Jimmie Rivera Gets Back on Track With Decision Win over Daniel Straus at BKFC 61

May 13, 2024
2 weeks

Subtle differences in combat sports make a big difference. Jimmie Rivera and Daniel Straus were both solid MMA fighters in the UFC and Bellator. However, both men are still adjusting to the added brutality of fighting in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. Fighting with no gloves will bring added pain and require an adjustment fighting strategy.

Online boxing news shows Rivera made better adjustments Saturday in Uncasville, Connecticut, during BKFC 61. He landed enough strikes to inch past Straus in a unanimous decision. This was Rivera’s second straight fight against a former MMA fighter.

Rivera was disappointed not to finish the fight. However, Rivera has also never shown proclivity in knocking out opponents. In MMA, he only produced four in 27 professional fights and has yet to do it in BKFC.

“I wanted a finish, but I didn’t get it,” Rivera said. “Daniel Straus is a tough (expletive). …. I’m always ready. Kai Stewart is always running. I want to see who the winner is of his fight with Bryan Duran at BKFC 62, and I want that belt.”

Rivera, who is now 2-1-1 in the organization, lost to Jeremy Stephens during his last fight. Straus took two years off professional fighting before he jumped back into the BKFC in April 2023. While Straus has now lost his two fights in the promotion, he hasn’t looked out of place.

During Straus’ debut, the fight went into overtime and he lost a close decision to Dat Nguyen. During the fight with Rivera, Straus had his moments. However, Straus didn’t do quite enough to get his hand raised for the first time. 

Rivera will likely need to demonstrate some power if he wants to make a run at a championship belt. There are plenty of flashy power punches in BKFC, and Rivera’s decision-heavy style may not win over the fanbase.

Trizano Debuts With a Splash

Winning The Ultimate Fighter reality show has produced mixed results over the years. Forrest Griffin went on to briefly hold the UFC light heavyweight championship. For Mike Trizano, his run in the UFC following his reality show success produced mixed results.

Trizano missed weight during his final fight with the UFC, a knockout win over Seung Woo Choi at UFC 281. During his time in the UFC, Trizano produced a 4-3 record. Trizano found out Saturday that fighting in the BKFC may be what he was destined to do.

During his debut fight against Louie Lopez, he won in just 62 seconds. Lopez was a former featherweight title challenger in the organization. Trizano was overwhelmed by the victory. In particular, Trizano said that he wanted to perform well in front of his son.

“I feel amazing,” Trizano said. “I want to give a shoutout to my son. I wish you were here. This one was for him. Dude, this was (expletive) awesome. I love this (expletive).”

Ryan Reber Stakes Claim to Title Shot

There is no doubt that Ryan Reber has found a formula for success in the BKFC. The only question at this point is when the organization will pull the trigger on a championship opportunity for Reber. Reber is 6-0 in the organization and picked up an unexpected decision win over Quintan Foye. 

Reber is the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division. Keith Richardson was crowned the BKFC’s fifth champion in the division’s history last October. Richardson has yet to defend the title. Reber should become his first challenger for the title.

Click Takes Another Tough Defeat

Sarah Click has found life in the boxing ring to be difficult. It doesn’t matter if it is a traditional gloved match or a bare-knuckle match, Click can’t seem to make things go right. During her fight with Natalie Gage, Click ended up suffering another tough defeat.

Gage was able to hit the target repeatedly and opened up a serious cut above Click’s eye. The ringside doctor was forced to step in and stop the fight. Click fell to 0-3 in the BKFC and has lost her seven boxing matches.

Hawn Shows He Can Carry Power

Rick Hawn saw many fights during his MMA days go the distance. The former Bellator welterweight title challenger retired in 2015. However, Hawn decided he couldn’t stay away from combat sports.

When Hawn returned for a regional MMA event in October 2022, he was submitted in the second round. Searching for another opportunity led Hawn to BKFC, which has taken in many former MMA fighters. Hawn may have found his new home.

Hawn flattened Stephen Stengel in 35 seconds Saturday in a light heavyweight bout to debut with a win. Hawn has a long history of success with fighting. He made his name by making the 2004 Team USA Olympic judo team. Hawn became the fourth former Olympian to compete in the BKFC.

Stengel, who MMA news sites show had 32 professional bouts as a MMA fighter, dropped to 0-2 in BKFC.

Calmus Demonstrates Steady Pressure in Victory

Zach Calmus has continued to build his reputation in the BKFC. Calmus has now picked up three straight wins at heavyweight. While the bout lasted into the third round, Calmus made sure his opponent, Connor McKenna, knew that he was never really in the fight.

Calmus scored three knockdowns of McKenna before the fight was stopped in the third round. McKenna has yet to pick up a win in the BKFC in two attempts. Heavyweight boxing news shows that Calmus improved to 4-2 in the promotion.

Here’s a look at the rest of the fights on the card not listed above:

  • Pat Brady win by TKO over Lewis Rumsey, Round 2 (1:21)
  • Scott Roberts win by TKO over Chris Sarro, Round 1 (0:27)
  • Pat Casey win by decision over Sam Watford, 50-43 (x3)
  • Dan Pettit win by TKO Dylan Felion, Round 3 (:36)

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By Dean McHugh.

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