Thursday, 10 February 2011

Ultimate Challenge 18: Face Off on Sky Sports - TV Review

British MMA is on the agenda once again, and this time we’re going to take a look at the latest offering from Dave O’Donnell’s Ultimate Challenge crew, Face Off, shown this past Wednesday night on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The show began with welterweight action as Brendan Cookman went up against Bola Omayele.

This one featured an excellent display of ground and pound from Omayele. As soon as the fight went downstairs he went to work, completely overpowering Cookman, who simply had no defence against the onslaught. It wasn’t long before the referee wisely stepped in to give Omayele the first round TKO win.

UK1 kickboxing action followed as Simon Kyurchiev faced Luke Sines for the Welterweight title.

A pretty even looking three rounder saw both fighters getting off some good shots in what was a difficult fight to score. Thankfully I didn’t have to as the official judges gave Sines the unanimous decision.

It was back to MMA action for the next fight as Denniston Sutherland faced Jack Mason in the middleweight division.

Sutherland came out with all guns blazing, quickly connecting with a right uppercut that sent Mason crashing to the ground.

But despite the initial onslaught Mason recovered and came back strongly, going for a few submissions, including a guillotine in the dying seconds of the first round.

I’m guessing that nothing more of note happened in this fight as the entire second round and the majority of the third round were cut, although I’m also guessing that Sutherland had the upper hand because he took the judge’s decision.

It was up to the light heavyweight division for the next fight as Rolandas Cizauskas went up against Linton Vassell.

From the moment this fight went to the ground Vassell dominated, quickly taking Cizauskas’ back and going to work with the ground and pound.

Simply put, there was nothing that Cizauskas could do, and as the first round entered it’s last minute Vassell flattened his man out and quickened the tempo as the referee stopped the fight to give the impressive Vassell the TKO win.

Then it was on to Tim Radcliff challenging Michael Pastou for the Lightweight title.

This was another fight that began with a knockdown as a big right from Pastou sent Radcliff crashing. But despite the onslaught from the champion Radcliff managed to work his way back to the point where, just over 30 seconds from the end of the first round, he connected with a left leg to the head that sent Pastou down. Seconds later the referee stopped the fight, giving Radcliff the title winning knockout win.

The final fight of the show saw Dean Amasinger challenging John Maguire for the Welterweight title.

This was another of those even looking contests. Both guys looked good in the stand up and on the ground as they seemed to negate each other.

But it was all over when Maguire scored with a second round take down. He quickly took Amasinger’s back and synched in a rear naked choke. The former Ultimate Fighter contestant fought it for as long as he could until he passed out, giving Maguire the submission win.

In conclusion - another impressive outing from the Ultimate Challenge crew here, with some great fights and outstanding performances, particularly from Tim Radcliff and John Maguire.

The only disappointing aspect came with the cuts in the Kyurchiev/Sines and Sutherland/Mason fights. But then again maybe this is a sign that Sky Sports need to give the a longer time slot, or that Mr. O’Donnell needs to start releasing the full shows, undercard fights and all, on DVD. We can but hope.