On Saturday night, in the co-main event of BKFC 6 in Tampa, Florida, UFC veteran Chris Leben stepped into the ring for his third bare knuckle bout. His opponent this time around was Ultimate Fighter veteran Dakota Cochrane, who was riding high on a knockout win over former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
While Leben put forth a valiant effort in this fight, he ultimately lost a decision to Cochrane. As it turns out, he also sustained some of the hardest punches he’s ever felt in his long and illustrious career — perhaps even the hardest outright.
Yes, despite the perception that fighting without gloves forces competitors to dial back their punching power to protect their hands, Cochrane was evidently throwing absolute bombs at Chris Leben.
Leben spoke on the loss — and the hellacious impacts he absorbed in the fight — in a quick post-fight statement to his Instagram account.
“Well you drive a car long enough you go to get in a wreck it was a good fun fight thank you BKFC Way to go @dakotacochranemma I’ve been punched by a lot of people before but I don’t think anybody hit me quite as hard as the guy!!” – Chris Leben on Instagram.
Over the course of his impressive combat sports career, Chris Leben has battled some seriously heavy hitters such as Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson, Mark Munoz, Wanderlei Silva, Brian Stann, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Jay Silva, Alessio Sakara, Anderson Silva, Patrick Cote and Phil Baroni. So, his claim that he was hit harder at BKFC 6 than in any previous fight is a real testament to the punching power of Dakota Cochrane.
At this stage, it’s not clear what the future holds for Leben, although it would not be surprising to see him back in the BKFC ring soon — in spite of the punches he absorbed last night.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/23/2019.