Bareknuckle fighting is not for the faint of heart. It’s a brutal, bloody sport that requires skill, toughness, and a willingness to endure pain. At BKFC Knucklemania 3, former WBA boxing champion Austin Trout demonstrated all of these qualities and more as he defeated UFC Hall of Famer Diego Sanchez by doctor stoppage in the co-main event.
Sanchez, making his bareknuckle debut, fought hard and showed the heart and grit that had made him a fan favorite in the UFC. He tried to overwhelm Trout with his aggressive style, but Trout was too sharp and too skilled for him. From the beginning, Trout circled away from Sanchez’s initial flurry and used his superior footwork to stick and move. He landed punches to the body and upstairs, and Sanchez found his punches just out of range of the former boxing champion.
Sanchez had some success in the second round when he charged forward with punches, but Trout regained control by leading the dance behind his right jab. In the third round, with blood flowing from cuts on his face, Sanchez continued to charge forward, but Trout’s head movement was too good, and he evaded the bigger shots offered by the MMA veteran.
In the fourth round, Trout connected with a sharp left hand that sent Sanchez to the mat for the first knockdown of the fight. Sanchez made the count, but Trout continued to land sharp punches, causing blood to cover his opponent’s face. After landing more punches, Trout appealed to referee Dan Miragliotta to check on his opponent. The fight was paused to bring in the ringside doctor, who decided the fight should be stopped due to the severity of the damage.
After the fight, BKFC champion Luis Palomino joined Trout in the ring to hype up a potential matchup down the road. It remains to be seen if a meeting between Luis Palomino and Austin Trout will happen, but it would certainly be an intriguing matchup between two talented fighters.
For Sanchez, 41, this was his third consecutive combat sports loss, and it raises questions about his future in the sport. Prior to his bareknuckle debut, he lost a unanimous decision to Kevin Lee at Eagle FC 46 and ended up on the wrong end of the judges’ scorecards in his final UFC bout against Jake Matthews at UFC 253. However, his BKFC debut was approved by the New Mexico Athletic Commission after medical testing, indicating that he is still physically able to compete at a high level.
Trout, 37, entered the fight as a winner of five straight boxing contests, and his victory over Sanchez in bareknuckle fighting demonstrates his versatility as a fighter. His last appearance in traditional boxing was in December, where he defeated Jose Charles by unanimous decision.
In conclusion, BKFC Knucklemania 3 provided fans with an exciting night of bareknuckle fighting, and the co-main event between Austin Trout and Diego Sanchez was a highlight of the evening. While Sanchez fought hard and showed his trademark toughness, Trout was too skilled and too sharp for him, and his victory by doctor stoppage was well-deserved. Only time will tell what the future holds for both of these talented fighters, but one thing is for certain: the world of bareknuckle fighting is as unpredictable and exciting as ever.