The event took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., airing on FITE TV.
Shewmaker (4-2-1 BKFC) started the first round strong, working behind a sharp left-hand jab. Beltran (5-1-1 BKFC) was bloodied from one of the southpaw strikes, but finished the round strong with a few combinations of his own.
The second round started off with a few heated exchanges, as Beltran looked to turn up the pressure. The champ stayed light on his feet while bobbing and weaving, creating openings for punches. Shewmaker landed a nice left just before the end of the round.
Beltran continued to press forward in the third round, prompting Shewmaker to initiate clinches to slow him down. Beltan’s volume in the third was higher than his opponent’s again, likely giving him the round on the judges’ scorecards.
The fourth round began with Shewmaker landing a few combinations as Beltran continued to press the action. Shewmaker tried to keep the champ away, but Beltran continued to move forward, putting Shewmaker against the ropes where he would rip a few body punches.
Beltran continued to dictate the pace of the fight in the final round, by constantly moving forward while throwing punches. Both fighters threw heavy combinations throughout the round, doing their best to land something significant to put their stamp on the fight in the closing moments.
The judges scored the fight unanimously for Beltran with scores of 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47.
“I want to apologize to my fans, that was a dog sh*t performance on my part,” Beltran said during his post-fight interview. “Three weeks ago, I got that nasty virus called covid. I had a 105 fever and it was f*cking hard, man.”
Capping off an evening of bareknuckle bouts filled with former MMA competitors, Beltran defended his heavyweight title for the second time and said he’s willing to defend it against anyone who wants to step up to the challenge.
— FITE (@FiteTV) June 27, 2021
Full official BKFC 18 results include:
- Joey Beltran def. Sam Shewmaker via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) *for heavyweight title
- Hector Lombard def. Joe Riggs via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 4, 1:07 *for cruiserweight title
- Thiago Alves def. Ulysses Diaz via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 3, 5:00 *for middleweight title
- Luis Palomino def. Tyler Goodjohn via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) *for lightweight title
- Pearl Gonzalez def. Charisa Sigala via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
- Julian Lane def. Jake Bostwick via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-43, 48-45)
- Jarod Grant def. Travis Thompson via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 4, 0:35
- Eddie Hoch def. Bruce Lutchmedial via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
- Steve Herelius def. Juan Torres via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 49-46)
- Francisco Ricchi def. Brian Maxwell via TKO – Round 2, 1:25
- Montaser Aboughaly def. Luke Parson via knockout – Round 1, 0:34
- Famez def. Paul Teague via knockout – Round 1, 0:17
- Yosdenis Cedeno def. Alan Arzeno via split decision (49-46, 46-49, 49-46)
- Eduardo Conception def. Gabriel Brown via knockout – Round 1, 0:05