It’s time to dip into the pile of DVDs sent to be by the good people at Ultimate Challenge MMA once again as we go back in time to last May with two championships on the line at UCMMA 28.
We begin with action from the heavyweight division between Paul Taylor and Scott Saward.
This one didn’t last long. Saward used his natural height and reach advantage to good effect early on when he connected with a few good body shots, but when Taylor connected with a big left the big man crashed to the mat. Taylor followed him down for a spot of ground and pound before the referee stepped in after just 33 seconds to give him the TKO win.
Then it was down to middleweight ad Makunga Bunduku faced Steve May.
This was a fight where somebody’s “oh” had to go, mainly because both of these guys were making their professional debuts. May got in a couple of good blows early on, but as the fight went on Bunduku began to assert his authority, stuffing all of May’s takedown attempts and connecting with a series of knees to the head and body.
May earned a short reprieve from the inevitable when the referee took a point away for continually grabbing his man’s shorts, but by then it was a foregone conclusion. Moments later Bunduku stuffed another takedown attempted before unleashing with further ground and pound and an arm triangle for the submission win.
Bantamweight action followed as Steve Brazier went up against Salih Kulucan.
Both of these fighters were looking for their first win in their fledgling careers, and given Kulucan’s performance I was surprised that he hadn’t won before. From the moment that he scored with the takedown at the beginning of the first round he dominated. Brazier just didn’t seem to have any defence against his man’s ground work, and Kulucan was able to transition at will when he went for a couple of submissions.
It was the same story in the second and third rounds. Despite what had happened in the first it was Brazier who took the fight to the ground at the start of the second. Kulucan quickly reversed the positions and continued his dominance, and even though he managed to survive into the third it was only a matter of time, and with the fight nearing it’s final two minutes Kulucan took Brazier’s back, synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
Next up was a catchweight encounter, made at 80 kilos, between Johnny Donaghue and Patrick Jalloh.
The first fight of the show to go the distance also proved to be a somewhat one-sided affair. All three rounds followed a similar patter. Jalloh would score with an early takedown, going on to dominate the action as he smothered Donaghue, mixing in some ground and pound from time to time, while all Donaghue seemed content to do was to hold on to Jalloh and bide his time, hoping that the referee would stand them up while getting an occasional warning from the referee for grabbing the cage.
It may not have made for enthralling viewing but it was an effective tactic on Jalloh’s part, although there were a few little things that he could have done that would have ended the fight.
As for the judges they were in complete agreement as Jalloh took the unanimous decision.
The action then moved on to the lightweight division as Sean Carter faced Ben Deller Smith.
The second three rounder in a row proved to be a very interesting affair with another dominating performance. This time around the dominance came from Carter. He put in a good stint on the ground as he dominated almost every aspect there. His work wasn’t flashy, and some may have called it boring, but it was a solid and workmanlike performance.
Smith, for his part, showed some sound defensive skills early on, but as the fight progressed and tiredness became a factor he just wasn’t able to stop Carter’s attack, although he did survive a kimura attempt in the third round.
So once again the judges came into play, and unsurprisingly they gave everything to Carter.
It was down to featherweight for the next fight as Martin Sheridan took on Dan Shortman.
I really enjoyed this one. After the initial testing of the waters Shortman came forward with a quick combination followed by a quick takedown. From there we saw a good display of ground fighting as they exchanged positions a number of times.
As the first round entered it’s last minute Sheridan took his man’s back and synched in a body lock, and with his first rear naked choke attempt failing Sheridan returned to that hold as the round neared it’s conclusion, with Shortman tapping out to give Sheridan the submission win.
The featherweight action continued with Danny Lawson and Brendon Katz.
This was another of those likeable encounters. The initial feeling out period ended when Lawson literally barged Katz into the fence for the first takedown of the fight, and when they got to the ground it proved to be another good display of ground fighting as they reversed the positions a few times. The only downside was when Katz earned a warning from the referee for kneeing Lawson in the head while he had three points grounded.
Katz’s best chance of taking the win came in the second when a big right staggered Lawson. Katz went to work with the heavy leather, and although Lawson had the three points on the ground again the rules didn’t stop Katz from raining down a torrent of punches. Lawson eventually slumped to the mat as Katz continued his assault, but just when it looked as if he was out of it Lawson came back swinging, scoring with the takedown as the round ended.
Lawson continued his comeback into the third, and even though Katz went for a couple of submissions Lawson showed some sound defensive skills before coming back with some more takedowns.
Which meant more work for the judges, and this time around they couldn’t agree as Lawson took the split decision.
It was up to welterweight next as Jack Kaminsky went up against Umer Kayani.
This was another fight featuring two guys looking to get off the mark win-wise, with Kaminsky debuting and Kayani losing his first two encounters. The action looked a bit scrappy as the first round began. Both fighters looked a little nervous as they tried to gauge the distance.
But when Kaminsky connected with a right and then scored with a takedown the action settled down nicely. Kaminsky opened up a nice cut with a spot of ground and pound from the guard before moving to side control. Kayani began to struggle as blood ran into his eye, and with Kaminsky cementing his good work with some more blows the referee stepped in to give Kaminsky the TKO win.
Then it was back to middleweight and the fight between Chris Harman and Luke Barnatt.
Harman began his shift by coming forward as soon as the bell sounded, but when he tried to take the fight to the ground Barnatt ended up on top, although it wasn’t long before Harman managed to get to his feet.
They weren’t standing for long though as Barnatt took the fight back down to the ground moments later. It was then that he went to work with the ground and pound, first from the mount, then the back, and then from the mount again. Barnatt then went to Harman’s back once more and synched in a rear naked choke, but just when it looked all over Harman managed to escape.
The reprieve only lasted a few seconds. Barnatt took him back down, and it wasn’t long before he took Harman’s back again so he could apply another rear naked choke, with Harman tapping at the second time of asking to give Barnatt the submission win.
UK1 kickboxing action followed as Aruna Slicius faced Tony Giles at a catchweight of 80 kilos.
This has to be one of the most one-sided fights I’ve ever seen. It began with Giles eyeing up his man for a few seconds before he came forward with a barrage of blows. Slicius was like a punching bag. The only offensive moves he made were a couple of kicks, and he never actually threw a punch. It was a very poor performance, and by the time Giles knocked him down for the third time the referee waved the fight off to give Giles the TKO win.
It was back to regular MMA action for the next fight, and a return to welterweight as Galore Bofando took on Wendle Lewis.
Now this was interesting, and kind of fun as well. It began with a lengthy clinch against the cage as Lewis tried to negate Bofando’s unique striking game until he scored with an inadvertent low knee.
The re-start in the middle of the cage gave Bofando the chance to show his wares, and it wasn’t long before the video game-like kicks came out. As the first round entered it’s final minute Lewis was in trouble. A spin kick followed by a right hand sent him crashing to the ground, with the referee stepping in after a brief moment of ground and pound to give Bofando the knockout win.
Then it was back up to middleweight as Charlie Langdon faced Ben Callum
This was quick. They engaged straight off the bat, and after a brief clinch Callum went to work, sending his man down with a left hook. Callum got in a few more blows before the referee stopped the fight after just 24 seconds to give Callum the TKO win.
The second bantamweight fight of the night saw Husseyin Garabet taking on Cory Tait.
The only fight of the main show to make it out of the first round proved to be a very entertaining affair full of back and forth action. The first round was fought at a frantic pace. Both guys had their moments, but most of them belonged to Tait. He was certainly the busier of the two, and it looked like he was going to take the win with some vicious ground and pound. Garabet managed to survive these onslaughts, even going for a couple of submissions.
The second round seemed a little more sedate. Garabet had his man in trouble for a few seconds when a kick to the leg sent Tait sprawling. Tait quickly recovered, and when he scored with the takedown he soon took his man’s back, synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
The co-main event saw Danny Welsh taking on Ashleigh Grimshaw for the Featherweight title.
The fight began with Welsh connecting with some nice kicks, but as soon as Grimshaw instigated a clinch and took the fight to the ground it was all about him. His ground and pound looked brutal at times, and Welsh looked powerless as Grimshaw transitioned. He soon took Welsh’s back for the second time so he could sink in a rear naked choke for the submission win and the vacant title.
The main event saw Jamaine Facey taking on Jake Bostwick for the Welterweight title.
These two didn’t bother with the feeling out period. They began when Facey connected with a front kick before they jockeyed for position against the cage, looking for the upper hand. They broke apart briefly before another clinch which ultimately led nowhere.
Facey then made the mistake of coming forward with his hands down, turning him into an open target for Bostwick’s combinations. Facey tried to go for a takedown as he staggered, but a big right from Bostwick while he was on his knees sent him into la la land as the referee stepped in to give Bostwick the knockout win.
In conclusion - when I reviewed the television broadcast of this show last year I have it a glowing reviewing, mainly because of all the first round finishes. Now that I’ve seen the entire event my opinion hasn’t changed one bit. This was a tremendous show and another excellent advertisement for British MMA.
As for my fight of the night no-prize I originally gave it to the Facey/Bostwick main event, and I don’t see a reason why that verdict should change.
As for my final verdict last time around I have this show the big thumbs up, and once again that decision will remain the same.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. For more information on purchasing this or any other UCMMA DVDs visit www.ucmma.tv.
And for today’s plug visit www.severemma.com, another site that carries The Two Sheds Review.