Sunday, 11 September 2011

BAMMA 7 on SyFy - TV Review

It’s time to step into the world of British MMA again as we take a look at the latest offering from the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts, with former UFC stars Frank Trigg, Paul Daley and Andre Winner featuring in BAMMA 7, shown live on SyFy this past Saturday night here in Britain.



The broadcast began in the lightweight division as Jason Ball faced Andre Winner.

This all British affair proved to be a rather intriguing battle. Nothing much happened in the first round apart from a clinch against the cage in which Winner delivered a series of hammer fists to Ball’s thigh. It was as if they were treating it as a sparring session.

Things were turned up a notch in the second as both men seemed to fight with a little more intensity, with Winner getting the take down before Ball managed to reverse later on.

Ball really needed to do something big in the final round but he just couldn’t get out of first gear. He managed to get a take down but it wasn’t long before Winner took the guard and opened up a cut above Ball’s right eye.

So with the fight going the distance the judges were called into action, with all three giving everything to Winner.

Title action followed as Carl Noon faced Jack Marshman for the vacant Lonsdale British Middleweight title.

Now this was more like it. Noon dominated the first round, throwing a punch then scoring with the take down and unleashing with the ground and pound. His attack was relentless as he bloodied and swelled Marshman’s left eye. It was a dominant performance.

Until the start of the second round that is. After the doctor checked Marshman’s eye and allowed him to continue he gradually took control, unleashing with some great shots in the stand up game, and as the round went on Noon began to tire drastically, so much so that at the end of the round his second had to lift him into his stool.

The third round saw Marshman continue his onslaught. Noon was exhausted, and there were a few points where he put his hands on his knees and took in some deep breaths. Marshman soon took Noon down, and it wasn’t long before the referee finally stepped in to save Noon from Marshman’s ground and pound, giving Marshman the title winning TKO win.

It was down to welterweight for the next fight as Jordan Radev faced Paul Daley.

Given Daley’s past weaknesses in the ground game you would have thought that Radev would have taken him down early on. But that wasn’t the case.

For two rounds we had what could only be described as a brawl. Daley threw everything bar the kitchen sink and the Bulgarian, but not matter what he did Radev kept coming back for me, and at times he gave as good as he got. It wasn’t pretty but it certainly was intriguing to watch.

It wasn’t until the third round when Radev decided to take the fight to the ground, and once there Daley looked like fish out of water again, seemingly unable to do anything as Radev went for the ground and pound. Daley managed to kick his man off when he postured up but Radev was soon back in Daley’s guard seconds later, and even though he dominated on the ground it just wasn’t enough.

That’s the way the judges saw it as well, with Daley earning the unanimous decision in one of his toughest fights over the past few years.

The main event featured middleweight action as Frank Trigg went up against Jimmy Wallhead.

Originally Trigg was meant to be challenging Tom Watson for the BAMMA Middleweight title, but when Kong was injured in training Wallhead was called in as a replacement.

The big money was on Trigg to win this one. Unfortunately for him Wallhead hadn’t read the script. After a lengthy feeling out period at the beginning of the first round Wallhead rocked Trigg with a big left hook, and the ensuing ground and pound opened up a cut underneath Trigg’s right eye.

Trigg came back in the second round with some crisp striking, but Wallhead was more than able to keep up with him, and it made for great viewing as they unleashed with their combinations.

Wallhead put in some more good work in the third round, and to the surprise of many he finally got past Trigg’s defence and scored with the take down. The ground work didn’t last that long but as the fight came to an end it was apparent to everyone in attendance that Wallhead was getting the better of the veteran.

The judges were called into action once again, and while one of them scored in favour of Trigg the other two gave the fight to Wallhead, giving him the majority decision.

In conclusion - once again the BAMMA crew have given us another good show, and while some of the action wasn’t exactly pretty it was great to watch, with the three rounder between Trigg and Wallhead the highlight of the night for me. I have to admit that I thought Trigg would take the fight, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the Brit take the win, leaving me to wonder if he’s next in line now for a shot at Tom Watson’s title when the Kong man is fit again.

Production wise it was as good as ever, although they did come back slightly late from a commercial break before the third round of the main event, and it would have been nice if they’d had an on-screen countdown clock.

So in all BAMMA 7 gets the thumbs up from this particular writer, and hopefully they’ll continue to deliver the quality at their next show in December.