Friday, 15 February 2013

UCMMA 27 - DVD Review

It’s time to step into the world of British MMA once again for a kind of déjà vu review as we take a look at another DVD release from the good people at Ultimate Challenge MMA. The DVD in question is UCMMA 27.

We begin with the preliminaries and the middleweight encounter between Kester Mumba and Mark Armstrong.

This certainly was a very interesting encounter. Both fighters began by testing the waters a little before the action went to the ground.

Once they got there Armstrong took controlling after reversing the positions and taking the mount. Kester did a good job of gutting it out was Armstrong looked for a submission.

It was the same story in the second round. Kester scored with the early trip before Armstrong reversed into the mount. Once again he went for a couple of submissions before deciding that ground and pound was the way to go.

However, although he rained down a torrent of blows most of the shots looked quite sloppy, and it was only when he upped his game in the final minute of the round that the referee stepped in to give him the TKO win.

It was down to lightweight for the next fight as Peter Waterhouse took on Dominic Clarke.

This blink and you’ll miss it affair saw Waterhouse begin with a big right, with Clarke coming back straight away.

Clarke was all over him like a cheap suit. He took the mount as the fight went to the ground and unleashed with the heavy leather as the referee stepped in after just 22 seconds to as he took the TKO win.

Welterweight action followed as Kes Kpokogri took on Esi Moradi.

This was another encounter where they didn’t wait too long before taking it to the ground. Once they got their Moradi took immediate control.

He transitioned with ease as he looked for the ground and pound. Kpokogri looked powerless against Moradi’s onslaught as the referee stepped in to give Moradi the TKO win.

UK1 kickboxing action followed as Jimmy Miller took on Tom King in the welterweight division.

The stand-up fighters were clearly following the examples set by their MMA counterparts here. These two clearly weren’t being paid by the house as they began to swing with King getting the first knockdown with a left jab.

After a few seconds of dirty boxing King had his man on his backside again, this time with a right hand that caught Miller flush on the chin.

When a second left jab sent Miller crashing again the referee waived off the action as King took the TKO win.

It was back to regular MMA action next and the heavyweight encounter between Matthew Manners and Scott Saward.

We had two fighters making their professional debuts in this one, a definite blink and you’ll miss it affair if ever there was one.

Saward came forward as soon as the fight started, and as he connected with a barrage of blows Manners slumped to the canvas. The referee stepped in after just eight seconds to give Saward the TKO win.

Then it was back to middleweight as Sam Boo faced Tolly Plested.

No feeling out period in this one. Plested took the action to the ground early on, lifting Boo up and walking over to his own corner before slamming him to the mat.

Plested’s game was both patient and effective. Although Book tried to lock him down at one point Plested soon worked into a position where he could take the mount and unleash with the ground and pound. Boo then game him his back as Plested synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

More heavyweight action followed as Paul Taylor went up against Marian Rusu.

This was another one of those fights that fits firmly into the interesting category. It was developing quite nicely, with Rusu looking the better of the two, especially with his combinations. But when he connected with a right kick to Taylor’s thigh he began to complain about a foot injury.

After a brief chat with the referee he decided to fight on, but by then he was the proverbial one legged man in an a*** kicking contest, and when Taylor deliver a series of blows Rusu slumped to the mat as the referee stopped the action to give Taylor the stoppage win.

Then it was on to the main show, beginning with the UK1 middleweight encounter between Peter Nemeth and Tony Giles.

The third blink and you’ll miss it affair saw Giles coming forward as soon as the bell sounded. Nemeth was cut almost immediately as Giles connected with a barrage of lefts and rights.

The referee quickly stepped in so he could give Nemeth a standing eight count, but there was no need as he gave up to give Giles the TKO win after just 22 seconds.

Bantamweight MMA action followed as Arnold Allen took on Nathan Greyson.

Allen, who was making his professional debut at just 18 years of age, began with a takedown attempt went awry as he landed on his back. However, when the ground fighting began in earnest he showed a tremendous amount of skill.

While Greyson looked for the ground and pound Allen constantly looked for submissions, and just when it looked like he would get the armbar Greyson slammed his way out.

Greyson finished the first round in a strong position with a spot of ground and pound from the mount, but when the second round began Allen showed he had more to him than his ground game.

As Greyson backed Allen up against the fence Allen connected with a big left that sent his man crashing to the canvas. The referee called the action immediately, giving Allen the knockout just 40 seconds into the round.

Then it was up to light heavyweight as Max Nunes faced Shane Fourie.

As the old saying goes someone’s “0” had to go in this battle of undefeated fighters. The first few moments saw them engage in a clinch against the cage, and although Nunes was the one being pushed against the fence he had more success than Fourie.

Fourie went for a takedown after the referee separation, but an error on his part saw Nunes landing in top position. He soon went to work with the ground and pound, and as Fourie was cut open the referee stepped in to give Nunes the win by verbal submission.

It was down to welterweight for the next fight between Andy Cona and Amil Smith.

Cona began his shift in the cage with a spinning back fist attempt, and the action really got underway when he took the fight to the ground.

They spent the next few moments jockeying for position, with Cona taking his man down with a pro wrestling-like Powerslam. That may have been a great highlight reel moment but ultimately it meant nothing when Smith took his back and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

The welterweight action continued with Lee Caers and Luke Newman.

Before the fight began commentator and former UFC fighter Ian Freeman praised Newman’s striking ability, and although we saw a little of that here it was his ground game that impressed me.

After taking his man down with a high slam Newman went to work. Caers did a good job of defending at times, but Newman’s ground and pound soon softened him up.

Moments later Newman took Caers’ back, and after a few more well placed shots he locked in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

Catchweight action made at 80 kilos followed as Miguel Barnard went up against Michael Page.

Page began the fight with his somewhat flamboyant stance as both fighters did a bit of showboating as they tried to land that first blow.

A few moments later Page slipped and fell to the ground. Bernard immediately went into the guard, only to find himself in a Page armbar. But as Bernard tapped Page kept the hold in place, only releasing it when the referee screamed at him to stop.

Yet more welterweight action followed as Warren Kee took on Bola Omoyele.

We had a brief testing of the waters at the beginning before Omoyele instigated a clinch. He then went for a takedown, but each time he tried this Kee managed to get back to his feet.

Omoyele then took Kee’s back while they were still standing as he delivered a succession of left knees to Kee’s head. These soon had their desired effect, and as Kee slumped up against the cage Omoyele added a few punches into the mix. The referee soon stepped in to give Omoyele the TKO win.

The only title fight on the show saw A.J. Woodhall taking on Louis King for the vacant UK1 Light Heavyweight title.

Time to bring out that blink and you’ll miss it line again. King came out swinging as soon as the bell rang as he clobbered Woodhall with a succession of lefts and rights. Woodhall quickly fell to the mat as the referee stopped the fight after just six seconds to give King the TKO win and the title.

The main event featured light heavyweight action as Neil Bittong faced Ben Smith.

To me this seemed like the most methodical fight on the show. Bittong had some success early on when he escaped after a couple of takedowns, until Smith eventually succeeded with his desired tactic.

It looked like it was going to be a long night for Bittong as Smith control the action with the ground and pound. It was a tactic that served him well for the majority of the first round and into the second as well.

But against the run of play Bittong managed to get back to his feet, and moments later he took Smith’s back. As the round entered it’s final minute Bittong flattened his man out and synched in a rear naked choke to take the submission win.

In conclusion - in my review of the TV broadcast of this event I described this as an explosive night of action, and having seen the entire show I see no reason to change that conclusion.

This really is another quality DVD release from UCMMA, and if you’re one of those fans frustrated by shows where every fight goes the distance this may be the tonic you’re looking for. The judges simply weren’t required here.

As for my fight of the night the no-prize originally went to Arnold Allen and Nathan Greyson, and once again I see no reason to change that decision, or to change the decision to give this show the thumbs up.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. For details on how to purchase UCMMA 27 on DVD visit

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