Sunday, 15 December 2013

BAMMA 14 on 5* - TV Review

The British cage is our next destination as we take a look at the latest offering from the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts, with former UFC fighter Paul Daley headlining the show at BAMMA 14, shown live this past Saturday night on 5* here in Britain.

The broadcast began in the welterweight division as Jimmy Wallhead faced Florent Betorangal.

This proved to be a very good opening contest. After the initial feeling out period Betorangal started to get into his stride as far as the striking was concerned, with a big right giving Wallhead some trouble. The Judo man soon came back with some good shots of his own, but his takedown came a little too late in the round for it to have any effect.

Wallhead didn't have that problem in the second round though when he scored with the early takedown. He followed up with some solid work from the half guard as he looked for a few submissions while mixing in a spot of ground and pound. These tactics were clearly frustrating the Frenchman, who at one point looked to the referee for a stand up.

The third round began with some more nice striking from Wallhead before he scored with another early takedown. It proved to be a devastating move for Betorangal, because as soon as he hit the mat he was out cold. The referee quickly waved the fight off, giving Wallhead the knockout win.

The co-main event saw Colin Fletcher challenging Mansour Barnaoui for the Lightweight title.

There was plenty of back and forth action in this one. As soon as the fight began both men began to swing for the fences, and it wasn't long before Fletcher was sent crashing to the canvas. It proved to be a short trip there as he quickly managed to get to his feet, but this slight revival didn't do him much good as Barnaoui landed a barrage of blows, and at one point it looked like the Freakshow was holding on to the champion to stop himself from being knocked down.

Then, from out of nowhere, Fletcher connected with a blow that sent Barnaoui crashing. Fletcher quickly followed him down, but his d'arce choke attempt went nowhere as Barnaoui quickly recovered and took Fletcher's back, quickly synching in a body lock.

Fletcher kept himself busy as he tried to defend himself, even breaking out of the body lock at one point, but when Barnaoui re-established it and trapped Fletcher's right arm as well it looked all but over for the Freakshow, and as the round approached it's final minute Barnaoui locked in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

The main event featured further welterweight action as Paul Daley took on Romario Da Silva.

This was vintage Semtex here. The fight began with the usual water testing period, and it wasn't long before Daley was getting the better of the exchanges. While Da Silva always seemed to be going for big looping punches Daley was content to work behind his left jab while attack the Brazilian's lead leg. Da Silva never even tried to check any of the kicks, and this left him with a very red knee and thigh.

The second round began in the same vein, but Daley soon kicked it into high gear with his strikes as he backed Da Silva up against the cage. Then, a left uppercut from Daley dropped Da Silva like a bad habit, and that was it as the referee stepped in to give Daley the knockout win.

Filler material followed in the form of the featherweight encounter between James Saville and Tom Duquesnoy.

This was a very enjoyable fight. Duquesnoy managed to close the distance as soon as the fight began, but as soon as Saville connected with a few knees in the Thai clinch it derailed the Frenchman's attack, but not for that long.

As the first round went on both fighters had some success with their striking, although as the round neared it's conclusion it was Duquesnoy getting the better of the exchanges, especially when his overhand left sent Saville down.

The exchanges continued into the second round. Saville tried to take the fight to the ground a couple of times, but Duquesnoy put on a sound defensive display as he stuffed those attempts, and when he did go down he only stayed there long enough so he could deliver a couple of shots.

As for the striking, Saville was starting to look a little too one dimensional with his attacks. Although he got in a few good shots, it was as if he was walking a straight line towards his opponent because there was no side-to-side movement.

With the round approaching it's final minute Saville tried and failed for the takedown again. Duquesnoy decided to stay down a little longer this time for a spot of ground and pound, and with Saville offering nothing reply it wasn't long before the referee stepped in to give Duquesnoy the TKO win.

In conclusion - how best to describe BAMMA's final show of 2013?

I think the best way is to describe it as a very enjoyable event. All four of the fights shown proved to be very entertaining affairs, and even though I like those heart and soul three and five round battles it's also nice to see a show full of finishes.

As for my fight of the night no prize this time around I'm going for the Barnaoui/Fletcher Lightweight title showdown. The fight may have lasted only four minutes, but they certainly managed to pack a lot of action into it.

So with all that out of the way there's just one more thing to do, and that's to give BAMMA 14 the thumbs up.