Monday, 23 May 2011

UCMMA 20: Fists of Fire on Sky Sports - TV Review

The first of a British MMA double bill sees us going back to last weekend and The Troxy in London as we take a look at the latest Ultimate Challenge MMA show, Fists of Fire, shown this past Wednesday night on Sky Sports here in Britain.

The broadcast began in the middleweight division as David Zetolofsky faced Karl Lawrence.

Lawrence began by testing the waters with a few strike, Zetolofsky responding with a couple of take downs.

However, he didn’t stay in top position too long as Lawrence soon reversed. Zetolofsky went for an arm bar, but Lawrence survived, taking Zetolofsky’s back seconds later and getting the win with a knockout.

The big boys of the heavyweight division were up next as Deivida Banaitis took on Ben Smith.

Smith was looking to get back to winning ways after losing the title to Oli Thompson. Things didn’t go his way though.

Banaitis came forward with the heavy leather early on. An inadvertent low blow stopped his progress for a few seconds before an uppercut sent Smith down.

Banaitis then unleashed with the ground and pound from behind. Smith tried to cover up, but when things got too much he tapped out, giving Banaitis the stoppage win.

The first championship fight saw Nathan Beer challenging Dave Lee for the Featherweight title.

The first fight on the broadcast to make it out of the first round was an intriguing three rounder in which both fighters gave their all.

Beer did a good job early on the ground, although Lee managed to neutralize him at times. Beer upped his game from the second round onwards, particularly in the striking department.

Both men look exhausted at the start of the third, but that didn’t stop them from unloading with the big blows.

But in the end neither man could get the job done, so the judges came into play as all three scored in favour of Beer, giving him the big title win.

It was back up to heavyweight for the next fight as Tomasz Czerwinski went up against Amokrane Sabet.

No fancy dan stuff in this one. These two began swinging for the fences from the start. It was fought at a frantic pace to begin with, but it was obvious that the big unit that was Czerwinski wouldn’t be able to keep up that pace for long.

Indeed, after just two minutes Czerwinski was gassed, and actually stopped a couple of times to take in deep breaths.

But just as Sabet looked like he was going in for the kill Czerwinski connected with a big right that sent Sabet crashing. He was completely out of it as the referee stepped in to give Czerwinski the knockout win.

The main event saw Jamaine Facey challenging John Maguire for the Welterweight title.

The best was saved for last with this one. Maguire put in a great performance on the ground, although Facey didn’t make things easy for him.

The action went to the ground quickly, only for Facey to tie Maguire up with a couple of over hooks. It was a sound defensive tactic. He also put on an acrobatic display of sorts, flipping out from under Maguire while the champion was on the offensive.

It was in the second round where Maguire took control, taking the mount and going for the ground and pound a couple of times before locking in a kimura to get the hard fought title retaining win.

In conclusion - UCMMA’s 20th outing proved to be a very enjoyable show.

Every fight shown delivered, and I even found myself enjoying the wild brawl between Sabet and Czerwinski. Nothing could match the main event though.

So in all another good show from the UCMMA crew, and a big thumbs up from me.

One word for head honcho Dave O’Donnell, and his singing performance at the beginning of the show. Don’t give up the day job mate!