Saturday, 26 June 2010

Ultimate Challenge Feel the Pain on Sky Sports - TV Review

It’s time to look at British mixed martial arts action again as we take a look at the latest Ultimate Challenge show, Feel the Pain, shown this past Wednesday on Sky Sports here in Britain, presented by Jason Barrett and Dave O’Donnell, with Rob Nutley, Pierre Guillet and Malcolm Martin handling commentary duties.

The opener saw UK1 kickboxing action as Ashley Pollard faced Mahcin Bahtkiewicz for the Heavyweight title. It was interesting to that they once again used MMA-style gloves instead of traditional boxing gloves. This was a very one sided fight. Mahcin came forward from the opening bell, raining down a torrent of blows as Pollard crumbled. Kicks to the leg sent Pollard down for two eight counts, and when he went down for a third time the referee wisely stopped the giving, giving Mahcin the impressive title win.

After a brief highlights package showing some of the other fights, the kickboxing action continued as Djo Lema faced Scott Jansen for the vacant UK1 Lightweight title. This one had quite a reserved start until Lema suddenly sprang into action, with a big right sending Jansen down for the count. A very good performance from Lema here.

The MMA action began with Jason Ball against Tim Radcliff in the lightweight division. A very enjoyable three rounder saw Radcliffe take control in the first, setting up the take down with a few kicks to Ball’s legs. Once he took it to the ground he put on a tremendous showing, transitioning at will and going for a few submissions. Ball came back well in the second, cutting off the cage well and moving Radcliff into position so he could unload with the big right. The third round was a more even affair, with Ball continuing his good striking work before Radcliff once again took control on the ground. All three judges gave the fight to Radcliff, and although the scores weren’t announced, it would have been interesting to see how close they were.

It was up to the middleweight division for the next fight as Chris Greig went up against Jack Mason. A very cagey fight saw Mason go for a couple of take downs in the first. Greig was able to escape with east, and he soon gained the upper hand in the striking game. It was pretty much the same at the beginning of the second, until Mason pulled guard as he synched in a guillotine choke for the submission win. An interesting fight, but not the most explosive one I’ve seen on an Ultimate Challenge show.

The main event saw the big boys coming out to play as Darren Towler faced Ben Smith in the heavyweight division. With the size of these two it was obvious that this fight wouldn’t go the distance. Smith got the early take down, but Towler quickly reversed and showed some good ground work. Smith soon regained control, and after some ground and pound he took Towler’s back and synched in the rear naked choke for the submission win, ending a very good fight.

In conclusion - another very enjoyable outing from Dave O’Donnell and his crew here. There were some really good fights here, although I must admit that even though I quite like them, I’m starting to find the inclusion of the UK1 kickboxing fights a little bit of a turn off. After all, it does say MMA on the marquee as it were, and I’d rather see more MMA fights on an MMA show.

And did we have to have so many shots of Alex Reid and Katie Price sitting in the audience? That’s one tabloid couple I could do without!

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