Monday, 11 March 2013

BAMMA 12 on 5* - TV Review

It’s time to step into the world of British mixed martial arts once again as we take a look at the twelfth offering from BAMMA, shown live this past Saturday night on 5* here in Britain.

The broadcast began with action from the welterweight division as Luke Newman faced Ryan Scope.

This was a great way to open the show. The feeling out period was just a few seconds long before they instigated a clinch against the cage. From there Scope scored with the first takedown of the fight, and although Newman went for a guillotine Scope quickly escaped.

Quick escapes seemed to be the order of the day for a few moments as Newman soon got to his feet, and although Scope took him back down it was a back and forth exchange that repeated itself a few times.

Then Newman turned the tables when he began to unload with the heavy leather after dropping Scope with a knee to the bread basket. Newman followed him down as he looked to take the win, but after taking a few choice shots Scope quickly locked in a triangle choke. Newman soon tapped out to give Scope the submission win.

The only title fight on the show saw Curt Warburton challenging Stevie Ray for the British Lightweight title.

As the fight began our esteemed colour commentator Ken Shamrock predicted that the fight wouldn’t go the distance, immediately putting the commentator’s curse on the proceedings.

This proved to be a very entertaining three rounder, and for those who prefer ground fighting to striking then you’d really enjoy this one.

It began with a brief feeling out period before a clinch against the cage. Warburton then took the advantage with the first takedown of the fight, with Ray showing some sound defensive skills as he tried to shut his man down.

Ray’s best work came in the second round when he took control on the ground. It looked all over when he took Warburton’s back, looking for a rear naked choke. Warburton managed to survive this scare, but Ray still had his back, and his body lock didn’t give the challenger much room to move.

Both men had their moments in the third and final round. Warburton tried to take control on the ground. A few moments later during the only meaningful striking exchange he almost gained control again when Ray slipped going for a kick. He never really capitalised on this mishap though, and the fight ended with Ray scoring with a takedown against the fence.

With no finish in sight the judges were called into action for the only time during the broadcast. No difference of opinion here as Warburton took the unanimous decision.

The penultimate fight featured light heavyweight action as Max Nunes took on Maran Lazarz.

This was one of those intriguing kind of battles. Lazarz’s tactic of choice seemed to be to grind Nunes down against the cage while looking for a takedown. It was a tactic that worked a couple of times in the first round, the only problem was that when he took the fight down Nunes always managed to get back to his feet.

Lazarz continued with this tactic into the second round, but this time around he mixed it up with a couple of takedowns in the middle of the cage. This almost led to his downfall when Nunes went for an armbar, and when Nunes countered his push kick with a left/right combination.

The clinching and the grappling continued into the third round, but when Lazarz moved backwards and went for a takedown he slipped, giving Nunes the chance to take control. He quickly went to work with the ground and pound, raining down a barrage of punches and elbows, and with Lazarz offering nothing in reply the referee stepped in to give Nunes the TKO win.

The main event saw Jimmy Wallhead taking on Matt Veach in the welterweight division.

Plenty of action in this one. There were a few takedown attempts and a brief clinch against the cage early on, but it was during the striking exchanges that the first damage was caused when Wallhead opened Veach up.

A few moments later Wallhead dropped his man to the canvas. He then went to work with the ground and pound before taking his back and synching in a rear naked choke for the submission win.

The show rounded out with a highlights package of the other fights on the card.

In conclusion - now this was more like it!

Having been bitterly disappointed by BAMMA’s last television appearance I’m more than happy to say that this was definitely a return to form.

All four of the fights shown were very enjoyable, and it just goes to show that Channel 5 and their sister stations can produce a quality television show without having to focus on a certain reality TV star and tabloid darling who really hasn’t done anything of note in the British MMA world.

As for my fight of the night no-prize this time around it’s going to the opening encounter between Ryan Scope and Luke Newman, with an honourable mention to Jimmy Wallhead’s demolition of Matt Veach.

So with all of that out of the way let’s close this thing out by giving BAMMA 12 the deserved thumbs up.

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