Thursday, 5 April 2012

BAMMA 9 on Extreme Sports - TV Review

Over the past few years Britain’s Extreme Sports channel has provided a broadcast home to numerous MMA promotions including Cage Rage, Cage Contender and the WEC, as well as kickboxing’s World Combat League.

Now, after a brief stay on SyFy, BAMMA have joined their ranks with the broadcast of their ninth show, Kong vs. Hammer, which has already been shown several times this week.

The show began in the lightweight division as Jake Murphy went up against David Round.

Murphy put in an impressive and dominating performance in this fight. Taking his man down early Murphy controlled everything. He transitioned at will as he looked for a submission, delivering sustained periods of ground and pound and opening up two cuts on Round’s head.

Round scored with the takedown early on in the second, but this meant nothing for Murphy as he quickly took control, got Round’s blood flowing again before synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

Then it was up to light heavyweight as Przemyslaw Mysiala faced Jason Jones.

This all European battle proved to be a very entertaining encounter. Mysiala began his night’s work with a nice combination but soon found himself on the receiving end of a takedown.

From there Jones dominated, and although the Pole managed to get back to his feet Jones took him down again. Jones went to work with the ground and pound, opening up a deep cut on Mysiala’s forehead.

After Jones took Mysiala’s back, going for a rear naked choke at one point, the referee stood the fighters up so the doctor could check on Mysiala’s cut, but with the blood spurting from his head the referee didn’t need the doctor, calling off the fight immediately to give Jones the win.

More lightweight action followed as Jason Ball went up against Colin Fletcher.

This proved to be an intriguing three round affair. Fletcher dominated for the first two rounds with a great display of striking. Ball just didn’t seem to know how to handle Fletcher’s punches and kicks, with the kicks being so hard that Ball was visibly limping at the end of the second.

Ball changed his game plan in the second and came out with all guns blazing. Fletcher managed to take the fight to the ground with some good work, but it wasn’t long before they were back on their feet as Ball re-established control, although Fletcher came back towards the end with a flurry.

No surprise from the judges here as Fletcher took the unanimous decision.

The main event saw British Middleweight Champion Jack Marshman challenging Tom Watson for the World Middleweight title.

Another tremendous performance from Watson saw him targeting Marshman’s lead leg early on with a series of hard kicks, allying these blows with some nice combinations. Marshman had his moments, but these were few and far between.

By the end of the first round Marshman was visibly limping, and as Kong continued to attack Marshman’s lead leg things just got worse, especially when a spinning back elbow rocked him.

Watson took the fight to the ground seconds later and unleashed with the ground and pound. It was a relentless assault, and Marshman just had no answer. So with mere seconds left in the round the referee stepped in to put a halt to the onslaught, giving Watson the TKO win.

In conclusion - having been disappointed with SyFy’s mere one hour highlights package of BAMMA 8 and only one show I was more than pleased to see Extreme Sports giving BAMMA return with a two hour slot and a few repeats.

The four fights shown were very entertaining. All of them delivered, with Watson’s demolition of Marshman the highlight of the night for me, and it’s because of this that BAMMA 9 gets the big thumbs up from me.