Sunday, 4 April 2010

Ultimate Challenge Adrenaline Rush on Sky Sports - TV Review

This past week saw the return of mixed martial arts to Sky Sports here in Britain with Adrenaline Rush, the latest offering from Ultimate Challenge, hosted by O.J. Borg and Dave O’Donnell, with Rob Nutley, Pierre Guillet and Malcolm Martin handling commentary duties.

The show began with Jake Bostwick facing Denniston Sutherland in the light heavyweight division. Coverage of this fight began in the second round. This proved to be a nice back and forth encounter, with Sutherland putting in some good ground and pound work in the second before Bostwick managed to get to his feet. The third looked more even with both men putting in some good work on the ground, before an inadvertent low blow late on. Then, in the dying seconds, a hard blow by Sutherland dropped Bostwick. The decision went in favour Bostwick, although it really could have gone either way.

The big boys were up next, heavyweight action featuring Jamie Hearn and Ben Smith. This one promised much, but was ended early because of injury. Hearn did well to avoid a couple of take downs early on before Smith eventually got the move he wanted. Hearn then showed some great defensive work, but a shoulder injury ended his night, giving Smith the win. An unfortunate ending, so hopefully we’ll see these two matched up again in the future.

Then it was on to the first title fight of the evening, with James Saville taking on Dave Lee for the vacant Featherweight title. This one went to the ground straight away and saw some great reversals and transitions from both men, before Lee locked in a triangle choke. Saville didn’t tap, and the referee stopped the fight when Saville passed out, giving Lee the impressive title win.

The title action continued as Michael Pastou challenge Francis Heagney for the Lightweight title. The second fight of the show to be clipped was a great technical battle. Pastou looked great until he began to tire in the middle of the third, when Heagney was able to assert control by taking his man’s back. Pastou’s earlier work was enough to earn him the decision, and the title, ending a very good fight.

The main event saw Mark Weir tackling Jack Mason for the vacant Middleweight title. This was the complete opposite of Weir’s last Ultimate Challenge performance. He more or less dominated the fight, showing great take down defence and some good work on the ground. Mason’s best moment was when he went for a guillotine in the second, but Weir managed to escape, and as the round entered it’s last minute Weir took Mason’s back, and got the win and the title when the referee stopped the fight with Mason failing to defend himself against Weir’s ground and pound. This was a really impressive performance from Weir.

In conclusion - I seem to have been spoiled for MMA action in the past couple of days. After watching the great Strikeforce Challengers show, Ultimate Challenge’s latest offering proved to be just as good. The only downside was the edits, which really could have been avoided with a longer time slot. So if you’re reading this anyone at Sky Sports, give us what we want, a two hour time slot for Britain’s best mixed martial arts promotion.

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