Thursday, 26 May 2011

WFC 1: A New Beginning on Channel AKA - TV Review

MMA is turning up in some strange places on television these days, and this review proves that point as we take a look at a new British promotion, World Fighting Championship, and their debut show, A New Beginning, shown on music station Channel AKA this past Wednesday night.

The broadcast began in the middleweight division as Geoff Snelling took on Piotr Ptanski.

Ptanski began the action with an early take down, delivering a few shots to the ribs while Snelling looked for submission opportunities.

And that was all we saw of this fight. Technical problems meant that the screen pixilated and the signal was lost for the next few minutes. The next thing we saw was a happy looking Ptanski at the end of an interview, so I’m guessing he won.

It was up to light heavyweight for the next fight as Christopher Malcolm took on Chad Brown.

Two guys looking to make inroads early in their careers put on a very entertaining battle.

Brown began the first with a Superman punch attempt, only to find himself on the end of a Malcolm take down.

From there we saw some solid back and forth action, with Brown gaining the upper hand as the round came to an end.

Brown secured the win early in the second. After beginning with another Superman punch he connected with a short right hand, with Malcolm dropping like a sack of spuds as Brown took the knockout win.

The first title fight followed as Alexandre Izidro faced Tim Radcliffe for the vacant Lightweight title.

This was a very intriguing battle early on. There was an extensive feeling out period lasting into the final minute of the first round.

The action continued in this way through the second, with only a big slam from Izidro standing out.

When the third started Radcliffe took control, knocking Izidro down with a big left and sealing the deal with an anaconda choke.

More technical problems followed, but thankfully no fight action went unseen, so it was on to the next fight as Kevin Jennings faced Dawid Farycki in the bantamweight division.

This semi-pro bout saw Farycki score with the early take down into side control. He then quickly transitioned into position to he could apply a reverse triangle for the submission win.

More light heavyweight action followed as Neil Bittong went up against Robert Kreceski.

I really enjoyed this one. The first round was filled with excellent back and forth action, with plenty of transitions on the ground and some nice striking exchanges.

The pace slowed a little in the second as Kreceski took control on the ground, and in the final minute he tired Bittong up, taking the TKO win with a succession of unanswered blows to the head.

The main event saw Henrique Santana taking on Danny Mitchell for the vacant Welterweight title.

Having been told by our announcers that this fight probably wouldn’t go to the ground early Santana promptly scored with the take down to counter Mitchell’s early jabs.

For the next two rounds Santana put in a solid and workmanlike performance, and in the dying seconds of each of those rounds he took Mitchell’s back, looking for the rear naked choke.

Having had a point deducted for an illegal up kick in the second Mitchell upped his game in the third, taking control from his back as Santana visibly tired. But it was too little too late, and as the fight ended Mitchell commented on how he would have gone further if the fight had been a five rounder.

So it was down to the judges to decide the outcome, all three giving the fight and the title to Santana.

In conclusion - despite the technical difficulties the WFC’s debut show was a pretty enjoyable affair.

I really enjoyed the fights I saw, with the Santana/Mitchell the highlight of the show for me.

Production-wise it was okay, nothing overly flashy and the sort of standard you’d expect from a British MMA company. However, I’m not sure about the font they use for the logo. It’s too similar to the UFC’s, and in the long term they could come across as a poor man’s UFC when they should be trying to establish their own unique identity.

But apart from that somewhat minor grip I’m giving WFC the thumbs up. Let’s hope they can keep their momentum going in the lead up to future shows.