It's debut time once more as we head into the realm of British MMA. This time around we're going to take a look at the most recent show from the Olympian Mixed Martial Arts Championship. This is actually a review I had hoped to bring you a few weeks ago, but when the show wasn't shown as advertised a few times and the channel looked like it was going to go out of business at one point it looked like I'd never get the chance to see this thing.
So finally, after a long wait, we're going to take a look at OMMAC 17: High Octane, shown this past Saturday night on Controversial TV here in Britain.
The broadcast began with heavyweight action as Deividas Banaitis took on Adam Parkes.
Banaitis began his night's work with a couple of nice looking kicks, and as he rolled off a couple of combinations it looked as if Parkes was having trouble getting out of the blocks. A few moments later he went for a takedown against the cage, but his tactic of choice didn't work because of Banaitis' sound defensive skills.
When the referee separated them due to inactivity the Lithuanian went back to the striking game and looked pretty good until Parkes instigated another clinch against the cage. Once again Banaitis' defence was solid, and after he created some separation he went to work with the combinations. His right hand was clearly causing problems for Parkes, and when a series of lefts connected against the cage it was the beginning of the end. Banaitis was all over his man like a cheap suit, and it wasn't long before the referee stepped in to give Banaitis the first round TKO win.
Then it was on to title action as Andrew Fisher faced Shay Walsh for the British Featherweight crown.
This certainly proved to be an interesting encounter. Fisher put on a great display of striking from the outset, and his uppercuts looked absolutely brutal, so brutal in fact that one of them broke Walsh's jaw early on. Walsh fought through the pain though as he tried to take Fisher down, but the defensive work on show meant that he failed time and time again, while Fisher continued to score with some powerful blows.
It became obvious between rounds just how badly Walsh was injured, but showing either great heart or great stupidity he came out for the second round. Once again Fisher scored with the heavy leather, but this time around Walsh scored with a couple of takedowns, although the final one of these saw him almost fall to Fisher's kimura.
As soon as the second round ended Walsh was checked over by the doctor, and despite his pleas the fight was called, giving Fisher the title winning TKO victory.
The championship action continued with Denniston Sutherland taking on Lee Chadwick for the British Middleweight title.
This was one of those fights that looked good on paper but didn't quite deliver in the cage. It began with a brief feeling out period until Chadwick instigated a clinch against the cage as he looked for a takedown. And that was more or less how the rest of the opening round played out.
As for the second Chadwick kept with his game plan, but this time around he had more success when he scored with a few takedowns. However, when he ended up in top position he seemed content just to cancel Sutherland out as he did just enough to prevent a stand up.
Chadwick went back to the clinching game in the final round, but with a couple of minutes to go it looked like someone had lighted a fire under Sutherland. He suddenly went to work with the strikes as he caused a tiring Chadwick quite a bit of trouble. But by then it was too little too late as the fight came to an end.
As for the judges they were in complete agreement as Chadwick took everything.
Bantamweight action followed as Jack Drabble went up against Paddy Pimblett.
The blink or you'll miss it affair of the evening saw both men swinging for the fences as soon as the fight began, and when Pimblett connected with a big left Drabble went down. Pimblett followed him down for a spot of ground and pound until the referee stepped in after just 21 seconds to give Pimblett the TKO win.
More bantamweight action followed as Billy Hatton faced Adam Ventre.
Hatton began with a couple of good kicks, but after Ventre took one to the head he took the fight to the ground and quickly transitioned to take Ventre's back. Hatton managed to get to his feet briefly, but it wasn't long before Ventre took him back down and synched in a rear naked choke for the submission win after just 81 seconds.
After a highlights package of action from some of the other undercard fights it was on to lightweight action between Stuart Davies and Uche Ihiekwe.
We had a brief feeling out period at the beginning of this one as both fighters tested the waters with some kicks before they locked up in a clinch against the cage. But when Davies took the fight to the ground it was Ihiekwe who ended up in top position in the half guard. Davies looked like a fish out of water as Ihiekwe went to work, and it wasn't long before he applied an arm triangle. The only thing saving Davies was that he kept Ihiekwe in the half guard, but a slight adjustment later and Davies tapped to give Ihiekwe the submission win.
It was down to flyweight for the next fight between Danny Missin and Mick Gerrard.
This one was pretty good. It began with Gerrard taking the fight to the ground early on, and although Missin went for a couple of submissions Gerrard easily controlled the remainder of the round with some well-placed ground and pound, opening up a cut on Missin's forehead.
When the second round began it looked like we were going to get more of the same when Missin pulled guard, but as they action progressed and they jockeyed for positions it wasn't long before Missin, now with a cut under his right eye, ended up in top position. From there he quickly applied an armbar, with Gerrard tapping out to give Missin the submission win.
It was back to featherweight for the next fight as Mark Ryder went up against Razvan Boast.
We had plenty of action in this one. After a quick exchange Boast went for a flying knee, the end result being Ryder countering with a takedown. There was then a brief scramble which saw Boast getting back to his feet, only to be taken back down a couple of times.
It wasn't long before Ryder took complete control. He briefly went for an arm triangle before he took the mount, and when Boast tried to escape Ryder took his man, quickly locking in a rear naked choke for the submission win.
The show rounded out with the flyweight encounter between Josh Bangert and Aaron Abby. Abby took the unanimous decision in this one, but as just the first and third rounds were shown it was kind of difficult to follow the flow of the action.
In conclusion - so was this show worth the wait? Yes and no.
OMMAC 17 had it's good and bad points. The good points all came from the fights. It was filled with plenty of solid action, and although the show wasn't filled with highlight reel action I enjoyed this aspect of the show.
However, I do think it was let down a little by the production side of things. While the commentary and the production quality can't be faulted the way the show was laid out certainly can be.
Firstly, the main event are the other marquee match-ups were shown early on, and the other matches were shown out of sequence. Surely it would have been better to show the fights in the order they appeared on the original card, therefore saving the marquee fights for the back end of the show.
Then there was the scheduling of the advertisement breaks. More often than not we'd get the fighter introductions and then we'd go to a break. We even had one break starting about 20 seconds before a round ended.
As for my fight of the night I'm giving the no-prize to the Andrew Fisher/Shay Walsh battle. If Walsh could put on a display like that while in sheer agony because of a broken jaw I'm left to wonder what he could do when he's fully fit.
So with all of that out of the way there's only one more thing to do, the thumbs up. OMMAC 17 gets a thumbs up for it's fight quality, but it also gets a thumbs down for the way the show was presented.