Friday, 23 April 2010

Pride & Glory: Battle in the Boro - DVD Review

I’m going to stick with mixed martial arts action for my next review as I once again dip into the pile of DVD’s sent to me by Tom Tailford of A1 Productions. This time we’re going back to February 2008 and Pride & Glory’s Battle in the Boro show, held at the Eston Sports Academy in Middlesbrough.

The show began with Roy Tasker taking on Sean Pierra. This one went to the ground quickly, with Pierra quickly taking the mount. Tasker seemed completely lost as Pierra quickly moved into position for the arm bar, with Tasker quickly tapping. Pierra looked good, but Tasker looked very weak.

Stuart Chase against another Pierra, Gina, was up next. The proverbial blink and you’ll miss it affair. Pierra knocked Chase down, quickly took his back and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win. Quick, explosive and impressive stuff from Pierra here.

Maran Polczyk against Ben Wakefield was next. Another fight that quickly went to the ground saw some good work from Polczyk as he quickly moved to the guard. Wakefield tried to escape, but Polczyk quickly took him back down again. Polczyk showed some more great work, almost getting the win with an arm bar, before finally putting his man away with a rear naked choke. This was a really impressive performance from Polczyk, and also very enjoyable.

Then it was on to Richard Taylor taking on Mac McCaughey. The longest fight of the show so far saw both fighters coming out swinging. A couple of clinches against the cage followed before Taylor pulled guard, although it wasn’t long before the referee stood them up. After a third clinch the fight went to the ground again, with Taylor securing the win with a kimura. This was a little messy at times, and their stand up sills left a lot to be desired.

Jason Muldoon against Aaron Nesbitt was next. A nice little back and forth encounter saw Nesbitt come out with all guns blazing, rocking Muldoon with a torrent of blows. It looked as if he was going to get the ground and pound win until Muldoon managed to reverse his position. The back and forth action continued for a few more minutes until Muldoon locked in an arm bar for the submission win. Now this was more like it. A very exciting fight with two good performances. Nice stuff.

Will Brookes against Ernesto Adao followed. Brookes went for the take down straight away here, with Adao defending well until he pulled guard and went for a guillotine. Brookes eventually managed to escape, but he soon found himself in Adao’s triangle, unable to escape and tapping out, giving Adao the impressive submission win.

Then it was on to Peter Wilson taking on David Smyth. The only fight of the show to go into the second round proved to be a very tactical affair. There was no rushing into things here as both guys looked good throughout with their striking and ground work. The end came towards the end of the second when Smyth took Wilson’s back, eventually locking in a rear naked choke for the submission win, ending a very good back and forth encounter.

Then it was on to Pawel Morawski and Grant Hocking. This was another of those fights that featured some wild swinging, both in and stand up and with Morawski’s ground and pound. Hocking floundered around on the mat like a fish out of water as Morawski  went for the win, so it came as no surprise when Morawski was able to take his back so he could synch in a rear naked choke for the submission win. Well, I’ve seen better.

Zbigniew Kroll against Simon Phillips was next. The all round action here was a lot better than in the previous fight, especially on the ground, where Phillips was able to reverse his position before locking in an arm bar for the submission win. Good performances from both fighters here, and it was a shame that there could be only one winner.

Up next was Stephen Moore against Steve Dawson. Another blink and you’ll miss it affair saw the fight go to the ground straight away. Moore tried to control Dawson’s body, but Dawson managed to get in a few punches, and one punch to the eye was too much for Moore as he tapped out. Well, it was okay I suppose, but I have to wonder how long it would have gone without that eye punch.

Then it was on to Liam Shannon taking on Konrad Norwacki. A very good fight here, which saw Shannon coming forward early with some well placed punches and kicks, before the fight went to the ground, where Shannon’s control continued. Try as he might, Norwacki just couldn’t escape from Shannon’s relentless ground and pound, and as he turtled up the referee stepped in, giving Shannon the impressive stoppage win.

Martin Stapleton took on Ingolf Nelson next. This was a pretty one side fight. As soon as the action went to the ground Stapleton went to work with the ground and pound, and it wasn’t long before Nelson’s face was a red and bloody mess, and when it became obvious that Nelson couldn’t handle the attack his corner spared him any more damage by throwing in the towel. Good work from Stapleton, although Nelson looked lost from the outset.

The penultimate fight saw Krysztof Anuszewski take on Kevin Thompson. This was another fight that featured some wild blows, but Thompson’s were connecting. Anuszewski was actually running away at one point, but they soon went to the ground where Thompson took Anuszewski’s back, raining down a torrent of blows until the referee put an end to Anuszewski’s defenceless suffering as Thompson earned the impressive stoppage win. Remember folks - running away during an MMA fight is not the sign of a winner.

The final encounter saw Sandy Geddes going up against Matt Howard. Another one sided affair saw Howard take Geddes down early, quickly getting the win with his relentless ground and pound, the referee stepping in once again to end the onslaught. Another example of a one guy looking great while the other looked poor.

In conclusion - normally these A1 Production DVDs take me two nights to review, but seeing as how only one fight made it past the first round I was in for an early night. This DVD was another example of the good and the bad. Some of the fighters here looked great, but others were definitely less so, looking decidedly undercooked as it were with their poor boxing skills and their inability to mount any sort of offence. But then again, you have to take the rough with the smooth.

Production wise, it’s okay, nothing overly flashy here, but the lack of ring introductions and on screen graphics telling you who was who as they entered the cage could make this rather confusing and annoying for some. Once again I was forced to use the MMA Universe archive to find out who was who.

So does this get the thumbs up? Well, just about. It’s okay I suppose but there are certainly better shows from A1 available.

With thanks to Tom Tailford for supplying a copy of this release. If you would like to purchase a copy of Pride & Glory: Battle in the Boro, Tom can be contacted via

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