Friday, 24 August 2012

UCMMA 29 on Sky Sports - TV Review

It’s time to head into the world of British mixed martial arts once again as we take a look at the latest offering from Ultimate Challenge MMA, shown this past Wednesday on Sky Sports here in Britain.

The show bean with light heavyweight action as Max Nunes went up against Iain Martell.

Nunes began his night’s work with a head kick straight off the bat, but it wasn’t long before Martell came back, taking the fight to the ground. Nunes managed to back to his feet, only for Martell to take him straight back down again.

Martell’s work eventually saw him taking Nunes’ back, however, Nunes managed to shake him off and reverse the positions, going for a few moments of ground and pound before the round came to an end.

The second round had an almost identical beginning. Nunes scored with the head hick and Martell came back with a takedown, this time barging his opponent from one side of the cage to the other.

Martell had no time to go on the offence though. Nunes quickly locked in a triangle choke, and it wasn’t long before Martell tapped out to give Nunes the submission win with the round just 46 seconds old.

Lightweight action followed as Sean Carter faced Dom Clark.

The best way to describe this one would be all-out brawl. Both men began unloading with the heavy leather early on. There were a couple of brief clinches against the cage as well as a brief guillotine attempt by Carter, but in the main this was a slugfest.

Each man bloodied the other, and both were in trouble at various points until a couple of knees followed by a couple of punches saw Clark slump to the ground. Carter followed him down for a few seconds until the referee stepped in to give Carter the TKO win.

After a highlights package from some of the other fights it was back to regular action as Tautvydas Lileikis faced Ben Callum in the semi-finals of the middleweight tournament.

This one didn’t last long. Callum began swinging for the fences early on, and it wasn’t long before he had Lileikis on the ground. Callum followed him down and rained down a torrent of blows, but just when it looked like it was all over Lileikis managed to get back to his feet.

He was back down on the ground within seconds though, and as Callum went in for the kill the referee stepped in after just 33 seconds to give Callum the knockout win.

UK1 kickboxing action followed as Jefferson George faced Michael Page for the Welterweight Superfight title.

I have to admit I didn’t quite know what to make of this one. Both fights, particularly Page, spent a great deal of time trying to execute fancy kicks. At one point it looked like they were trying to re-enact the famous fight scene from Way of the Dragon.

The strikes that landed were few and far between, and when Page did unload with the heavy stuff a left/right combination in the second round sent George crashing to the ground. A ten count later and Page had the title winning knockout win.

It was back to MMA action for the next fight as Spencer Hewitt took on Giorgio Andrews for the vacant Flyweight title.

This one is quite easy to write up. They began by exchanging a few blows while trying to gauge the distance before they instigated a clinch against the cage. After both men jockeyed for position Andrews went on to score with the takedown, putting in some solid work on the ground.

It was pretty much the same in each and every round. It wasn’t flashy but it was solid, the only variation in the action coming towards the end of the fight when Andrews tried to avoid Hewitt, mainly because he knew he’d done enough to win the fight.

With no finish in sight it was down to the judges to render a decision. Unsurprisingly all three gave everything to Andrews.

The main event saw Nick Chapman challenging Linton Vassell for the Light Heavyweight title.

This proved to be a very interesting battle. It began with a jab from Vassell, but as the first round went on Chapman began to unload with the big blows. However, Chapman’s attack seemed a little one dimensional. It was as if he was looking for the big knockout blow each and every time.

Chapman would later go on to score with the only takedown of the round, although Vassell managed to get back to his feet straight away.

By the time the second round started Chapman looked exhausted, and it wasn’t long before Vassell scored with the takedown. He soon took his challenger’s back, synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

In conclusion - well, I suppose you could say that this show had everything. A brawl, some showboating, two fighters who looked like they cancelled each other out, and some very good light heavyweight action.

UCMMA 29 was a show with both it’s good and bad points. For instance, the showboating of Michael Page, although entertaining for the majority of the fans, was a little too much for me. I couldn’t help but feel that if he hadn’t posed as much he could have taken Jefferson George out a lot sooner.

The Sean Carter/Dom Clark encounter was, as I said before, one big brawl. As with Nick Chapman later in the show both men seemed to be looking for a big knockout blow each and every time. It wasn’t too pretty.

The highlights of the night for me came from the two light heavyweight fights. Linton Vassell really impressed me here. The champ put in a very good performance against an awkward opponent. Nick Chapman looked like he could have taken Vassell’s head off at any moment. The one thing he was lacking was a little more discipline with his striking.

Having read that you’re probably thinking that was my fight of the night. That particular honour goes to the Max Nunes/Iain Martell fight. Now that was good, and I’m not just saying that because Martell comes from my part of the world! Although I was a little disappointed that he lost!

So with all of that being said let’s wrap this thing up by giving UCMMA 29 the thumbs up.

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