British MMA is on the agenda once more as we take a look at the thirteenth show from BAMMA, Night of Champions, shown live this past Saturday night on 5* here in Britain.
The broadcast began with Jimmy Wallhead taking on Eddy Ellis for the vacant Welterweight title.
This certainly proved to be an interesting three rounder. After the initial feeling out period Wallhead connected with a series of hard rights to Ellis, breaking his jaw and knocking a tooth out. But instead of going in for the kill Wallhead stepped back, and this gave Ellis the chance to score with the takedown. A few seconds later he took Wallhead's back, but when he got there all he did was spit out mouthfuls of blood onto the mat, and it wasn't until the final seconds of the round that he went to work when Wallhead turtled up.
With the American clearly hurt everyone expected Wallhead to go straight in for the kill when the second round began, and even though he connected with a few good punches that clearly hurt his man he never did that. Each and every time Ellis was in trouble Wallhead stepped back, and apart from a few more takedowns from both men this was basically how the rest of the fight played out.
With no finish in sight the judges were brought into the equation, and they surprised everyone a little by giving Ellis the split decision.
The main event saw Max Nunes facing Jason Jones for the vacant Light Heavyweight title.
Nunes began his night's work with a series of kicks which Jones countered with a big left as he pushed him up against the cage. From there he quickly scored with a takedown, and although Nunes managed to get back to his feet a few moments later Jones put in a good effort in controlling the centre of the cage for the remainder of the round.
The second round began in the same manner, although this time around Jones managed to keep Nunes grounded. A series of elbows opened up a cut above Nunes' right eye, and with the big favourite not really doing anything from the bottom it wasn't long before Jones moved into position so he could apply an arm triangle for the submission win.
With plenty of time to spare it was on to filler material in the form of the lightweight encounter between Tim Newman and Colin Fletcher.
I really liked this one. For three rounds these two put on a great display of ground fighting. It began in the first round when Fletcher dropped Newman with a big left, but when he went in for the kill Newman went for an armbar, and from they both put in a great effort.
It was more of the same in the second round when the fight went to the ground. Although the Freak Show did a good job in controlling the action with his ground and pound Newman was always looking for the submission, his best chance coming when he went for a triangle choke. Then, for some reason, he decided to change tact and go for an armbar instead. It was somewhat frustrating because it looked like the triangle was in tight.
Newman began to fade a little in the third round when they hit the mat again. Fletcher looked confident and assured as he reasserted his ground and pound control, while Newman looked a shadow of the fighter he had been in the previous rounds.
As for the judges, despite Newman's submission attempts they gave everything to Fletcher.
The filler material continued with Mansour Barnaoui taking on Curt Warburton for the Lightweight title.
These two began with a clinch in the middle of the cage before they worked their way to fence, with Warburton scoring with the takedown a few seconds later. He briefly went for a d'arce choke, but Barnaoui managed to survive this somewhat minor scare to get back to his feet.
From there we saw more clinching before Barnaoui connected with a series of unanswered rights in the clinch. As Warburton dropped to his feet the Frenchman took his back and went in for the kill. Warburton tried to fight back, but he looked out of it as Barnaoui continued his assault, and it wasn't long before the referee stepped in to give Barnaoui the TKO win.
In conclusion - The second half of my MMA weekend fix proved to be another enjoyable show, because when they don't rely on a below average fighter who only really became famous for who he was dating BAMMA can put on a pretty decent show.
As the old saying goes all the fights shown here delivered as we once again got to see the full gamut of finishes from submissions to decisions to TKOs. My only small gripe is that as this was a "Night of Champions" it would have been nice if 5* had given them a longer slot so we could have seen all of the title fights.
As for my fight of the night no-prize I'm going for the only non-title fight on the show, the lightweight encounter between Colin Fletcher and Tim Newman, mainly for it's great display of ground fighting.
So with all of that out of the way let's end this thing by giving BAMMA 13 the thumbs up.