Friday, 7 June 2013

UCMMA 30 - DVD Review

British MMA is on the agenda once again as we take a look at the last of the batch of DVDs sent to me by the good people at Ultimate Challenge MMA, so let’s head for the Troxy in London for UCMMA 30.

The show began with UK1 kickboxing action as Aurelijus Kerpe faced Andre McIntyre in the middleweight division.

McIntyre began his night with some rather strange tactics. He seemed almost reluctant to come out of his corner, and this was all the encouragement Kerpe needed as he came forward with a flurry of blows that put his man on the canvas twice.

McIntyre did a bit better at the beginning of the second when he scored with a knockdown of his own, but it wasn’t long before he was back up against the cage and taking another barrage of blows that sent him crashing. He got back up to his feet, but when the referee saw he was on rubber legs he waved the fight off to give Kerpe the TKO win.

The MMA action began with a catchweight encounter, made at 63 kilos, between Martin Sheridan and Paul Kingdon.

This proved to be an intriguing back and forth battle. It began with the fighters jockeying for position against the cage and on the ground, but as the round went on Sheridan’s height advantage came into play as a couple of knee strikes staggered Kingdon.

Sheridan cemented his advantage in the second round with some nice striking, and when another knee to the head sent Kingdon crashing Sheridan followed him down for a brief moment of ground and pound before the referee stepped in to give Sheridan the TKO win.

Lightweight action followed as Ben McConigle took on Dan Elie.

Elie came into this one with a big height and reach advantage, and he used this to good effect in the first round. His striking looked great as he bloodied McConigle’s face early on, although his opponent’s rather static tactics gave him no end of help.

McConigle had his moments, particularly when he grabbed Elie’s head and threw him to the ground, but it wasn’t until the end of the second when he had any real success with a series of punches against the fence.

He continued his great work into the final round, this time with a relentless barrage of knees from the Thai clinch. Elie tried his best, but it wasn’t long before he slumped to the mat. McConigle followed up with a spot of ground and pound before the referee stopped the fight to give McConigle the TKO win.

Then it was up to middleweight as Steve Brand went up against Makunga Bunduku.

This one didn’t last long. Brand came forward as soon as the fight began with some wild shots. Bunduku countered with a brief clinch against the cage as they grappled for position. A few seconds later Brand went for a single leg takedown while Bunduku went for a guillotine. It wasn’t long before he pulled guard and synched in the hold, and with Brand having nowhere to go he tapped out to give Bunduku the win after just 57 seconds.

It was back to UK1 action for the next fight as Chase Morton took on Tommy King in the middleweight division.

This was a fine example of how being a little too flashy can cost you dearly. Morton began his night’s work with an array of kicks, and while these looked impressive they weren’t actually causing much damage. Kind on the other hand went for the straight ahead approach, and it soon paid dividends when he put Morton on his backside.

As the round entered it’s final minute Morton looked exhausted, and it wasn’t long before he was back on the canvas again. The referee gave him another eight count, but when it became apparent that he had nothing left to offer the official waved off the action to give King the TKO win.

More MMA action followed as Umer Kayani faced Colin Wilby in the welterweight division.

This was a rather interesting encounter. The first round saw Wilby putting in a solid performance. His striking looked crisp, and when he took to the fight to the ground his work was okay, although it wasn’t good enough to prevent a couple of referee stand ups.

Although Kayani looked a little poor in the first he upped his game in the second. A big left put Wilby on the canvas, and although Wilby managed to reverse the positions after Kayani followed him down Kayani soon locked in a triangle choke as Wilby tapped out to give Kayani the submission win.

Yet more UK1 action followed as Andy Cona took on Jordan Wright in the lightweight division.

Both fighters were making their kickboxing debuts in this one, and while Cona looked like he was trying to make a statement with every blow Wright took the more methodical approach, and it was this tactic that paid dividends.

Wright’s tactics paid off when a head kick staggered Cona, which resulted in the referee giving him an eight count. But just when it looked like the fight would go into the second round Wright connected with a right hand just before the bell sounded. As Cona was out cold the referee immediately stopped the action to give Wright the knockout win.

MMA bantamweight action followed as Cameron Else faced Spencer Hewitt.

Plenty of solid action in this one. They began by exchanging a few shots, and when the fight went to the ground Hewitt took control. Else did a good job in playing the spoiler for a few moments, but when Hewitt took his back it wasn’t long before he synched in a rear naked choke. Else held out for as long as he could, but when he passed out the referee stopped the action to give Hewitt the submission win.

Then it was back to welterweight as Robert Skujins took on Galore Bofando.

The somewhat unorthodox Bofando began his stint in the cage looking to land some flashy kicks, and although these tactics made for a great spectacle they actually achieved very little.

A few moments later Skujins scored with the takedown, although Bofando managed to reverse the positions a short time later as he delivered a spot of ground and pound before he got back to his feet.

As the first round entered it’s final minutes Bofando took a more serious stance, and when he connected with a kick to the live Skujins looked in trouble, but with just two seconds left in the round Bofando hit his man with a knee to the head while he was still grounded, and with Skujins unable to continue the referee had no choice but to disqualify Bofando for the illegal blow.

Then it was back to middleweight as Jimmy Millar took on Jason Radcliffe.

This one began with Radcliffe coming forward looking for the takedown. For almost two minutes Radcliffe grappled with his man against the fence before he finally slammed him to the mat.

From there he worked into a position where he could take Millar’s back, and after delivering some well placed ground and pound shots he synched in a rear naked choke as Millar tapped to give him the submission win.

The middleweight action continued with Andy Mojo Manzolo taking on Louis King.

King was well known for his skills as a UK1 fighter, so when Manzolo scored with the takedown he probably wasn’t expecting him to reverse the positions so quickly.

After just a few seconds King managed to take the mount, and as he rained down a torrent of blows all Manzolo could do was cover up, and when he offered nothing in reply that was enough for the referee was he stopped the action to give King the TKO win.

The big boys of the heavyweight division were up next as Carl Kinslow faced Paul Taylor.

These two began by trading leg kicks, and it was apparent after just a few seconds that this would develop into an interesting fight.

Taylor soon began unloading with the heavy leather, and although Kinslow put on a good show at times Taylor’s bombs with turning his face into a bloody mess. So it came as no surprise when the referee halted the fight and sought the doctor’s opinion. A few seconds later he waved the fight off to give Taylor the TKO win.

The final title fight of the evening saw Tomasz Czerwinski taking on Chi Lewis-Parry for the UK1 Heavyweight title.

This was the battle between the brawler and the technician. From the outset it was obvious what big Czerwinski’s tactics were, and while Parry used sound boxing skills to take it to his opponent Czerwinski seemed intent on looking for that one big knockout blow.

Parry’s boxing saw him taking the upper hand in the first two rounds, and it was only in the third round, when both guys looked exhausted, that Czerwinski changed his game plans a little.

But with the fight going the distance the judges were called up for the first time as Parry took the unanimous decision.

The championship action continued with Dayman Lake taking on Darren Towler for the Heavyweight title.

The shortest fight of the night saw both fighters testing the waters for a few jabs, but when Towler connected with a big left Lake crashed to the ground. As Towler began to unload with the big bombs Lake managed to get back to his feet, only to be sent crashing down again with a couple of knees. That was enough as far as the referee was concerned as he stopped the action after just 48 seconds to give Towler the TKO win.

The main event featured UK1 catchweight action, made at 80 kilos, as Luke Sines faced Jake Bostwick for the Superfight title.

This may well be the best kickboxing fight I’ve seen from this promotion. For three rounds these two put on a great back and forth battle.

After the initial water testing period they really went to work, and while Bostwick looked the busier of the two it was Sines who drew blood when he opened up a cut above Bostwick’s left eye.

After two pretty even looking rounds Bostwick really went to work, but no matter what he did Sines kept on coming, and it looked like we were going to get a fight that had no knockdowns. That was until Bostwick connected with an uppercut that dropped Sines in the last ten seconds, and although his legs were still a little wobbly he survived the eight count, which turned out to be the last meaningful action in the fight.

Which meant more work for the judges. With one judge scoring it was a draw two scored in favour of Bostwick as he took the majority decision.

In conclusion - every time I review one of these DVD release I always say how watching the entire show is a lot better than seeing the edited television broadcast.

That case has been proven once again by this release. It’s jam packed with three hours of top notch MMA and UK1 action, and it proves once more that Dave O’Donnell and his crew are the best they are at what they do.

As for my fight of the night when I reviewed the original broadcast last October I gave two no-prizes, with Jake Bostwick and Luke Sines taking the UK1 honours and Jimmy Millar and Jason Radcliffe taking the MMA honours, and I see no reason to change those particular decisions.

So with all of that out of the way there’s just one more thing left to do, and that’s to give the DVD release of UCMMA 30 the big thumbs up.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. For more information on how to purchase UCMMA 30 you can contact them via their website at

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