Saturday, 13 August 2011

UCMMA Warrior Creed on Sky Sports - TV Review

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’ve read the headline and thinking what the hell am I doing reviewing UCMMA 22 again? Well, four days after Primetime showed the Reid/Barrett debacle they returned to their usual Sky Sports home for their usual monthly show, featuring fights from the undercard.

The broadcast began in the welterweight division as Sam Morrison faced Charlie Francis.

We had a lengthy feeling out period at the beginning of this one, with both fighters testing the waters with jabs and kicks before Morrison staggered Francis with a left, staggering him even more with a big left hook moments later.

Francis came back well with a take down, but Morrison immediately went for a guillotine. The only problem was that he didn’t know how to complete the hold, so Francis was able to survive easily.

Francis went on to dominate the second round. As soon as the fight went down to the mat he went to work, and it wasn’t long before he took Morrison’s back and unleashed with the ground and pound. The referee gave Morrison plenty of opportunities to fight back, but when Francis’ onslaught went unanswered the referee stopped the fight and gave Francis the impressive TKO win.

Then it was on to the UK1 middleweight kickboxing encounter between Romy Da Silva and Louis King.

King dominated from the start, unloading with the heavy leather and rocking Da Silva with every blow. Da Silva went down twice, and after taking two eight counts he continued, even though it was pretty obvious to everyone except the referee that he was in no condition to do so.

So King continued his onslaught, and as Da Silva continued to flounder around the ring the referee still didn’t step in, and it was only when Da Silva was knocked down for a third time that he finally stopped the fight, giving King the TKO win. A good effort from King here, but this really should have been stopped a lot sooner.

Chris Harman against Przemyslaw Misiek in the light heavyweight division followed.

This was a quick one. Misiek took the fight to the ground almost immediately, passing guard into side control so he could go for a key lock. Harman tried to defend but it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened as Harman quickly tapped out when the Pole applied the hold.

After another showing of the light heavyweight fight between Karl Lawrence and Iain Martell it was on to the middleweight encounter between Miguel Bernard and Jack Mason.

Mason put in a great performance here, getting the early take down and taking side control, and although Bernard had control of his head Mason went for a neck crank.

It wasn’t long before Mason took the mount and went for the ground and pound. Bernard tried to defend by turning his way out of it, but as Mason took his back the he continued his onslaught as the referee stepped in to give him the TKO win.

Then it was back to UK1 kickboxing action as Valentino Petrescu faced Maxin Ospitsov for the Light Heavyweight title.

No swinging for the fences in this one. This was a far more technical battle as Petrescu controlled the early stages with some nice kicks to Maxin’s bread basket and lead leg, knocking him down with a straight left.

Ospitsov just looked a step behind his opponent, and it wasn’t until towards the end of the second round when he took control, bloodying Petrescu’s nose before knocking him down.

It was pretty much the same story in the third. As Petrescu visibly tired Ospitsov upped his game and took control once again with some great strikes and kicks, and this was enough to earn him the title winning unanimous decision.

The final fight featured the big boys of the heavyweight division as Darren Towler took on Tomasz Czerwinski.

Big Czerwinski began this one by going for a clinch against the cage straight away. The next few moments saw them jockeying for position in between brief striking exchanges. It wasn’t long before Towler was unloading with the heavy leather though, and as Czerwinski slumped to the ground the referee quickly stepped in to give Towler the TKO win.

In conclusion - this was a pretty good portion of the show. There were some nice performances here from the likes of Charlie Francis and Maxin Ospitsov, although I do think that big Tomasz Czerwinski needs to shed a few pounds and work on his cardio a great deal. Just going into a cage and hoping to overpower your opponent with superior bulk won’t work in the long term.

So in all the Warrior Creed undercard gets the thumbs up. It’s just a shame that some of the great performances from the entire card will always be overshadowed by the fight (and I use that term quite loosely) between Alex Reid and Jason Barrett.