Bare knuckle boxer Johnavan Vistante has been forced into retirement by a brutal right hook from his opponent, Kaleb Harris.
29-year-old Hawaiian fighter Vistante – known to fans as ‘The Island Wolf’ – was left sprawling on the canvas after a savage knockout from Harris in Biloxi, Mississippi, just 51 seconds into the second.
Vistante had gone for the uppercut, however he had unfortunately left himself open to an attack from Harris, 25, who took full advantage of his opponent’s vulnerability. Harris floored Vistante by landing a single blow to the chops, ultimately forcing him to retire from the sport altogether.
— MMA Günlüğü (@mmagunlugu) August 11, 2019
The ref called off the fight while Vistante was still falling, frantically calling upon medics to attend to the injured fighter.
Medics could then be seen tending to Vistante, applying what appeared to be an ice pack to the back of his neck.
Following his victory at Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship 7, Harris, of Mississippi, currently holds a record of 1-1.
As reported by The Sun, Harris has described himself as being on ‘cloud nine’:
I’m on cloud nine right now. This is the twentieth fight of my career and I told a few of my close friends I was ending it in the second round.
I knew in the first round when I dropped him a couple of times, I knew that with each punch it was getting easier.
I willing to fight anybody, anytime, anywhere whether it’s MMA or bare knuckle. So anybody that thinks they want to shut my mouth, they come and get it.
Love u my cuz! Been watching you go toe to toe all my life, always with the swagg entrance and intense performance, you a modern day spartan! and I remember u saying you rather go out on your face than quit like a bitch and that’s real spit! 💯💯 #SYD #OnlyTheReal
— Ronald Matautia (@MatautiaRonald) August 12, 2019
Taking to Twitter, Vistante reflected optimistically on his ‘good run’ in bare knuckle boxing:
It was a good run. Had my first professional fight at 16. I loved every minute of it. It’s took me too long to realize that the dream of my children and family are more important than mine alone,
It’s been real guys. I love every single one of y’all who have supported me. Thank u.
I gonna take the week off…just pay attention to absolutely nothing. I’m gonna pig out all week. I’m gonna get lit. F*ck it. I’m doing whatever I want. Come Monday morning we back on the grind. Might not be for the same reason but we grinding either way.
It was a good run. Had my first professional fight at 16. I loved every minute of it. It’s took me too long to realize that the dream of my children and family are more important than mine alone. It’s been real guys. I love every single one of y’all who have supported me. Thank u
— Johnavan Vistante 🐺 (@islandwolfmma) August 11, 2019
All the best of luck to Johnavan Vistante, whatever he chooses to do with the next chapter in his life.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.