RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The first ever Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship card in New Mexico was held at the Rio Rancho Event Center on Saturday night. BKFC 28 was full of local fighters, and they made sure to put on a show for their home crowd.

Former MMA standout John Dodson was featured in the co-main event of the evening, fighting Ryan Benoit. “The Magician” pulled some tricks out of his sleeve early, winning in the first found in knockout fashion. Dodson’s younger brother Eric, who was also featured on the card, had the fastest knockout of the night, taking out Nick Villar in only 23 seconds.

“Initial thoughts for me is that I had to go out there and compete against my brother,” John Dodson said. “It’s not me against my opponent, it’s me against him to see who had the fastest knockout. You know what, sadly to say that he beat me in 23 seconds. Ugh! I had to drop my dude four times and [Eric] got his in 23 seconds.”

In the main event, Albuquerque-trained fighter Christine Ferea defended her 125-belt against Taylor Starling. Ferea came out fast and ferocious as “Misfit” quickly landed multiple combinations on “Killa Bee,” which Starling could not handle. Starling was taken down in the first round, and was seen speaking to her corner saying “I can’t.” She returned to her feet, took a few more blows, and promptly called the fight.

Other local fighters who came out victorious in their bare-knuckle debut include Will Santiago, Joshua Moreno, and Jayme Hinshaw.

New Mexicans were thrilled with BKFC and BKFC executives were thrilled with New Mexico. The energy inside the area for the debut of bare-knuckle boxing in the Land of Enchantment was palpable, and it may be the first of many fight cards to come. BKFC said they are planning to come back “two or three times” in 2023.

“Bringing BKFC to Albuquerque, New Mexico was nothing short of amazing,” said founder/president David Feldman. “The fights were great, some great knockouts, some great fighters but man, this crowd was unbelievable. Enthusiastic fight town, I knew it was a fight town, and I’m so glad that they got to experience BKFC tonight because now we have a lot of new fans for life.”