Sports

Bare-knuckle fighter dies following his KO loss in summer

11:54, 05 October 2021
Bare-knuckle fighter dies following his KO loss in summer Photo: instagram.com/bareknucklefc

A combat fighter Justin Thornton was announced dead following the sickening knockout loss at the BKFC 20 event that happened on August 20, 2021.


The fighter who previously competed in MMA with a record of 6-18 got into the ring against Dillon Cleckler, who had won his last and overall fights within BKFC promotion having the record 2-0. Cleckler was also experienced in MMA as his record indicates 11 wins over 1 loss.

The contest of two men initially seemed doubtful due to the variety of combat success as the numbers showed.

Thornton was KO’d after just 19 seconds from the beginning of the fight. Cleckler landed a precise counterpunch that turned his opponent’s lights off.

The KO’d fighter, Thornton, suffered a serious injury as he couldn’t leave the ring by himself, the medical services carried him away on a stretcher. Then he has been hospitalized due to his worsening health conditions. In a hospital, the fighter was put on the lung ventilation apparatus, but now, over a month, the combat artist passed away.

The cause of the death hasn’t been yet revealed.

MyMMAnews was the first who reported the tragedy, and some later, BKFC president, David Feldman, confirmed the death on Monday.

“This morning we were very saddened to be notified of the passing of one of our fighters, Justin Thornton, who competed at BKFC 20 on August 20, 2021,” Dave Feldman said in a prepared statement. “We join the rest of the combat sports community in sending our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”

The fight between Thornton and Cleckler on August 20, was their rematch as both sportsmen faced each other for the first time back in 2013 when the fight took place within MMA rules. Cleckler won that fight via TKO.