in the fight.
It was an amazing display of courage by both fighters-Smith injured his left shoulder in round one and was badly cut but told his corner he wanted to keep fighting.
The Omaha, Nebraska judges voted hometown son Alexander the winner by scores of 48-46 twice and 48-47. There were no knockdowns in the five-round instant classic.
“Sharing the Victory”
Classy in victory, Alexander called over Smith as the post fight interview started.
“We’re sharing the victory together,” he told Smith.
“Exactly what we thought. The man’s a warrior. He’s a athlete,” Alexander said of Smith.
“Anybody who steps into this ring deserves to be here. Much respect.”
After throwing out his left shoulder in round one, Smith said he had to adjust.
“I just had to change it up. I carried on,” Smith said.
Smith praised Alexander’s performance given his age.
“This guy’s a fuckin legend,” he said.
Dakota Cochrane KOs Cutter
Local hero Dakota Cochrane prevailed in the co-main event.
The UFC veteran scored a dramatic one punch KO over Noah Cutter.
Cutter was on the attack when he ran into a Cochrane right that knocked him to the canvas.
He took the full count while holding his left hand to his forehead, as blood dripped from his nostrils.
With the first round KO, Cochrane improved his bare knuckle record to 5-2 overall.
Trinidad-Snake Wins Close Decision over Brito
In a welterweight clash, Nebraska’s Carlos Trinidad-Snake won a close but unanimous decision over former BKFC welterweight champion Elvin Brito.
Trinidad-Snake scored an early knockdown, grabbing Brito behind the head and landing one or two right uppercuts.
It was a close fight, with Brito’s unorthodox style and quickness giving the Nebraska fighter some problems. The judges voted for the local fighter by scores of 49-45 and 48-46 twice.
It could have easily been a draw since it was tough to pick a winner in some very close rounds.
Wong Wins “Battle of the Blondes”; Rivera Gets First BKFC Win
In other notable matches, Jade Wong prevailed over Taylor Starling by unanimous decision. Wong knocked Starling down with a big right hand in round three.
— Bare Knuckle FC (@bareknucklefc) May 20, 2023
UFC veteran Jimmie Rivera won a close unanimous decision against Bekhzod Usmonov. It’s Rivera’s first BKFC win. He was knocked down and drew with featherweight contender Howard Davis last year.
Full BKFC 43 Results
BKFC 43 Main Card Results
Houston Alexander def. Jeremy Smith-Unanimous Decision
Dakota Cochrane def. Noah Cutter-KO Round 1
Jimmie Rivera def. Bekhzod Usmonov-Unanimous Decision
Sean Wilson def. Brandon Meyer-Unanimous Decision
Alonzo Martinez def. Jeremy Sauceda-TKO Round 4
Carlos Trinidad-Snake def. Elvin Brito-Unanimous Decision
Ryan Braun def. Andrew Potter-KO Round 1
Jade Wong def. Taylor Starling-Unanimous Decision
Jeff Souder def. Idrees Wasi-Unanimous Decision
Tommy Strydom def. Josh Krejci-KO Round 2
Esteban Rodriguez def. Jaquis Williams-TKO Round 1
Corey Roberts def. TJ Benson-KO Round 2
Photos Courtesy of Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship