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Former UFC fighter Houston Alexander's bare-knuckle boxing debut ended in scathing criticism after he landed a blow on his opponent when he already appeared unconscious.
Alexander, 49, took on rival Wes Combs at BKFC 21 in Omaha, Nebraska, on Friday night.
He started spectacularly by flooring Combs with a vicious right-hand shot just 30 seconds into the first round of their heavyweight clash, but then proceeded to stun fans by not stopping there.
With Combs, 48, appearing to be out cold, Alexander followed up with another powerful blow in actions that resembled a ground-and-pound attack inside an octagon.
Despite the controversial shot, Alexander wasn’t penalised by officials in Nebraska and was officially declared winner by KO just 34 seconds into the bout.
Alexander, fought in Bellator as well as UFC and finished in MMA with a record of 17-16-1, and it seems his instincts from fighting inside a cage have not left him.
For many fans however, that excuse wasn't sufficient as arguments raged online as to whether or not the man dubbed 'We have a problem' should have been disqualified.
“DQ, barred from the organisation and at minimum a 5-year ban from being approved by the athletic commission. That is disgusting beyond measure,” fumed one fan.
"Wonder what gets one disqualified," tweeted another.
Should Houston Alexander have been disqualified for his actions? Let us know in the comments section.
A third agreed with : "Shameful. Strikes after Combs was unconscious. Should be a DQ."
However, former Canadian pro-MMA fighter Ryan Donnelly was sympathetic towards Alexander, insisting it's difficult to switch your mindset after so long in different combat sport.
"Wasn't right but when you fight MMA for years and then just switch to BKB, it's going to be hard to not have the muscle memory to not follow up with shots," he said.
"You could tell Houston felt super bad about it."
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Some fight fans lay the blame at the feet of the authorities, for sanctioning a bout between two veteran fighters..
“48yrs old vs 49yrs old. What could go wrong?” tweeted one account.
Regardless, the fight marked a winning return for Alexander, who had not competed since losing an MMA contest with Rakim Cleveland at the Primus FC event back in December 2017.
California fighter Combs' record meanwhile, now stands at 1-1 after his two bouts with BKFC. His first fight back in July 2020 yielded a win over Adrian Miles.
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